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Hill's men motivated by Newton Abbot clash

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 14, 2012

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If the pre-match posturing is anything to go by, tomorrow's National Three South West derby clash between Newton Abbot and leaders Exmouth could be a boisterous affair.

The two clubs have frosty relations at first XV level, which can be traced back over several seasons and numerous episodes in matches.

After one of last season's meetings between the clubs, Newton Abbot were hauled before a discipline committee to answer charges one of their players punched an Exmouth player in the face and left him with 12 stitches in his mouth. The case was chucked out.

Only one team has beaten Exmouth this season – and that's Newton Abbot. The Cockles did not take well to losing and are out to redress the balance tomorrow.

"After previous incidences between the clubs, it is fair to say our players, club and management will not be lacking in motivation," said Exmouth coach Jon Hill.

"We have found the way Newton have handled certain situations in the past to be somewhat derogatory and insulting towards us as a club and towards our players. Time is certainly not a healer, and our players will never forget this."

Roy Henderson, Newton Abbot's director of rugby, has only been in the job since the start of this season, which means he is not privy to what's gone on before. As far as Henderson is concerned it is just another game of rugby, and one he wants to win.

"We've beaten Barnstaple, beaten Brixham and beaten Exmouth already – so there is plenty of confidence in the club," said Henderson.

A minute's silence will be observed by players from both sides before Brixham's game away to Oxford Harlequins following the death of the Fishermen's president Danny Irvine.

Irvine, who was 84, died on Tuesday after a long battle against cancer. He was well known throughout Westcountry rugby circles and beyond as a forthright administrator – and partisan in his support for his adopted club.

Irvine joined Brixham as a player in 1952 and over 60 years served as player, team manager, fixture secretary, general secretary and finally president.

Barnstaple go to Redingensians looking to be a bit more polished than they were in the win over Old Patesians last time out.

"I would like to see a bit more composure in the red zone and a little less white-line fever," said Barum's director of rugby Kevin Squire.

Taunton Titans make the long trip to Chinnor tomorrow in National League Two South.

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