Monday 18 December, 2017, by Oli Masters
Plympton Victoria v Salcombe
St. Boniface Arena
Perhaps Salcombe didn’t do their homework effectively or maybe it was a case of not giving enough respect to a team who have traditionally been a club that had finished below Salcombe in the league. All credit to Plym Vic who have clearly strengthened since the two teams met in pre-season back in August, they started the match faster and harder and is probably fair to say caught the Crabs a little off guard with their directness and aggression. The first half was a write off for Salcombe with little going their way other than a Lee Clarke penalty when they were ten nil down. Despite playing with the slope the only clear try scoring opportunity that was developed was down to a deft box kick from Scrum half Henry Watts which bounced agonisingly just out of flanker Keiron Clarke’s reach a meter or so from the try line.
The home side scored again after the kick off utilising their heavier pack to barrage over under the posts to bring up a 17-3 lead. This ultimately proved too much for Salcombe who then began to link phases together and came back into the game with try’s from Marco Alfano-Rogers and a second from Keiron Clarke who was this time able to latch onto Watt’s clever kick to make the final score 17-15.
Those with longer memories will find this result harder to take than others but there were positives to be taken even in defeat especially for a young team in transition and one so clearly talented. The Crab’s first try was well crafted, the pack using the pick and go well before going wide to second row Silas Winterbottom who timed his pass perfectly to put Alfano-Rogers into the gap and score. Personal performances from the abrasive Matt Hurst, Jack Howitt who broke through tackles at will and Man of the Match Watts were also eye catching.
Salcombe now need to go away and put right some of the issues the prevented this fixture becoming the first tally in the win column and travel to St Columba & Torpoint this weekend whom it should be noted beat Plym Vic’ 43 – 0 in Torpoint two weeks ago.