RUGBY PREVIEW: Exmouth aim to be clinical at Amersham
Exmouth know they cannot afford to take it easy when they visit Amersham in a rearranged game tomorrow.
Having won 19-15 at Chippenham last Saturday, Exmouth are joint second with Weston in National Three South West with a game in hand to get ahead of them.
This is the game in hand and win will narrow the gap between Exmouth and London Irish to four or five points.
As Exmouth's next two league games are Weston and London Irish – admittedly two weeks apart – the season is reaching a critical stage.
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A loss at Amersham is not part of the equation, although as Newton Abbot found out last Saturday it is a difficult place to go as they lost there 34-21.
"Amersham have scored more than 200 points in their last four games and have got used to winning by big margins," said Exmouth's director of rugby Chris Wright.
"The win at Chippenham was vital as it keeps us right up there with London Irish and Weston, but Amersham is every bit as important. Lose this one and we really put the pressure on ourselves in the last four games – two of which are Weston and London Irish."
Exmouth were below full strength at Chippenham with skipper Ross Moorshead in the back row among those missing. He should be back.
Newton Abbot and Brixham have no games this weekend in National Three South West.
Barnstaple go to Sidmouth in the first Devon Cup semi-final looking to put some gloss on a season which hasn't had much in the league.
"We should win but I am not taking anything for granted," said Barnstaple's director of rugby Kevin Squire. "I have never had much luck at that ground, it's always a tricky place to go."
Sidmouth, a division lower on the league ladder, see the game as a measuring stick against their ambitions.
"I genuinely believe we are capable of playing rugby at the same level as Barnstaple – certainly that is what we should be aspiring to," said Sidmouth player-coach Jason Luff.
"A game like this will show us what it will take to step up a division – and I am sure it will be a tough game."
Barum will be without lock Matt Gohl, who is suspended following his sending off in the win over Maidenhead last Saturday.
Sidmoth are resting wing Zac Bess and hooker Alex Spurdle, both of whom are required for Devon Under-20s' game against Cornwall at Plymouth Albion on Sunday.
It is semi-final day in the Cornwall cup with Camborne at home to Bude, and St Ives away to Wadebridge.