Dave Sansom won't get carried away by Argaum position
DHSOB…7 Plymouth Argaum…37
ARGAUM boss Dave Sansom won't talk about promotion yet, despite a clinical win over Old Boys at Stonehouse Creek which launched the former Devon Two whipping boys into second place.
Sansom could afford to lose most of his regular front-row and one or two other key players to the joys of the England-New Zealand international at Twickenham and still put out a side strong enough to overcome Old Boys' plucky resistance.
But promotion? Sansom isn't considering the prospect until the festive season is done and dusted.
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"We've got some hard games coming up and I think it's too early to say if we're the real deal or not," said Argaum's head coach. "We're still a young team and we're taking things game by game.
"If you talk to me after Christmas, then we'll see where we are then. If we can't do it this season, then maybe next season. Who knows?"
Three seasons ago, the unavailability of 10 players would have meant curtains for an Argaum side which used to struggle to get out of the bottom two.
But Sansom's young side are – with the addition of a few experienced heads – growing up together and they were able to shrug off the early set-back of an Old Boys try, scored by the alert Ashley Wright, who pounced on a mistake to drive over. Alex Buckley nailed the conversion to give second-bottom DHSOB a 7-0 lead.
Argaum, even with their enforced changes, didn't take that long to settle and a quick brace of tries by Kyle Bloomfield, a bull-dog of a winger, changed the complexion of the game. Tom Richards converted one out of two to give the visitors a 12-7 lead.
Richards added a penalty to give his side a 15-7 lead at the interval and Argaum were first out of the traps in the second half, scoring an unconverted try through the pace of Jake Turfrey within a minute.
Richards was bang on target with his next conversion effort after Jared Williams' try ensured a winning bonus point for Argaum and a 20-point advantage on the day.
Despite the 100 per cent commitment given by Old Boys, who tackled as though their lives depended on it, they were too often exposed by Argaum's counter-attacks.
Monster second row Kevin Sidebotham, who in his other life is a member of 29 Cdo, was quite possibly Argaum's most effective blunt instrument along with Aaron Anderton-Smith and got his reward for an all-action performance deep into the second half.
Old Boys were again caught on the break as Sidebotham picked up the ball from a good 40 metres out and batted off a number of would-be tacklers as he ran diagonally from right to left to touch down. Not text-book – ball carriers are generally exhorted to run forward in a straight line – but lethal none the less. Richards converted, then gave Argaum a 30-point lead by planting over a penalty.
To their credit, Old Boys refused to lie down and die and ended the game in Argaum territory, but lacked the penetrating power to get past a determined visiting defence.
Ilfracombe…0 Old Technicians…24
FEW Plymouth teams expect anything from a trip to Ilfracombe but a long journey, a bruising game most likely ending in defeat and a dispiriting trek home. Even fewer would expect to go to north Devon, rack up 24 points and keep a clean sheet.
Techs, however, are top of Devon Two for a reason, winning even when they haven't been playing well. Victory at Ilfracombe will go down as probably their best performance of the season so far and gives the city side a six-point cushion at the top of the table as a bonus. Techs were 7-0 up at half-time thanks to a Neil Herbert try, with Ryan Tunnicliffe converting. In the second half, Techs resisted all attempts by Ilfracombe to get back into the game and winger Tom James added a second try.
Influential number eight Herbert scored his second try of the game to give his side a 17-0 advantage, the extra points being kicked by Tunnicliffe, who was successfully converted from full-back to fly-half for the day.
Derek Ingleson made sure of the win with Techs' final try of the game.
Tamar Saracens…0 St Columbia and Torpoint…33
ST COLUMBA put themselves back into the promotion mix with a convincing win at Ernesettle Lane – and attracted the admiration of Sarries coach Ray Hancock into the bargain.
Hancock said afterwards: "It was a good game by both sides – our lads put in 100 per cent, which is pleasing.
"But St Columba are a big side and a good one and I think they are in with a chance of going up. We held our own in the scrums and our defence was pretty good. Our boys were doing really well, because it was only 8-0 at half-time."
PLYMPTON VICTORIA were defeated narrowly 13-9 away to Buckfastleigh Ramblers and picked up a losing bonus point.