Monday 27 September, 2021, by Oli Masters
If ever a message needed to be sent to their fellow league clubs Salcombe did so in belligerent style against a team they had not beaten in recent memory. Few outside of Two Meads gave the Crabs much of a prayer against formidable opposition, after a humiliating home defeat and failing to even raise a squad in their two previous match weeks.
Those who have actually been in a changing room this season and pulled on the shirt, know that this is a project for Salcombe- arguably the smallest club, with the smallest player pool and at the very end of the track. This is a long term project and the win that caused the Club House end to erupt on Saturday is possibly ahead of schedule especially when taken in context of a season that isn’t yet a month old. A win though, against what received wisdom tells you are superior opposition, is something to be cherished and hopefully sends a message to the rest of the league that a match against Salcombe is not a foregone conclusion.
The game started in unfortunately predictable fashion for the Crabs, loose tackling allowing a big runner to charge under the posts. 7 - nil down with barely a shot fired, this was the pattern for most of the first half, the forwards working tirelessly to defend and pressurise but with little end product being delivered by the back line. This was not helped by several yellow cards to both teams which the referee handed out, but not without warning. To his absolute credit he marshalled a game that could have easily overflowed with authority and good grace.
The second half saw the Crabs change ends, down a converted score but crucially not down and out. Key substitutions at this point by the senior coaching staff – all three on the pitch as players – changed the game. Having worn down the Old Techs pack key squad members went off to be replaced by able and fresh legs and turned the screw especially at scrum time.
The crabs scored points via two penalties (Clarke L) and two tries sandwiching a try from the visitors. The Crabs first via newly converted Scrum Half and Man of the Match Charlie Rawlinson who darted over from a five meter scrum swatting off would be tacklers.
The second score for Salcombe was the result of some quick thinking by the Salcombe Winger who took a quick tap inside his own twenty two and fed the other Rawlinson brother Max who made 50 meters before being dragged down, but not before getting the ball to full back Mark Parnowski to dot down near the posts – queue hysteria amongst those in red shirts.
The Game was not quite done but the Crabs saw out the remainder defending resolutely to ensure what is a hard fought and valuable win. Not valuable in terms of league standings but valuable in the sense of Salcombe’s progression as a club, wins may come and go but it is difficult to overshadow how important this one felt to those involved.
Ordinarily after such a win the squad would be listed and those who had performed notably given special mention. Not this week as SRFC is a squad and a Club and we win together and lose together – all responsibility is shared both good and bad.
Any players out there who want to be part of what we are trying to build at Salcombe please get in touch via the Facebook Page, top level coaching by an ex-professional and second to none facilities, along with players insurance and family membership provided. Training Thursdays and Tuesdays @ 7pm.