St Ives has made several changes for this weekend’s encounter with Tiverton. The weather forecast places the fixture in some jeopardy with storm ‘Brian (presumably O’Driscoll)’ taking hold as I write. Our Devonian visitors will want to be sure of a game before they set out on the 135 mile journey. Nevertheless, a preview is called for.
Returning to the changes in the Hakes’ line up; some are forced due to injury, while others give starts to squad members. Ben Jenkins comes in for Ben Taylor in the front row. The latter left the field injured last Saturday. No club captain this week. Chandler keeps his prop appointment and Elloway will lead from hooker, after an impressive performance last week. Leigh Hocking is available and supplies cover, with Joel Stevens, for the front row.
In the second row, Jamie Hoskin takes the place of John Lamsin to partner Jamie Prisk, who has not missed a game. The back row sees the return of Sean Stevens at open side, with Harry Parton fulfilling the No.8 spot. Cameron Bone continues at blind side. Martyn Lawrance starts on the bench and will be set to make a real impact.
Liam Jolly comes in at half back for the first time since the Wadebridge match to partner Paul Thirlby. The sad loss of the team captain, Steve Kenward, through an awful knee injury last week introduces the first change in the centres for the season. Rhys Brownfield will partner Tom Nicholas. The back three also has changes. Peter Mabbott, who had an excellent game and three tries, last week, remains on the left. He has promoted himself to top try scorer with four. Incidently, the last hat tricks were against Bude last November; Mabbott and Chandler, the latter scoring four! Jacob Ninnes makes his first appearance, a timely result in that Josh Palmer also picked up an injury (possibly hamstring) last Saturday. Grant Thirlby makes his second appearance at full back.
The corresponding fixture last season provided St Ives with a handsome victory (40:17), the first home win of the season. Followers will recall the win at St. Austell the previous week. Whilst the Hakes carry ten players from that fixture, Tiverton have only three who ‘survive’ to be selected this time round. Tiverton have occupied a place in The Western Counties league since the 2013-14 season, gaining third place the following year. They are finding life more difficult this year, with their only win coming from an away victory against Sidmouth.
The top match tomorrow is between Devonport (1st) and Kingsbridge (4th). The latter could do St Ives a huge favour were they to turn over the services side. St Austell will be expecting a bonus point win against lowly Burnham.
The match is due to kick off at 3:00pm, probably moving to 2:30pm for the next home fixture, Truro, on 4th November. It may be worthwhile checking our Facebook page if you are doubtful about the game going ahead. Meanwhile, don’t forget to speak to or contact Director of Rugby, Joff Rowe, to book your ticket for the buffet, the first sponsored lunch this season. It promises to be a great afternoon. Members pay just £5.00.
Tomorrow’s full squad is:
16. Leigh Hocking
17. Joel Stevens
18. Martyn Lawrance