Tiverton need win to chase down promotion spot
TIVERTON need to beat top-of-the-table Teignmouth if they are to keep their outside chances of promotion alive, says the club's chairman of rugby Charlie Burt.
Tiverton lost 27-12 to Teignmouth back on October 27, but since then they have gone on an 11-game unbeaten run which culminated in a 41-12 victory over second-placed St Ives last time out.
However, having re-ignited their bid for chance of an immediate return to Western Counties West, Burt is well aware Tiverton will need to continue their winning run if they are going to claim a top two place as they are running out of games with just six to go.
"If Teignmouth do get beaten on Saturday, they will still be the winners of the league, I have no doubt about that," he said.
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"If we lose, I think we are going to struggle to catch either of them, but if we do win on Saturday then we are on the tails of St Ives. I think we can catch them, but we have got to win on Saturday."
Tiverton have been dealt a blow in the lead up to the match with the news that backs Henry Frankpitt, Jimmy Atkins and Sam Smith are unavailable due to holiday commitments.
Burt admitted that losing three players from the starting XV would be a blow, but added that they have other players who can step into the fold.
"We have got some youngsters who we be able to come in," he said. "We will be looking at Callum Stone, who has been playing at 10 for us.
"He was on the bench last week and he is only 19. He was playing well during the early part of the season and he'll be in the squad and so will Adam Willows, who is of a similar age.
"So we have got cover, but it is always disappointing to lose three players from your first team squad.
"We have just got to carry on and play the way we have been playing, we can't let it affect our preparations this week."
Burt added that on the back of their recent good run, Tiverton would head into the match with confidence, but would need to be at their very best to claim a victory.
"They have played well all season," said Burt. "The only games they have lost have been twice to St Ives. They have got to be favourites, they won again on Saturday down at OPMs.
"We are third and we have been playing very well recently, but we have got to be at the top of our game, like we against St Ives last week, to be anywhere near them. We are certainly looking forward to the match though."
Tiverton seconds fought back from 17-3 down to beat their Torquay counterparts 18-17 despite having a man sent off early on.
Callum Stone won the match when he converted Elliott Howells' try, having earlier slotted two penalties. Adrian Jary also scored a try.