Cockles coach chat - our weekly chat with Exmouth RFC head coach Steve Perry

PUBLISHED: 11:18 07 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:18 07 November 2018

Mark Wathes looks to power his way forward during the Cockles defeat at Barnstaple. Picture JASON FAHY

Mark Wathes looks to power his way forward during the Cockles defeat at Barnstaple. Picture JASON FAHY

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Cockles head coach Steve Perry was left feeling very deflated at the full-time whistle on Saturday afternoon.

Action from the Cockles defeat at Barnstaple, with Dave Bargent looking to muscle his way through the Barum ranks. Picture JASON FAHYAction from the Cockles defeat at Barnstaple, with Dave Bargent looking to muscle his way through the Barum ranks. Picture JASON FAHY

Perry, more affectionately known as ‘Pez’ was left deflated by the fact that he had taken his Exmouth side to his former club Barnstaple and they had just been beaten by the smallest of margins, losing 25-21.

The Cockles head coach lamented: “The end of the contest left me very deflated. I don’t like to lose any game and I certainly did not want to lose on my return to a club I have find memories of being at. Much of my deflated nature was born out of a little frustration as we were so close to taking something from the game and, had we been more clinical when the chances presented themselves, and we had some chances during the 80 or so minutes of action at Barnstaple, then we would have secure the result we travelled up there to try and get.”

He continued: “Certainly, during the closing stages we were very close to their line, but we could not quite execute the finish we wanted. Yes, we musty accept that their [Barnstaple] defence was good, but we need to be more clinical in such situations.”

As for the fine start his side made to the contest, Perry said; “We made a good start we played some nice rugby that was very pleasing on the eye. The game plan was not different to what we always try to do which is impose ourselves early in a contest. The key to then carrying that throughout the 80 minutes is to ensure you keep the balk well, and, at times, that was something we were found lacking in, and that is a part of our game we need to work on and sharpen up with.”

He continued: That said, having contained them well, we were unable to turn some promising situations into scores and the higher than average penalty count became something of an issue, though that was caused very much by out being slow to the breakdown, especially towards the end of the first half.”

On the first half injuries that led to the loss of first Mike Richards and then Shane Cooper, the Cockles coach said: “It’s another case where, at this level, only having the three replacements can be extremely frustrating. Barum were in a similar position in as much as they lost their number nine and did not have a number nine on the bench. That’s what the three replacement rule can do to you, but it is the same for every team and it’s a debate for another day as to the rights and wrongs of just being able to use three replacements at this level.”

This Saturday (November 10) is another ‘day off’ for the Cockles, who return the following Saturday (November 17) to a mouthwatering fixture as they host the only side in the South West Premier Division to sport a perfect 100 per cent record this season - Bournemouth.

Adding further intrigue is the fact that, to date, the Cockles have a perfect 100 per cent home record, so something has to give on the middle Saturday of the month at the Imperial Ground – it’s certainly a game to relish.

Perry says: “I am certainly hoping that the players will sue this Saturday off as a chance to recharge those batteries and come back flying ready for what is arguably the biggest challenge of the season to date.”

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