Exeter Saracens 15 – 24 St Austell
A magnificent game of rugby. Played at a high tempo from both teams and a game that we were unlucky not to get anything from.
It had been a difficult week, coming off the back of a heavy defeat against Penryn, low numbers at training and several players having injury problems. There had been a risk that the game might be postponed due to weather at the rain soaked Exhibition Fields (thanks to Matt Davies and the Colts for helping to sort the pitches before the game!) Not the best of weeks!
BUT! What can I say, Sarries arrived in a confident mood, had an excellent pre match discussion and warm-up and came out with all guns blazing. The boys more than matched top of league St Austell, but perhaps slight lapses in concentration and better fitness from St Austell were the differences between winning and losing.
Sarries conceded first after a well worked try by St Austell (conversion added) but soon replied through a penalty by outside centre Dan Dimoline. The score remained like this throughout the half with nothing to choose between the two teams. The Sarries lineout, scrum and general forward play was superb with the Sarries back row of Matt Davies, Dwight Pansegrouw and Martyn Dibble to the fore.
The second half started badly with St Austell scoring almost straight away (conversion missed). Sarries then had a 10 minute spell of dominance and finally scored through stand in fly half and captain Matt Hilton. This came after more excellent work from the forwards, literally battering St Austell, with drive after drive. Dan Dimoline added the conversion.
St Austell then had their best spell and were able to add two more tries in a fifteen minute spell (one conversion). It is in this period that Sarries seemed to switch off a little and struggle in the fitness stakes. But they responded magnificently in the last ten minutes and were able to apply constant pressure to St Austell which was finally awarded with a try by flanker Matt Davies. The conversion was missed denying Sarries the bonus point which they deserved.
Special mentions must be made to Dave Loman (playing through the pain of injury), Steve Easterbrooke (playing for the first time at Tight-Head), Alex Moore (superb pack leader), Dwight Pansegrouw (our South African beast!), Martyn Dibble (lineout salmon), Tom Crook (first game since broken hand), Matt Hilton (stand in Fly Half – nice game for it) and Ben Shires (leaving work early after a late call-up and South West Colleges trials on Sunday – Good luck!).
St Austell were the best team we have played this season. Fit, organised and a team that takes their chances. There will not be many teams that beat them this season.
For Sarries a brilliant display. It shows that when motivated this team can/should be in the top 5. The challenge for the rest of the season is to attend training, make yourself available, keep going with the new game plan, play with passion and most importantly ENJOY YOURSELVES!
Well done boys