Monday 24 October, 2022, by John Sprague
After a rest week last week Salcombe returned fresh to the fray travelling to Teignmouth for a league match with a full squad including a bench of quality. This is remarkable. A quirk of the RFU designed fixture list means that Salcombe have played 7 matches this season so far but only one at home. To get players committed enough to turn up week after week for away games says something about the morale of the squad and the quality of the coaching and leadership at the club.
The game started with a bang as Teign’s big no 4 and captain tried to run through his opposite number Dom Loomes – big mistake – Loomes took him back a couple of metres in the tackle and ended the Teignmouth man’s game for the afternoon. It quickly became clear that the Crabs were on top and especially in the set scrums where they consistently pushed the home side off the ball on their own put in.
Salcombe were handling really well constantly recycling the ball, off loading well and passing crisply. The inevitable happened and following a penalty the ball was moved wide for Lee Clarke at full back to come in on a good line and touch down wide out. Clarke’s conversion failed but he did convert 6 of the remaining seven tries Salcombe scored.
The game then settled down into a regular pattern of Salcombe dominance with the Crabs playing some very attractive rugby handling at every opportunity. Some passes were dropped and the odd offload didn’t quite make it but the ambition was there for all to see. Even if there was the odd knock on or forward pass, Salcombe had the comfort of knowing that almost always they could regain the ball from the set scrum. Thus it was from a scrum that again the ball was moved wide and at speed for no10 Jon Squire, looping behind his centres, to take the final pass and with a burst of pace score under the posts to bring the score to 12-0 to the Crabs.
Teignmouth then rallied and aided by Salcombe’s giving away penalties set up good field position well inside Salcombe’s half. Some good ball went out to their wing who put in a perfect chip ahead which went over the line and was grounded wide out to make the score 12-5 to Salcombe.
Thereafter it was all Salcombe. Another penalty in the home sides 22 was moved back and forth by Salcombe as Teignmouth tackled their hearts out to stop a score but in the end Ben Goodman crashed over to bring it to 19-5 to Salcombe. The bonus point try came from skipper Toby Woods as the ball was once again moved to and fro following a penalty and at half time Salcombe were leading by 26-5.
The second half was a repeat of the first. Excellent handling brought 2 tries for Dave Hill playing at centre and a second for Woods. Lastly hard working Rhys Catell at no 8 added the finishing touch to a great Crabs display with a hard won try, the 8th for Salcombe on the day.
This week it is one of those rare events, a home game for Salcombe versus near neighbours Dartmouth, ko 3pm. Do come along and support the lads.