Dartmouth, who play in the final of the Devon RFU junior bowl at Norton Field this Saturday, April 22, needed this game as match practice and to keep the motivation going within the squad.
They took a strong team with them to Totnes with players vying for places in the Bowl final.
Fair play to the home side; they had a squad of 18 players with a sprinkling of Buckfastleigh Ramblers RFC players in their team.
But in beautiful sunshine and on a soft pitch, Totnes were no match for Dartmouth, who played exhibition rugby for the full 80 minutes. The visitors ran in tries from all over the field, some from their 22-metre line, with forwards and three quarters linking in a barbarian style of rugby.
With players wanting to get their names on the score sheet, there were some exceptional individual performances from Dartmouth.
Vice Captain and centre Jake Bridgwood tore through the Totnes defence, breaking defensive tackles with hand offs to score two tries.
Fellow centre Jack “Flash” Gordon, who was probably the fastest player on the field, scored a hat-trick; one from inside his 22-metre line when he ran and jinked through players to score under the posts. Once Jack has the ball, there is nothing he likes better than to run at the opposition. Totnes were unable to lay a finger on him.
Number 7 Myles Churchill again cleared up the ball in the lineouts and if that was not enough, he made thumping runs upfield, punching holes in the defence. In full flight, Myles, with his strength and level of fitness, is a difficult player to stop. This was proved when he got two tries.
Captain Karl Caunter led the team by example and, even though he did not get on the score sheet, he was always in the thick of things, making ground whenever he was in possession of the ball.
This Dartmouth win was a whole-team performance. Everybody backed each other up and there was always support in numbers. This is shown by the number of tries which were scored.
The Dartmouth manager and coaches must be very pleased with this performance a week before the Bowl final.
Other try scorers in this game were Dan Greeno, Dec Hammond, Tom Clark, Richard Lobb and Jack Paddon.
Kicking duties were shared between Number 10 Sam Churchill and Jack Gordon.
For Totnes, Scot Hingston, playing at number 10, had a good game after a welcome return to rugby. He was well supported by centre Callam Chappell and number 14 Tom Harvey made some runs from inside the Totnes half.
Number 11 Henry Cast was unlucky not to score for Totnes, when he was bundled into touch near the try line.
Team manager Andrew Tomkinson said after the game: “We are playing Plymouth Arguam next week in the finals of Devon RFU Junior Bowl.
“This was a great result for us and we needed a match before the final. I am delighted with the win and the manor in which we applied ourselves. We kept our structure and scored some great tries.
“Jack Gordon had an excellent game scoring three tries. I was also delighted with the local youngsters in the team, namely Leo Willey and Jack Paddon. They both contributed well to the team and had excellent games.”
Dartmouth RFC squad who played against Totnes: Ryan Burrows, Tom Clark, Declan Hammond, Ricky Seymour, Liam Hitchcock; Myles Churchill, Tom Carter, Karl Caunter (captain), Jaime Kearney, Sam Churchill, Xav Picot, Jake Bridgwood (vice-captain) Jack Gordon, Josh Squires, Richard Lobb, Dan Greeno, Jack Paddon, Leo Willey, Tony De Burgh, Ben Bruckner.
Next up: Saturday, April 22 – Dartmouth RFC vs Plymouth Argaum in the Devon RFU Junior Bowl final at Norton Field, Dartmouth. Kick-off is 2.30pm.