St Ives have their first away game of the season this Saturday and they will face Devonport Services with a number of changes from the side that played against Cullompton last week. Altogether there are four changes to the pack, one in the backs and one on the bench.
James Bishop and Ben Jenkins remain at prop. On another day their effective scrummaging would have found better reward than was the case at home in the first game. Young Joel Stevens comes in as hooker for injured captain Ben Taylor (back trouble). A heavier second row should cement the scrummage further with the return of both Jess Tompsett and Jamie Prisk. Jon Wright covers the front five on the bench.
In the backrow it’s all change. Cameron Bone (back), Archie Mackay (knee) and Martyn Lawrance (holiday) are replaced by Jamie Hoskin, who is moving from the 2nd row, while Sean Stevens takes the open side spot. Harry Parton, who played second row and flanker last week, continues to show his versatility by being selected at No.8. It will be interesting to see how the pack manages control of the ball at scrum time.
The backs have a very similar look to last week, with the exception of Luke Allatt moving to the bench for Peter Mabbott at left wing. Liam Jolly is away, which means that Grant Thirlby starts at scrum half. Coach, Paul Thirlby, will be hoping that his three quarter line will show penetration to match good intent at home last week. The pack will need to protect the ball more at rucks and be able to furnish the half backs with quick ball from phase to phase. The backs should ‘gel’ better with each passing game. Peter Skeggs is the third member of the bench.
Devonport appear to have put up a marker with a narrow defeat at Bude in their first outing. In fact they led 19:12 with minutes remaining. Only a monumental effort by Bude snatched victory from them in the last kick of the game. The team that finished 9th in the Western Counties West league last season will be keen to produce a first win, especially on their home ground. St Ives will have to work hard if they are to take the points.
A bus leaves the club at 10:00am on Saturday morning. Supporters are welcome. The kick-off is at three o’clock.
The full squad is:
2. Joel Stevens
3. Ben Jenkins
4. Jess Tompsett
5. Jamie Prisk
6. Jamie Hoskin
7. Sean Stevens
8. Harry Parton
9. Grant Thirlby