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Wall calm at absent players

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

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SELECTION will be interesting at Cullompton this week according to head coach Chris Wall, who had to make eight changes to his side as they fell to a 36-3 defeat against Hornets.

A number of first team players opted to go and watch Exeter Chiefs' match with Toulon in the Heineken Cup rather than travel up the M5 to Weston-super-Mare for their South West One West encounter, forcing Wall to put a number of second team players into the side.

However, Wall, who himself is unavailable for Cully for the next two games as he goes on his honeymoon, failed to criticise the players, but did add that they might find it hard to work their way back into the team.

"It is disappointing yes, but I think everybody coaching at this level, and perhaps one or two levels above, realises that rugby is a hobby," he said.

"Therefore what a fantastic game of rugby to go and watch up at the Chiefs, I can't knock them for that.

"Yes it is disappointing that they didn't want to commit to the club, but these guys have got lives outside of a social rugby team on a Saturday.

"It does mean that this week is going to be a very important game. Wadebridge are one place above us in the table.

"We will have a few of the guys back but it won't be an automatic selection for those guys as they voluntarily decided that they weren't going to play.

"So selection will be interesting this week, as will the performances in training."

Against Hornets, Cully started slowly, conceding three tries in the opening 15 minutes as players missed one-on-one tackles.

Wall admitted that they had a frank half-time teamtalk and he was pleased with the response shown in the second half.

"We had a period leading up to half-time when we got into the game, we started to get the ball in hand and get a little bit of possession," he said.

"Unfortunately we kept on getting turned over or making mistakes, which has been a

common theme for us this season.

"At half-time we had a little bit of a chat and basically just said we have just got to knuckle down otherwise it could go quite poorly in the second half.

"The pleasing thing was in the second half we started to make those one-on-one tackles and we actually got quite a lot of the ball. We had some success with that.

"There were one or two breakaway tries from Weston Hornets, which perhaps flattered them and made the scoreline a little bit bigger than it should have been, but I was much happier with the second half performance."

Cully's only points came from an Adam Pearce penalty and defeat left them fourth from bottom in the table, with a crucial match at home to Wadebridge this Saturday.

"It is one of those that is a must-win game if we want to have a chance of avoiding relegation," said Wall.

"We are fourth from bottom in the table, although there is a little bit of daylight in terms of points between us and third from bottom.

"But, as I have said all along, we want to be looking up the table and if we can get some continuity in selection and work on one or two aspects of our game, such as tempo and one-on-one tackles, then I don't think it will be a problem for us to achieve that."

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