Dartmouth RFC 8 Exeter Saracens RFC 20
Dartmouth RFC struggle against Devon League 1 leaders Exeter Saracens
Dartmouth entertained Devon 1 League leaders Exeter Saracens at Norton playing fields last Saturday. The visitors being undefeated in the League.
The home side struggled to hold Saracens at times, but did manage to keep the score 20-8 in Saracens favour.
You can see why Saracens are topping the Division, as they have a wealth of experienced players in the Pack and up to six of their side are from their successful Colts side, who have stepped up into 1st team Rugby.
With a big mobile pack and a sprinkling of youth on their side, Saracens were prepared to run the ball at Dartmouth from all over the field. Quick release ball from their forwards enabled their three quarter line to spin the ball out to their wingers, who used their pace to gain ground.
However, the first 5 minutes belonged to Dartmouth, with driving runs by centre
Korree Britton, resulting in the visitors giving a penalty away, which was kicked by number 10 Matt Hawkins, giving the home side a slender lead.
Exeter slowly came back into the game, but some great breaks by back row Ricky Seymour, number 9 Henry McCready and outside half Hawkins kept Dartmouth in the game.
However, Exeter started to put the pressure on Dartmouth in the Pack and McCready had to make a try saving tackle on the visitors fullback.
The visitors kept things simple and let the quick ball flow to their wingers resulting in a try for Phillip Thorpe. Converted by Jack Vickers.
7-3 Exeter Saracens.
Dartmouth came back into the game for short periods of the game, but as a result of numerous infringements, caused by pressure from the visitors pack, they gave away too many penalties .
It was only a matter of time before Saracens scored again. A break from the front of the lineout found flanker Nathan Elliot going over for a try.
Half time score Exeter Saracens 12- Dartmouth 3.
The visitors kept the pressure on Dartmouth in the second half, pinning them in their own 22 mtr line. This sustained pressure resulted in number 5 John Clark crashing over for a try.
17-3 Exeter Saracens.
Dartmouth came straight back at Exeter and the ball was gathered by hooker Karl Caunter. Play was taken up to the visitors 22 mtr line by scrum half McCredie, which resulted in a penalty. A quick tap by Karl Caunter saw him taking tacklers with him over the line.
17-8 Exeter Saracens.
Home supporters thought, that the team may now make a game of it. However, breaks up field by Dartmouth players were not supported and the home side continued to give a host of penalties away.
The last 20 minutes found Dartmouth again under the cosh and encamped within their own 22, as the visitors attempted to go for more tries and bonus points.
But credit must go to the whole Dartmouth team, as they tackled like demons to stop Exeter scoring.
The visitors knowing that they could not find a way through the Dartmouth defence and after a further penalty decided to kick for goal and Jack Vickers kicked the final points of the second half.
20-8 Exeter Saracens.
Dartmouth Team Manager Andrew Tomkinson said after the game,
"Yes, very disappointed in the result. I thought it was a winnable game, but our discipline was shocking. We gave away far too many penalties . Their line kicking made valuable ground, our kicking didn't find touch. We have a lot to work on in training. Saracens are a well organised unit and based on their last season results, we under estimated them. Hats off to them, they did play better than us on the day and they are top of the league for a reason. We now regroup, train hard and head to New Cross next saturday looking for a positive response from our players.
Many thanks to Martin Ball (Hillfield Village) and Plaform 1 Dartmouth for Sponsoring this game"
Report by Dick Evans, Press Officer