RUGBY PREVIEW: Exmouth taking no chances, says Hill
Exmouth have to avoid the banana skin that accounted for Weston last Saturday when they visit Chippenham.
Weston had the look of a promotion side about them in National Three South West until they ran into Chippenham and lost 37-24.
Second-placed Exmouth are following in Weston's tracks to Arlington Field and can ill-afford a defeat that would let the Seasiders clamber back in front of them.
Although Exmouth are in good spirits after defeating Brixham 20-15 last time out, coach Jon Hill knows Chippenham present a genuine threat.
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"It is a massive game, although every game is huge between now and the end of the season," said Hill. "We go into the game on the back of two big performances, and having not conceded a try for 170 minutes.
"Chippenham have the most bonus points in the division and will be a huge test of our defensive qualities."
Brixham hope to put into practice lessons learned earlier in the season when London Irish visit Astley Park tomorrow (3pm).
The Fishermen's 49-22 defeat by table-topping Irish at Sunbury before Christmas remains their heaviest defeat of the season so far.
Assistant coach Ian Morgan said Brixham have a massive respect for what Irish have achieved this season – played 21, won 20 – but aren't afraid of them either.
"If you don't look after the ball they will hit you hard on the counter – as we found out," said Morgan. "When they are on the road the tactic seems to be to try starving them of the ball."
Former Plymouth Albion prop Ryan Hopkins – injured in the defeat at Exmouth last Saturday – is Brixham's only selection worry.
Newton Abbot have a difficult decision to make ahead of their trip to Amersham and Chiltern – who to leave out.
The All Whites were without goal-kicker Rob Avery-Wright when they defeated Redingensians 25-22 – and missed him badly. The problem facing coach Danny Porte and director of rugby Roy Henderson is how to get Avery-Wright back in a winning side.
"We beat Redingensians far more easily than 25-22 – four tries to one and that was in the last couple of minutes – but hardly kicked anything," said Henderson.
"I would like to find a place for our kicker, but it is going to be hard to leave out ten, 12 or 13 as they all played well."
Barnstaple should end a six-match losing sequence when they entertain relegation certainties Maidenhead.