Monday 6 January, 2020, by John Sprague
14 December 2019
Saltash arrived with only 12 players, all but one forwards, and so Salcombe lent them 2 players, both backs and the game was played with 14 a side. While the Crabs were very grateful that Saltash turned up, so many sides these days don’t if they are short, it nevertheless made for an unsatisfactory spectacle.
The visitors obviously played to their strength and kept the ball in their heavy pack of forwards recycling well and gradually bulldozing their way forward. In this way they scored 3 unconverted tries and were unlucky not to get a four try bonus point of their own. Briefed by one of their loaned players they knew better than to kick to Salcombe’s back 3 and were shown how to kick to empty spaces by Mark Lidstone guesting for them. But inevitably Salcombe had more of the ball and scored 4 tries in the first half, 2 from Marco Alfano-Rogers and one each for Kieron Clarke and Schalk Herselman. With Lee Clarke converting two of them, The Crabs led 24-5 at half time.
The second half was pretty shapeless with a forward tussle mid field from which the ball squirted out in a fairly random manner other than when Man of the match Dafydd Bonar secured one of his several classic turnover balls. With Salcombe enjoying the bulk of possession and Saltash having no answer to the speed of Alfano-Rogers and Charlie Rawlinson, Salcombe got another 6 tries with Alfano- Rogers completing his hat trick and Rawlinson getting another 3. Further tries came from Lee Clarke with a surging run to the line and Mark Lidstone, now returned to Salcombe colours, who was handed the scoring pass by James Cooper. Coops rumour has it you will get the D... of the season for that pass! Lee Clarke added 5 conversions for the final score.