University of Exeter ‘loaned’ six players to Exeter Chiefs and still proved too strong for Exmouth in the South West Premier derby on the Topsham Road ground.
The Chiefs borrowed half-a-dozen of the Students’ Saturday League side to play in for them in the Premiership Rugby Cup clash against Gloucester.
While the Chiefs were dipping to a 45-19 defeat at Kingsholm, the Students left behind were defeating Exmouth 27-7.
The University have close connections with Chiefs and the ‘loan’ arrangement was, according to team manager Richard Hodge, ‘part of what we do with them’.
There is clearly some strength in depth to the University’s Saturday league squad as they are undefeated in 10 games this season and have taken a four-try bonus point from every match.
The Students have had a few close calls on the way to the top of the table – Weston, Bournemouth and Brixham all took losing bonus points off them – and for a long time it looked like Exmouth would be another one.
“We knew it would be tough as Exmouth were third in the table for a reason, but our fitness told in the end,” said Hodge.
“They scored first and at half time we were only a point up (8-7).
“There was a lot to play for in the second half and Exmouth had their chances, but we managed to hold them up twice.
“In the last 20 minutes we scored three tries – two of them virtually length-of-the-pitch efforts.”
Exmouth dropped back to fourth in the table as Old Redcliffians defeated Weston 27-18 to shoot past them into third.
Roger Holman, the Exmouth team manager, said the University scored a batch of tries in almost identical fashion, which is something that needs addressing going forward.
“We let in three tries inside 10 minutes from goal-line drop-outs after being held up over the line in-goal, but felt two should have been given as tries,” said Holman.
“Our work this week in training will probably centre around defending the goal-line drop-out situation.”
Tom Jupe, Scott Butterworth, Jordan Bond and Tom Eelman were the Students’ try scorers. Harvey Graham kicked the goals.
Nick Headley scored the try that put Exmouth ahead on 27 minutes and George Meadows kicked the conversion.
Next up for the Cockles is a Saturday (November 27) home meeting with Weston-super-Mare.
Honiton’s torrid time at the wrong end of the Western Counties table continued when they were beaten 78-6 at home by Kingsbridge.
The Ton did well to hold Kingsbridge to a 24-6 lead, but in the second half were permanently on the defensive.
Defeat leaves Honiton rock bottom in the table with just two points to show from their 10 starts so far. It won’t be any easier this Saturday away to a Newton Abbot side that stuck 49 points on Falmouth last time out. Dom Lovesy gave Honiton a brief lead with a penalty after five minutes. Kingsbridge responded with a try under the posts, another on the run from a prop and two more tries before half time.
When Honiton were turned over going forward Kingsbridge counter attacked and ran in from distance. A restart counter-attack led to another try and a 38-6 lead.
There was no more scoring until the last 10 minutes when Kingsbridge crossed the whitewash five more times and were awarded a penalty try in the last few minutes.
On Saturday (November 27), the Lacemen travel to Newton Abbot who have won four and lost six of their 10 games to date. The Lacemen will be seeking to end what is currently a 10-match losing sequence.