Plymouth Albion 24 Aberavon 15
Plymouth Albion 55 Exmouth 14
By Paddy Marsh at Brickfields
On a day when the weather wasn’t very kind to them, Plymouth Albion made a promising start to their season with victories over Welsh Premiership outfit Aberavon and local rivals Exmouth.
Albion head coach James Shanahan who started the game against Exmouth talking about the two games said, “I was only able to watch the first half against Aberavon but I thought our accuracy was poor. The conditions were poor, but I was told that a good 20 minutes at the start of the second half won the match for us.
“We were sloppy at times but I was happy with our intensity, particularly in defence.”
Commenting on the Exmouth match Shanahan added, “Early on we were very clinical and good individual play quickly gave us a 21-0 lead. We were scrappy after half time, but to score 50 points is a great start to the season.
The players have worked very hard in pre season and we are a big physical side. Our aim against Exmouth was to nil them. We didn’t manage that, but credit must go to Exmouth who came back well in the last 20 minutes.”
Against Aberavon, Albion found themselves 8-0 down when centre Kristian Jenkins scored a try and fly half Jamie Davies kicked a penalty.
A catch and drive try from hooker Davy McGregor sent Albion into half time trailing 8-5.
Tries early in the second half from replacement Lewis Paterson and a brace from flanker Rob Langley, along with two conversions from fly half Dan Mugford, put Albion in the driving seat.
Aberavon concluded the scoring when replacement Craig Everett crossed and Davies added the extras.
Plymouth Albion; L Messer, L Warner, B Woods, T Howley-Berridge, J Davies, D Cusack, P Rowley, B Rogers, D McGregor, M Shields, I Ascroft-Leigh, B Beukeboom, R Langley, E Grace capt, H Stupple reps T Harrison, L Foran, W Sprangle, R Oakley, C Setter, D Mugford, K Speare, L Paterson
Tries McGregor, Paterson, Langley 2
Cons Mugford 2
Aberavon; L Rogers, M Powell, K Jenkins, A Davies, J Casella, J Davies, D Davies, R Jenkins, E Yardley, A Clatworthy capt, R Geraint, G Ronan, D Thomas,N Brown, B Thomas reps N White, I Davies, T Edwards, J Locke, L Purnell, C Everett, R Pugh, N Jones, J Crealock
Tries Jenkins, Everett
Cons J Davies
Pens J Davies
Yellow card Ronan
Referee Steve Leyshon (RFU)
In the second match newly promoted Exmouth were put to the sword by Albion, who ran in a total of nine tries, six in the first half and three after the break.
Flanker Sam Matavesi opened the scoring and his effort was soon followed by a try from new full back Chris Elder.
Matavesi, who was capped by Fiji in the summer, crossed for his second before Elder notched his brace of tries.
Further first half tries were added by wingers Jack Arnott and Tom Bowen, and when Elder added three conversions Albion went into half time leading 36-0.
The flow of tries continued after the break with scrum half Ruairi Cushion going over and Elder sprinted in from half way to complete his hat trick.
Elder converted both tries to take Albion to 50 points.
Exmouth refused to lie down and replacement Rob Hulse scored from close range with ex Albion man Rob Avery-Wright adding a fine conversion.
Former Albion favourite Wayne Sprangle, who was guesting for the club, scored Albion’s final try before Chris Bentley scored a second consolation try for Exmouth with Avery-Wright again converting.
Plymouth Albion; C Elder, T Bowen, H Stevens, P Nonu, J Arnott, J Shanahan, R Cushion, D Morton, G Evans, L Fairbrother, O Cooper-Miller, P Kolakowski, S-M Stephen capt, S Matavesi, J Downey reps A Spurdle, Z Cinnamond W Sprangle, R Oakley, C Setter, L Patterson, K Speare, T Harrison, D Mugford, D Cusack
Tries Matavesi 2, Elder 3, Arnott, Bowen, Cushion Sprangle
Cons Elder 5
Exmouth; J Fabian, M Ryan, S Jones, A Hill, J Downie, R Avery-Wright, G Hooper, G Savage, T Emery, N Berry, C Bentley, S Lowe, J Harris, D Bargent, R Morshead capt reps N Halse, L Morgan, D Pullinger, M Garratt, J Westlake, T Gosling, G Wright, T Lowry, R Bolt, A Powell, R Bright, C Swash, A Goldman, R Cadywould
Try Halse Bentley
Con Avery-Wright 2
Referee Richard Harding
Contracted players who made their first starts in an Albion shirt were;