6th February 2023

The Colts travelled to Crediton for the second fixture between them in the Devon Cup.

Unbeaten in the competition so far, this was an important match to win to keep the top spot. The first 10 minutes of play served to prove that this Crediton was a much more physical outfit that the one that travelled to Newton Abbot early on in the competition. Bolstered by several available Exeter College academy players and a sizeable set of running centres, their enthusiasm proved to be as adrenaline fuelled as our lads’ as penalties leaked from both sides during the opening minutes. Some eventual structure from the Whites play brought first success on the 13 minute mark as slick passing down the line to Rundle on the wing lets him take the final 22 yards to score in the corner with power and speed that DVDM would seek to emulate later that afternoon (Twice) 5-0.

Newton Abbot Rugby Club Colts VS Crediton Colts

The Whites received the restart and Connor Mackellar put them back in Crediton half for an attacking line out. However, this revealed the Achilles heel for today’s team: Line outs. “Not straight” penalties seemed to be handed to Crediton every time beneficial territory was won by the Colts. This repeated again as another penalty to the Colts (for Crediton not rolling away) was beautifully pushed to the corner for five meter line out by Mackellar only for it to be handed right back to Crediton. Time was largely spent between each other’s 22s with very scrappy midfield play leading to fleeting minutes of ball in play time between penalties, neither team managed to build many phases before another blast from the ref’s whistle.

This murky status quo was shattered by a fantastic interception by Josh Lang on the half way, flying all the way on the wing, running to score in the corner. These two far corner scores meant neither we converted (10 – 0) and the lead never concrete despite Trojan levels of defensive work keeping Crediton’s backline out. It was, however, with a degree of inevitability that one of these brutes would eventually score, crashing through from 22m out, managing to roll off the tackle over the line to ground it close enough to the posts to convert on the halftime whistle, 7-10

Newton Abbot Rugby Club Colts VS Crediton Colts

Second half restart brought the Colts back into play with real purpose, running downhill this time. Thundering runs from Dowse, Juniper and Evans and deft work from the halfback pair of Goulden and Mackellar was never able to convert what was promised and the energy and possession slowly ebbed in Crediton’s favour. Long passages of kick tennis were mixed with bone crunching defensive tackling from the men in White. There was, however, a gathering storm of Crediton desire. For too many valuable minutes the Colts just couldn’t get themselves back in the game in the face of Crediton’s threatening multiphase play. One escape from immediate pressure would be replaced by the need for another.

One escape, achieved by turnover from Albert, put pressure on Crediton in the form of a lineout on the Crediton 5 meter line only for the line out gremlin to snatch any further progress from their hands. And thus the storm clouds finally broke. After an incredible period of pressure from Crediton, kept out endlessly by the Whites, Jack, Cox was given a yellow card for repetitive infringement. Reduced to 14 men, Crediton make use of the overlap, scoring wide and converted. 14-10 Crediton. Hope glimmered momentarily as Rundle and Cally Westaway broke free on the left. But a fluffed pass snuffed it out and handed Crediton the win that they really deserved for the passion and play the brought on the day.

The first loss for the Colts, with consolation losing bonus point, leaves them one point (20) behind Ivybridge (21) at the top of the table after Ivy picked up the full 5 against Devonport. Sidmouth sit 3rd on 14 points having lost to bottom of the table Bideford, giving them their first win. ALL to play for still with both bottom of the table teams pulling out solid victories and showing threat at this half way point.

Newton Abbot Rugby Club Colts VS Crediton Colts

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