Ivybridge accept underdog tag in derby clash with Devonport Services
IVYBRIDGE coach Neil Thomson admits he likes going into tomorrow's derby clash at Devonport Services as an underdog.
Services, who have won their last four matches, take on 10th-place Ivybridge at The Rectory (3pm).
Thomson said their fourth-place rivals should be favourites to beat the Bridgers by up to 30 points.
Last week, the South Hams team suffered a disappointing 27-23 home defeat to lowly Bude.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
While the defeat hardly puts Ivybridge under threat of relegation, a win or two soon would put any lingering concerns about the drop zone firmly behind them.
Thomson said: "It's a huge game for the team. We've had a few losses, while Services have won four on the trot and we will go there as underdogs, which is exactly the way I like it.
"People like underdogs as well and sometimes they do very well.
"I think the result on Saturday (against Bude) hit home with a lot of the players and they put the blame on themselves for not putting in a good performance.
"Of course, the boys want to put it right, because they felt they had let themselves down."
Thomson felt Services would be up for the game, especially after the Bridgers inflicted a defeat on them at Cross-in-Hand earlier in the season.
Thomson said: "I don't think (Services rugby chairman) Dave Oakley would let the word complacency creep into his team's vocabulary and I dare say they'll come out with all guns blazing, just as we will."
Ivybridge were selecting their squad last night, but Thomson added: "I can see us making a few changes."
Services, meanwhile, are aiming to keep the pressure on the top three at The Rectory tomorrow.
Services chief Oakley said both sides had incentives for wanting to win.
He said: "The game is the main local derby of the season and will make for an enthralling occasion.
"We both want the win for different reasons. We want to keep up pressure on the top three and Ivybridge are getting a little too close to the bottom for comfort."
Fijian Manoa Tikoisuva returns to the centres to partner Royal Marine Alan Sullivan, who keeps his place after his debut in the win over Honiton last weekend.
Nathan Wonnacott moves to his preferred position of full-back, while the pack and bench remain unchanged.
Oakley added: "We avoided a potential banana skin last Saturday with the win at bottom team Honiton.
"There are teams at the bottom of the league now fighting for their chance to stay in this very competitive environment."
Services (from): Olly Dugmore, Phil Wilson, Declan Sexton, Rocky Young, John Mellor, Dan Olssen, Dylan Cossey, Matt Gregory, Mikey Lane, Matt Anstis, Matt Morrison, Alan Sullivan, Manoa Tikoisuva, Oscar Flowers, Nat Wonnacott, Ben McGowan, Elliott Worrall, Jack Martin
TAVISTOCK boss Mike Lewis is confident his team will not suffer a second successive heavy defeat at third-placed Torquay Athletic tomorrow.
Tavvy were battered 73-3 by leaders St Austell last weekend after Lewis was left with the withdrawal of 18 potential first-teamers.
He raided the second team and Tavistock, who are battling relegation, fulfilled the fixture, but the monster loss was inevitable.
Lewis said: "We're going to have more players, so we'll have a better team this week and be a bit more competitive."