Good morning folks and welcome to our look at today’s fixtures. Before we get started as the title suggests this blog is on the move after this weekend. I began this purely as an experiment to see where it would take me and it’s been very welcomed by all of you visitors which is great news but its time to put it into its rightful place and so from next week this blog will be found on the Barnstaple RFC website. It will still have all the things we already do here, the pre-match morning post with the team sheet available, post-match reports and the midweek news etc. It just makes sense to have it all on one website and saves yourselves having to juggle different sites to find what you want. Notices for each article will still be posted on Facebook as we already do the only difference is if you wish to make a comment on the blog post it will have to be on the Facebook link to the post as the website doesn’t as yet have facilities to post comments. If you have any views about this then please let me know in the comments now on to the match day news.
Today see’s the Chiefs back at Pottington Road having secured another bonus point at Henley last week. 29-10 down with just over 20 minutes to go the lads did well to get to within just 7 points by the end. However the injuries are mounting up, it looks like Ryan Carter is going to be out for several months at least, having broken his ankle, from what I hear, 2 weeks ago. Bryn, Linford and Matt Gohl are all still unavailable and it’s proving to be a tough season on the bodies of the rest of the team. There is great debate as to whether the new global laws introduced at the start of this season is increasing the injury risk of players as it appears there is more time in contact than previous seasons. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions but here’s a couple of links you might find interesting from the RFU study about their impact.
These injuries does mean Jake Murphy will again be playing fly half, while Jarred Hayler who has really impressed the Pottington Faithful since joining us, moves from the back row to inside centre partnered by Jack Bond at outside centre. On the bench today for the first time is Pat McManus’s boy Kieran, who is still to reach his 18th birthday and might just get the chance to make his debut on the pitch today.
Here then is the full line up for today’s game
- Danny SOUTHWORTH Sponsored by Phillip Sherborne Gas Services
- James STARKEY Sponsored by Newbridge Pharma Ltd
- Rob Dugard Sponsored by Access an Area
- Adam LLOYD Sponsored by Mike Brend Ground Force
- Oli MASON Sponsored by South West Metals
- Winston JAMES Sponsored by Tea by the Taw
- Nat Bayet Sponsored by C&A Development
- Gareth EVANS Sponsored by SR Furniture
- Jordan PETHERBRIDGE Sponsored by Westerly Barnstaple BMW
- Jake MURPHY Sponsored by Anyweld Ltd
- Ryan Lee Sponsored by Kevin Robson
- Jarrard HAYLER Sponsored by Councillor Fred Jefferies
- Jack BOND Sponsored by Ashburton motor works
- Will TOPPS Sponsored by Barricane Solutions
- Luke BERRY Sponsored by Tarka School of Gymnastics
The Finishers are.
- Kevin ANGELL (16)
Pearce Construction Ltd
- Ashlee CROUCH (17)
- Jake CHILDS (18)
- Brad DREW (19)
- Kieran McMANUS (20)
So how are London Irish WG looking, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they are struggling this season given that they lie in 12th place with only 2 wins so far. But such reasoning would be well misplaced when you consider that today’s game will be their 6th fixture on the road already and come the second half of the season they will be perfectly placed to make a charge up the table. Added to that they are at present the 5th highest scoring team in the league scoring 213 points so far, that is 34 points more than us, despite only winning two games and it paints a very different story, a story of a team just waiting to unleash, which makes them a tough and dangerous opposition, one we have to pay a lot of respect to. In fact their 53-22 win over Old Reds last weekend maybe the start of that unleashing.
Elsewhere in the league today game of the week must be Taunton v Canterbury, two very in form sides residing 1st and 4th respectively. The stats suggest that Taunton will edge this one given their higher scoring rate and being at home, but I do think Canterbury will give one hell of a game. The other leaders Chinnor and Cinderford are both on the road with Chinnor having the easier prospect travelling to Broadstreet. Cinderford, given their dip in form losing their first game two weeks ago and only just beating Worthing last week need a big performance against Tonbridge who themselves struggle at home.
Redruth have a chance to regain a bit of form as they welcome Clifton to The Recreation Ground for what they hope will be a fourth successive home win. Bury v Worthing and Redingensians v Old Redcliffians should go to the home teams quite comfortably while Henley will be hoping to extend their unbeaten streak of three matches to four as they travel to Wimbledon, although they are yet to win on the road.
Barnstaple Athletic have a tough match today as they travel to Merit Table 1 leaders Newton Abbot today. Following on from their tough encounter against Crediton where they were out muscled most of the game and in the second half in particular failed to secure any set piece play, they will have their work cut out for them if they are to bring anything back from today. Next week they have a much better chance of regaining their composure as they welcome Okehampton to Pottington Road. The game will kick off at 2.30pm and all you need to watch it is some beer money as entry is free.
Well that’s it for today I hope to see as many of you as possible at the game for what I hope is another thrilling Barnstaple victory, it will be tough though given the number of important injuries we have.
Given the weather forecast make sure you bring your brollies as it looks like a big storm is on its way. Good luck to The Chiefs and may the Barum Roar break decibel records today.