Author Archives: Haden Tye

Plymouth Albion Looking for Away Win

Herbie Stupple of Plymouth Albion runs out in front of the Special Olympics team during the National Division 1 Match between Plymouth Albion and Esher at Brickfields, Plymouth, Devon on September 9.  - PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

Plymouth Albion are fielding a strong team for their away game today (Saturday, September 16) against newly-promoted Bishop’s Stortford (KO 3pm).

The 20-man squad includes six Exeter players. Second row Ed Holmes and scrum half Joe Snow line up alongside centres Tom Hendrickson and Harvey Skinner in the starting XV.

England U20s prop Marcus Street and hooker Jack Innard join the replacements bench.

Captain Herbie Stupple says the six clearly strengthen the team. “It’s good having a big ball carrier like Ed while Tom allows us to go forward in the centre.

“Its always positive for our team when the Exeter lads are available.”

Head coach Kieran Hallett says: “We’ve picked a strong team and we’re on the road to get a win.”

The Hertfordshire club’s website refers to Plymouth Albion as ‘title contenders’, but Hallett is not paying much attention to that.

He says: “I don’t take too much notice of what other people say. But if they expect us to be powerful and them not to get much out of it, then hopefully we won’t disappoint!”

Stupple is comfortable with the level of expectation: “You look at last year when we came second in the league and put in some huge performances in the second half of the season. We want teams to be feeling that way.

“That said, they’re an unknown quantity coming up [from National League 2]. We don’t know what they’ll bring but we will be looking to get that first ‘W’ away from home.”

Albion travel to Bishop’s Stortford this Saturday, September 16 (KO 3pm at Silver Leys). Their next home game is on Saturday, September 23, vs Fylde. Entry is from £15 (under 16s free).

Plymouth Albion Travel to Bishop’s Stortford

Plymouth Albion Head Coach, Kieran Hallett during the National Division 1 Match between Plymouth Albion and Esher at Brickfields, Plymouth, Devon on September 9.  - PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

Plymouth Albion travel to Hertfordshire this Saturday, September 16, for their National League One fixture against newly-promoted Bishop’s Stortford (KO 3pm).

The Hertfordshire side are likely to fancy their chances, having enjoyed a great start to their season with back-to-back successes.

Andy Long’s team grabbed early wins against Caldy and Old Elthamians, who also played in the lower tier last season.

Albion’s confidence will be high following their dominating seven try display against Esher at the Brickfields last Saturday.

Head coach Kieran Hallett’s team achieved their first win of the season with a convincing 43-10 home victory over the Surrey club.

Hallett says: “I am a big believer that if you get the performance right then the result takes care of itself.

“We talk a lot about the things that don’t require talent, like hard work. It was missing a bit from the Blackheath game. But it was certainly there in spades on Saturday.

“There was a lot more energy. We started well even though we made a couple of errors. The signs were that we were doing the right thing and with a little more composure and accuracy we would score.

“What pleased me the most was the work rate and energy. Teams will always make errors. We are going to make errors. But if that intent and that energy is there it normally sees you through.”

This will be first time the two teams have faced each other and Hallett says Bishop’s Stortford are something of an unknown quantity: “They have had a couple of good wins over the two teams that came up with them so this is their first time playing a seasoned national one team.

“That said, we will treat them with the respect they deserve, as we do every team in the league, and make sure we approach this game properly.

“Yes, we are confident, but previous performances do not necessarily affect a current performance. We are happy that we have got our season off the mark and we are just trying to build momentum week by week.”

Albion travel to Bishop’s Stortford this Saturday, September 16 (KO 3pm at Silver Leys). Their next home game is on Saturday, September 23, vs Fylde. Entry is from £15 (under 16s free).

Plymouth Albion team to face Bishop’s Stortford at Silver Leys on Saturday, September 16, (KO 3pm):

15 Matt Shepherd, 14 Matt Crosscombe, 13 Tom Hendrickson, 12 Harvey Skinner, 11 Jack Arnott, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Joe Snow, 16 Will Norton, 2 Rupert Freestone, 3 Dan Pullinger, 4 Dan Collier, 5 Ed Holmes, 6 Eoghan Grace, 7 George Mills, 8 Herbie Stupple

Replacements

1 Marcus Street, 17 Jack Innard, 18 Daniel Swain, 19 Setareki Raumakita, 20 Cameron Setter

Mugford Signs

Dan Mugford of Plymouth Albion kicks for the conversion during the National Division 1 Match between Plymouth Albion and Esher at Brickfields, Plymouth, Devon on September 9.  - PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

Plymouth Albion are pleased to announce they have formally signed Dan Mugford.

The former Nottingham Rugby and Sale Sharks fly half put pen to paper to seal a one-year deal with the National League One club.

Mugford had a spell at Albion with James Shanahan four years ago before joining Championship rivals Nottingham Rugby.

Director of Rugby Nigel Sparrow says: “This is a really important signing for us. Dan has a wealth of experience in the higher leagues and is a highly skilled fly half. His decision making will be influential and he is already having an impact on the squad.”

Mugford says: “It’s great to be back. I really enjoyed being here the first time round.

“There are a good bunch of lads here and it’s a tight-knit group. There are a few faces from when I was here before, the likes of Herbie, Eoghan Grace and Jack Arnott. There is plenty of talent in the squad and, hopefully, good things to come.

“I am ready for the season and ready to kick into some important games. I am excited. The whole squad is. We’ve got confidence but we also know we need to be right on it every week in order to be where we need to be come the end of the season. We’ll take it a week at a time.

“I am really enjoying working with Kieran. He’s someone I have played against quite a lot over the years so I knew him relatively well anyway. He’s a good coach. He puts a lot of responsibility back on to the players and I enjoy that.”

The former Ivybridge Community College student is enjoying the club’s new community focus. He recently held a special kicking clinic for local youngsters.

He says: “Without the community and the city of Plymouth behind the club, we are going to struggle, so it’s absolutely massive that we trying to go that way. The more us as players can be involved in that, the better it will be in the long run.”

Mugford, who spoke out about his battle with depression earlier this year, is aiming to enjoy his first season back at Albion.

“I lost the enjoyment out of rugby for a few years and I want to get that back. I think if I can do that then my performances will be up where I want them to be.”

Albion’s next National League One fixture is away vs Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday, September 16.

Their next home game takes place on Saturday, September 23, vs Fylde, at the Brickfields (KO 3pm). Entry is from £15 (under 16s free).

Friends and supporters. We do have some issues with the current web site and as a result have a new web site under construction. We are aware of the current issues (not being able to purchase tickets amongst others) and we apologise for any inconvenience.

Please call the club on 01752 565064 if you have an urgent enquiry and we will endeavour to help. We do thank you for your continued support and the club looks forward to launching a brand new web site very soon.

Plymouth Albion 43 Esher 10

Matthew Shepherd of Plymouth Albion scores the opening try during the National Division 1 Match between Plymouth Albion and Esher at Brickfields, Plymouth, Devon on September 9.  - PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

by Nick Burt

Plymouth Albion returned to winning ways with a fine 43-10 victory over Esher at The Brickfields. A try count of 7 to 1 ensured the team will travel to Bishop’s Stortford next weekend with great confidence.

Plymouth Albion Director of Rugby Nigel Sparrow said: “I felt it was good to get the early tries on the board before half time as it set up a great platform to deliver our attacking threat in the second half.”

The match was played at a fast pace from the outset. Both teams squandered early possession with unforced errors and the first scrum was awarded to Esher after just 2 minutes. The Surrey team took the lead after 7 minutes when Albion were penalised for coming in at the side and fly half James Brooks easily kicked the three points.

On 12 minutes a quick ball from a breakdown midway into the Esher half enabled Matt Shepherd to release speedy Jack Arnott. He was tackled just short of the line but managed to flip the ball back inside to Shepherd who skipped over for the first try.

Sustained pressure from the Albion forwards then followed. A well rehearsed catch and drive allowed Rupert Freestone to crash over on 18 mins. Good interplay between Harvey Skinner and Matt Crosscombe released Dean Squire who chased his own kick but was just beaten to the touchdown by Esher right wing Kariym Irving. Two minutes later, the Esher player was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on, the first of three yellow cards they were to suffer during the course of the match.

On 28 minutes, Brooks missed a relatively straight forward penalty attempt and Esher were subsequently penalised for wheeling the scrum. Dan Mugford kicked for the corner and the developing maul moved infield, only for the ball to be held up over the line. From the scrum, Mugford took a delightful angle to receive a short pass and score a try under the posts which he then converted.

Albion continued to pile on the pressure. An error in midfield by Esher’s Joseph Brown gave the ball back to the rampaging Albion forwards. An attack down the left wing saw Dan Pullinger gather the ball and, to the delight of the crowd, crash through a weak tackle to score in the corner.

Half time score Albion 24 Esher 3.

Soon after the restart some poor Albion defence at the base of a ruck allowed Esher’s Kariym Irving to brush trough some weak tackling and go in unopposed from 40 metres out. Brooks converted to make the score 24-10. For a while, Esher upped the tempo and clawed their way over for what seemed like a certain try, only to be penalised for a double movement.
From the 22 drop out the ball was gathered by Eoghan Grace who raced down the left touchline and fed inside to Jack Arnott who knocked the ball forward with the line at his mercy!

Mugford left the pitch with a serious blood injury to be replaced by Setareki Raumakita. A second yellow card for Esher resulted in another good field position enabling Rupert Freestone to be driven over for his second try. The one man advantage played into Albion’s hands. A scrum near the Esher line, after they were forced to carry it over, allowed Herbie Stupple to score, with Mugford adding the extras.

Unbelievably, Esher received a third yellow card on 70 mins for killing the ball on the ground. Albion ran the ball and Matt Shepherd gathered a long pass out on the wing to score unopposed in the corner, with Mugford converting well from the touchline to make the final score 43-10.

After the match, Albion Captain Herbie Stupple was full of praise for his team. He said, “We were good from the start and had an intent and a tempo that they (Esher) couldn’t live with. Getting the early tries lifted the spirits.” He added “We made a few mistakes in the beginning but our defence worked so well that they couldn’t really move. It was a top performance.”

Plymouth Albion: M Shepherd, M Crosscombe (S Raumakita) D Squire(C Setter), H Skinner, J Arnott, D Mugford, J Snow, H Stupple, G Mills(S Daly), E Grace, D Swain, D Collier, D Pullinger, R Freestone(J Salter), W Norton (M Street)

Tries:M Shepherd (2), R Freestone (2), D Mugford, D Pullinger, H Stupple
Con:D Mugford (3) M Shepherd (1)
Pens:
Yellow card:

Esher: L Davies, K Irving( G Bvuma , J Brown (capt), S Sutherland, C Monks, J Brooks, T Trotter, A Bone, C Gossington, C Gentles, O Marriott, L Edwards H Seccombe ), C Zeiss (C Leigh), C O’Connell( B Harding)
, E Cudworth
Tries:K Irving
Con:J Brooks
Pens:J Brooks
Yellow card:K Irving, C Monks, C Arnold

Referee: Calum Howard

Attendance:1,060

Plymouth Albion 43 Esher 10

Matthew Shepherd of Plymouth Albion scores the opening try during the National Division 1 Match between Plymouth Albion and Esher at Brickfields, Plymouth, Devon on September 9.  - PHOTO: Cameron Geran/PPAUK

by Nick Burt

Plymouth Albion returned to winning ways with a fine 43-10 victory over Esher at The Brickfields. A try count of 7 to 1 ensured the team will travel to Bishop’s Stortford next weekend with great confidence.

Plymouth Albion Director of Rugby Nigel Sparrow said: “I felt it was good to get the early tries on the board before half time as it set up a great platform to deliver our attacking threat in the second half.”

The match was played at a fast pace from the outset. Both teams squandered early possession with unforced errors and the first scrum was awarded to Esher after just 2 minutes. The Surrey team took the lead after 7 minutes when Albion were penalised for coming in at the side and fly half James Brooks easily kicked the three points.

On 12 minutes a quick ball from a breakdown midway into the Esher half enabled Matt Shepherd to release speedy Jack Arnott. He was tackled just short of the line but managed to flip the ball back inside to Shepherd who skipped over for the first try.

Sustained pressure from the Albion forwards then followed. A well rehearsed catch and drive allowed Rupert Freestone to crash over on 18 mins. Good interplay between Harvey Skinner and Matt Crosscombe released Dean Squire who chased his own kick but was just beaten to the touchdown by Esher right wing Kariym Irving. Two minutes later, the Esher player was yellow carded for a deliberate knock on, the first of three yellow cards they were to suffer during the course of the match.

On 28 minutes, Brooks missed a relatively straight forward penalty attempt and Esher were subsequently penalised for wheeling the scrum. Dan Mugford kicked for the corner and the developing maul moved infield, only for the ball to be held up over the line. From the scrum, Mugford took a delightful angle to receive a short pass and score a try under the posts which he then converted.

Albion continued to pile on the pressure. An error in midfield by Esher’s Joseph Brown gave the ball back to the rampaging Albion forwards. An attack down the left wing saw Dan Pullinger gather the ball and, to the delight of the crowd, crash through a weak tackle to score in the corner.

Half time score Albion 24 Esher 3.

Soon after the restart some poor Albion defence at the base of a ruck allowed Esher’s Kariym Irving to brush trough some weak tackling and go in unopposed from 40 metres out. Brooks converted to make the score 24-10. For a while, Esher upped the tempo and clawed their way over for what seemed like a certain try, only to be penalised for a double movement.
From the 22 drop out the ball was gathered by Eoghan Grace who raced down the left touchline and fed inside to Jack Arnott who knocked the ball forward with the line at his mercy!

Mugford left the pitch with a serious blood injury to be replaced by Setareki Raumakita. A second yellow card for Esher resulted in another good field position enabling Rupert Freestone to be driven over for his second try. The one man advantage played into Albion’s hands. A scrum near the Esher line, after they were forced to carry it over, allowed Herbie Stupple to score, with Mugford adding the extras.

Unbelievably, Esher received a third yellow card on 70 mins for killing the ball on the ground. Albion ran the ball and Matt Shepherd gathered a long pass out on the wing to score unopposed in the corner, with Mugford converting well from the touchline to make the final score 43-10.

After the match, Albion Captain Herbie Stupple was full of praise for his team. He said, “We were good from the start and had an intent and a tempo that they (Esher) couldn’t live with. Getting the early tries lifted the spirits.” He added “We made a few mistakes in the beginning but our defence worked so well that they couldn’t really move. It was a top performance.”

Plymouth Albion: M Shepherd, M Crosscombe (S Raumakita) D Squire(C Setter), H Skinner, J Arnott, D Mugford, J Snow, H Stupple, G Mills(S Daly), E Grace, D Swain, D Collier, D Pullinger, R Freestone(J Salter), W Norton (M Street)

Tries:M Shepherd (2), R Freestone (2), D Mugford, D Pullinger, H Stupple
Con:D Mugford (3) M Shepherd (1)
Pens:
Yellow card:

Esher: L Davies, K Irving( G Bvuma , J Brown (capt), S Sutherland, C Monks, J Brooks, T Trotter, A Bone, C Gossington, C Gentles, O Marriott, L Edwards H Seccombe ), C Zeiss (C Leigh), C O’Connell( B Harding)
, E Cudworth
Tries:K Irving
Con:J Brooks
Pens:J Brooks
Yellow card:K Irving, C Monks, C Arnold

Referee: Calum Howard

Attendance:1,060

Hallett Wants a Big Crowd for Season Opener

Kieran Hallett Head Coach of Plymouth Albion during the National League One match between Blackheath and Plymouth Albion at Well Hall on September 2nd 2017 in Eltham, London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Davies/PPAUK)

Plymouth Albion head coach Kieran Hallett is hoping for a big crowd today (Saturday, September 9) at the club’s first home game of the season against Esher (KO 3pm).

Confident his players have moved on from their loss at Blackheath last weekend, Hallett says: “I think it was a typical early season game. We were very disappointed with the start but the character we showed – to go from 19-3 down to actually winning at half time – was exceptional.

“We controlled and dominated the game in that middle period without playing particularly well. We didn’t really move out of second gear and still managed to score some good tries. But, having given them that head start, we were never really comfortable.

“Overall it’s disappointing, having been 30 seconds away from the win, but it may turn out that two points away from home at Blackheath is actually a good outcome.

“We will learn from our mistakes, focus week-to-week and get on with our job.

“Training this week was very good. They boys were really sharp. We have moved on now and we are just thinking about Esher.

On Esher’s opening win against Old Elthamians, Hallett says: “They played one of the newly-promoted teams which is always a bit tricky to do first game of the season. They dealt with that pretty well. They’ll be a good side.

“I am sure they will be confident. They will have seen that we lost to Blackheath. Maybe some of the aura from last year has gone now, but we’re not too worried about that.

“It will be a difficult game, as every game is, but we’re pretty confident we can get the win at home.”

Today’s game is a special family day in association with Babcock and Hallett is hoping for a big crowd.

“The support is massively important. Last year the attendances improved as the season went on. Hopefully this year we can start with a bang.”

Albion’s first home fixture – and Family Day – takes place this Saturday, September 9, vs Esher at the Brickfields (KO 3pm). Entry is from £15 (under 16s free) and a special £20 family ticket is available before 2pm (admits two adults and two children).

 Plymouth Albion team to face Esher at the Brickfields, (KO 3pm) on Saturday, September 9:

Matthew Shepherd, Matt Crosscombe, Dean Squire, Harvey Skinner, Jack Arnott, Dan Mugford, Joe Snow, Herbie Stupple, George Mills, Eoghan Grace, Dan Swain, Daniel Collier, Daniel Pullinger, Rupert Freestone, Will Norton.

Replacements

Marcus Street, Jamie Salter, Sam Daly, Cameron Setter, Setareki Raumakita.

Plymouth Albion Welcome Esher for First Home Game

Eoghan Grace, Captain of of Plymouth Albion during the Pre Season match between Plymouth Albion v Redruth at the Brickfields Recreation Ground, on March 20th 2017, Plymouth, Devon, UK. PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Rugby returns to the Brickfields this Saturday, September 9, when Plymouth Albion kick off their first home game of the season against Esher (KO 3pm).

The two National League One sides had contrasting fortunes in their opening games last weekend. Albion suffered a last gasp 32-31 defeat at Blackheath while Esher triumphed 39-14 at home over newly-promoted Old Elthamians.

Albion will be keen to move on from their unfortunate result at Blackheath.

Back row forward Eoghan Grace, who recently returned to the club from Coventry, says: “ It was disappointing all round but, on the positive side, we showed a bit of hunger and character to get from where we were after 15 minutes to actually being ahead at half time.

“The second half was up and down and then there was the penalty decision at the end when we’d done the hard graft to get back ahead. It was an unfortunate read and he nailed the kick. It was one of those days.

“But it’s a new week. We started on Monday and we just get on with it. We have to park last week and move forward.”

Grace, 29, says the team is looking forward to their first home fixture.

“We’re excited about playing in front of our fans and putting on the kind of performance that we do best. We’ve got a good arsenal, players who can make stuff happen and coaches behind us who have put us in good stead to advance.

“Last week we performed well in patches and showed that when we get it right we have the ability to really get it right!”

Plymouth Albion are hoping for a big home crowd for the fixture, designated as a special family day in partnership with Babcock. A fun afternoon is planned involving hands-on activities, face painting, bouncy castles, rugby skills and even free ice-cream and crisps, courtesy of Yeo Valley and Burts Chips.

Grace, who is also helping the club off the field in a schools and community role, says: “It’s huge for everyone involved. The boys want to be out there playing in front of big numbers.”

While Albion were victorious against Esher in both of last season’s league fixtures, Grace isn’t taking anything for granted.

“They’re a good team that play a physical brand of rugby. They’ve got powerful backs who can do the business out wide. On their day they are just as tough as any other team.”

Grace is expecting the league to be a tightly-fought contest.

“I’ve always thought this would not be a runaway Hartpury year for some team, it’s going to be a lot tighter. There are a bunch of teams that have got a good chance.”

Two former Albion players currently on Esher’s books and likely to feature on Saturday are prop forward Cameron Zeiss and fly half Paul Roberts.

Albion’s first home fixture – and Family Day – takes place this Saturday, September 9, vs Esher at the Brickfields (KO 3pm). Entry is from £15 (under 16s free) and a special £20 family ticket is available before 2pm (admits two adults and two children).