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High-flying Bideford rugby players warned against complacency

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

ON THE WAY: Dave Slee makes a break for the line as he scores Bideford's first try in Saturday's 32-11 win over Honiton. Picture: Mike Southon. To order this photograph call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref: BNMS20120929D-021_C

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BIDEFORD have been warned against complacency at the top of the league.

They beat Honiton 32-11 to make it five wins out of five in Tribute Western Counties (west) this season, putting them only one point behind leaders St Austell.

But Bideford were well below their best in Saturday's game, which saw flying wing Sam Olde race over for a hat-trick of tries.

The post-match atmosphere in the changing room was understood to be frosty despite the bonus-point victory on a sunny afternoon at King George's Field.

Coach Kevin Booth said: "It's a bonus-point win but we can't keep saying, week in, week out, we're not playing as well as we can.

"The boys feel like they have lost, if I'm honest. A lot of heads are down and there's a lot of work to be done.

"The players probably thought, 'We are playing a bottom of the league team'. Whether they came out with that attitude, I don't know. We don't want to become complacent.

"The problem we have got is that when you're a top-four team everyone wants to beat you and they come out and play a different style to normal. Honiton said they had played a different style."

With Bideford's second XV continuing their winning start to the season with a 69-10 thrashing of Honiton, Booth said the first-team players cannot afford to take it easy.

"These guys are pushing for places," he said. "There is pressure for the (first-team) lads and they have got to deal with that.

"Our training numbers dropped off on Tuesday. We had two full teams in training on Thursday but we need that on Tuesday as well if we are going to be a top of the table team."

Booth expects another challenge from Ivybridge, who have only won one game, as Bideford travel south this weekend.

"They have only missed out in a couple of games by six points," he said. "They're going to raise their game."

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