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Hill confident Cockles have nothing to fear

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

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EXMOUTH head coach Jon Hill says the Cockles have nothing to fear when they travel to unbeaten league leaders London Irish Amateurs this Saturday.

Hill's side went second after winning 42-8 at then-second-placed Weston-super-Mare.

Exmouth have not lost in league or cup since the second Saturday of the season when Newton Abbot edged home 19-14 against them, but Hill still has plenty of respect for Irish.

"Clearly London Irish are a quality side from all the reports you hear from other coaches and read about and we will respect them for what they have achieved," said Hill.

"What we won't do is fear them as we have a pretty good record ourselves.

"We have gone 11 games unbeaten and have the best defensive stats of any team in our division.

"Scoring tries has not been a problem either as we are through 400 points in the league now. We have creative players such as Andrew Powell, and finishers like Jack Downie and Tom Kill, who are potent weapons.

"Our record allows us to go up there confident and if we take the game to London Irish we can win."

Exmouth led Weston 27-3 by half-time after tries from Dave Kimberley, Matt Ryan (2) and Downie.

"There was a defining moment just before half-time when Weston were awarded a scrum near our line and their massive pack assumed they would either drive us back or force us down for a penalty try," said Hill.

"Instead we drove them back. People say our backs are our strength, but the forwards may beg to differ."

After the break, Dave Bargent and Powell dotted down, with the latter notching three conversions and two penalties to take his points tally for the season to 163.

Flanker Bargent had to play on the wing when Tom Elliot went off injured after seven minutes and may stay there for the London Irish game.

Newton Abbot will not have any difficulty raising their game for the Devon derby against Barnstaple at Rackerhayes, despite a surprise defeat at lowly Avonmouth.

The All Whites led 12-8 just before half-time on Severnside and 19-13 immediately after the break, but The Mouth came good in the last quarter to win 30-19.

Newton's performance was described as 'our worst of the season' by director of rugby Roy Henderson, although he does not expect there to be a hangover against Barnstaple.

"The very fact it is Barnstaple in a Devon derby will give us the lift we need," he said. "Overall our season has been pretty good so far and one bad result can't alter that."

Injuries remain a problem for Newton, with No.8 Peter Mortimore and fly-half Rob Avery-Wright failing to make it through 80 minutes.

Both will hope to feature against Barum, along with talismanic No.8 Ben Cole, who was unable to make the trip to Barrack Lane.

Newton Abbot's first half try scorers were Josh Smith and Lloyd Radford, with a conversion for Avery-Wright.

Kevin Dennis ran over from 70 metres for the final Newton try, which Avery-Wright also converted.

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