Monday 28 February, 2022, by Oli Masters
The Crabs achieved a rare feat in Saturday’s re-arranged fixture against Totnes at Two Meads in a home and away league wins. This is something that Salcombe rugby’s amateur historians cannot recall ever happening.
That it was not a perfect performance was the source of some frustration after the game with high hopes of demonstrating some open rugby on what a dry and warm afternoon that was just right for some adventurous play. That was not to be unfortunately but not for a lack of trying, the intent to play an expansive style was evident for much of the game with just a lack of finesse at crucial times being the difference on too many occasions.
Totnes even took the lead early on with a penalty before Salcombe got on the score sheet through a driving maul releasing lock Keiron Clarke to dart over, the conversion missed but the Crabs negotiated out the rest of the half without much incident at either end. That is aside from one particularly pleasing moment immediately prior to half time saw the returning Duncan Lilburn time his tackle perfectly and hit his opposite number hard enough to draw a deep breath from the crowd. More importantly it was hard enough to dislodge the ball up into the air for it then to be plucked by winger Sam Wilkins and run in a slick score, conversion by L Clarke.
Half time and playing into the wind Salcombe tried once again to move the ball quickly but again inaccuracy of execution coupled with increasingly poor discipline kept Totnes in the game and allowed them an easy score. The home team managed to respond following another driving maul after a line out with Captain and Man of the Match Toby Woods this time at the rudder and from 5 meters out peel off down the blind side for the try, again the conversion was successful and a little breathing space was created. Salcombe then spent the rest of the game in search of a bonus point for a 4th try that never came, poor discipline and dropped balls being often to blame. Totnes then got a deserved bonus point of their own with the last play of the game to make the score 19 – 17.
This win leaves Salcombe ahead of schedule base on the renewed mid-season targets set by the team and coaching staff but the players would hope that some lessons will be learnt despite the positive outcome. 1 of those lessons would be to be unremitting in all aspects, with profligacy in the red zone once again a problem and at times a lethargy that even the best teams cannot afford. This was however win number 9 for the season with a new squad, in a new league, with a new captain and a new coach. Salcombe will continue to build, expand and grow as a team so that mistakes will be corrected with renewed vigour and intensity.
As always thank you to the crowd who gave their support, the ladies managing the raffle and the dinner service and LV Catering for the post-match meals. The Crabs travel to Torrington this weekend for another tough game with a coach travel laid on, anyone who wishes to travel up and support please contact the club via facebook we would love to have you on board.