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Records on the line as Students meet Saltash

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: September 19, 2013

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SOMETHING'S got to give when the University of Exeter meet Saltash this Saturday in a Cornwall & Devon League top-of-the-table clash.

The Students have won both games played so far without dropping a point after beating Withycombe 24-3 last time out.

Saltash are unbeaten in two, and a point behind in third place, having missed out on one bonus point so far.

The Students are used to running teams off their feet – that's how they have got from Devon Two to Cornwall & Devon in two years – but coach Keith Fleming said they are adapting to the rigours of their new environment well.

"Something we have been working hard on is our scrummaging, knowing we are going to run into lumpy packs of forwards, with some wily old heads in them," said Fleming.

"That work paid off against Withycombe as we were on top in the forwards for 50 minutes, until they suffered a front-row injury and we had to go to uncontested scrums."

Withy, who make the long trip to Falmouth this weekend, had no complaints about the result.

"It is disappointing to lose, but they look a good side and I can't see too many teams holding them to the margin we did," said director of rugby Nigel Symons.

"Something else to be positive about was George Toomey's first game at full-back – he was excellent – and a very solid debut at prop for Will Cole, who has come to us from Bicton College."

The University's try scorers were Beau Archer, Frazer Gillies, Dai Rossiter and Sam Middlemiss. Ali Chamberlain kicked the conversions.

Glen Channing landed a first-half penalty for Withy.

Honiton coach Callum Hill will have to sit out Saturday's trip to Penzance after picking up an injury in the 31-7 win over OPM.

Hill went off with what was later diagnosed as a lateral knee ligament injury and could be out for up to three weeks.

Also carrying a knee injury is flanker Jason Hannay, who hopes to be fit.

Hill had a good view of proceedings from the touchline against OPM and was pretty pleased with what he saw.

"It was hard work at first as they were good in the scrums and we had to front up from the first whistle," said Hill.

"Once we started to dominate and get in their faces, we looked the better side.

"We took our chances – something we didn't do last season – and played with more continuity."

Tries were scored by Ollie Rice, who had great game at fly-half, Ben Small, Ben Way and Robert Price. Ben Webber supplied a penalty and four conversions.

Exeter Saracens will be hoping it is third time lucky when they visit OPM.

Sarries have now lost twice this season, although their 18-15 reversal by Newquay was a real kick in the guts. Sarries came from 10-0 down to lead 12-10 and were level at 15-15 with last played called. Then Newquay fly-half Liam Freeman aimed a speculative drop-goal, which sailed through the posts to give his side victory.

Earlier Ben Croft had crossed twice for Sarries. Aaron Brereton converted a try and a penalty.

Tiverton, second in the table, are likely to find Newquay a tougher nut to crack than Veor were last time out.

With Barney Bell winging in for a hat-trick, Tiverton ran up a 73-0 win. They were 28-0 up at the break and shot over the horizon in the second half to finish with 11 tries.

The full tally of try scorers was Bell (3), Sam Smith (2), Jack Sampson (2), Ollie Chanin, Wayne Sprangle, Tom Franklin and James Frankpitt. Callum Stone potted nine conversions.

Crediton head for Hayle hoping to get back on track after a narrow 12-8 loss at home to Falmouth.

The visitors were behind until 10 minutes from time when a converted try nudged them ahead.

Declan McDonnell scored Crediton's only try and Doug John kicked a penalty.

Meanwhile, former Saracens coach Ross Bovingdon is looking to get back into the game as quickly as possible after standing down at Whipton.

Front-row forward Bovingdon started coaching the side during a break from playing due to injury, but is now fit to return to the fray.

Bovingdon has made a clean break from Sarries after five years with the club and is looking for a new challenge.

"I played seven or eight first team games last season and came through them fine," said Bovingdon, who had suffered from neck problems.

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