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

PUBLISHED: 10:19 15 January 2020

Exmouth at home to Barnstaple. Ref exsp 35 19TI 9020. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth at home to Barnstaple. Ref exsp 35 19TI 9020. Picture: Terry Ife


Exmouth head coach Steve Perry is very confident that the Cockles will soon begin to climb the South West Premier table.

Charlie Tribble scores the Cockles first try in the narrow defeat at home to Newbury Blues. Picture: ERFCCharlie Tribble scores the Cockles first try in the narrow defeat at home to Newbury Blues. Picture: ERFC

Speaking after the 20-17 home defeat at the hands of one of the only two teams to sit below them in the table, Newbury Blues, the Cockles head coach said: "Once again, and I have said this a few times this season, we have lost a game we could just have easily won! The margins really are fine at this level and we spent the closing stages camped deep in their territory but, and its rather typical of our campaign so far, we literally could just not get over the line."

He continued: "Just how fine the margins are - when you are on the opposition 222 and an individual error occurs, the hard approach work is ruined. But you know, not one player means to make that mistake or commit the error and so you just have to hope that we learn and try not to commit the same thing again in the current campaign."

The Cockles chief then reflected on the run of four home defeats. He said: "The four games have all been so close and that's where I draw my 'fine margins' thinking from. Even the Brixham game, one we lost 27-21 was a game in which a converted try would have changed the end result and the other two losses, to Launceston and Barnstaple, were by a margin of just two points. When games are that close it really is just down to small moments in the contest."

With nine games remaining, what does the Cockles' head coach think his team needs with regard to avoiding the ignominy of dropping a level?

He says: "I am, honestly not thinking of the end of the season and where we might be. The fact is that, as a coach, I need to ensure the team is properly prepared and given the best possible chance of winning matches. We have the talent in the squad to win any game at this level. I am sure most coaches of South West Premier games feel this way, but it is so true. I honestly believe that we will be fine and I am certainly not of a mindset where I am targeting games that we 'could' win because every game we go into I feel we 'can' win."

He continued: "The key to us returning to winning ways is to make sure we keep working hard and, in matches when we are on top, we execute our plans accordingly. It really is all about us and what we do and out performances over the next nine games, which, incidentally we shall take a game at a time and will not get ahead of ourselves, and, if we do continue to give our all in matches then I see no reason why we cannot turn narrow defeats into narrow wins and better!"

On Saturday (January 18), the Cockles head for Okehampton who were the last team that were beaten at the Imperial Ground with the Cockles beating them 26-5 back on October 5.

Perry says of the coming fixture: "I am excited about this one. It's somewhere I have not been before and I am expecting another tough game but, as I have already said, they are all tough. We had an excellent game with them at our place in October and I expect we will see more of the same this time round. They [Okehampton] have won all their home games so far which suggests it'll take some doing for us to beat them, but its absolutely the sort of game we can win and we will prepare the team to go there and hopefully do the job!"

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