Rugby round-up from the region

Rob Simmons of London Irish wins the line out ball against Sam Skinner of Exeter Chiefs during the G

Rob Simmons of London Irish wins the line out ball against Sam Skinner of Exeter Chiefs during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and London Irish at Sandy Park on 23 Oct 2021. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

They are in a highly competitive Tribute South West Premier Division, but Exmouth's 1st XV is emerging as an 'under the radar' side to watch after they moved up to third place with an impressive 48-19 home win over always-tough Brixham. 

A week's break appeared to have done the Cockles no harm, and they overcame a pre-match illness to scrum-half Matty Ryan - Sam Whitehead stepped up from the bench - to maintain steady progress. 

They ran in seven tries, by Jake Inglis (2), Steve Pape (2), Toby Papp, Lewis Gerran and Ben Hanley. 

Whitehead and George Meadows, including a drop-goal, kicked the extra points. 

Camborne away this Saturday should never be taken lightly, but the Cornish side are struggling this season, so Exmouth will see it as another winning opportunity. 

Exeter University still top the table from the also-unbeaten Hornets, and the Weston-Super-Mare side travel to Brixham this weekend.  

South West One leaders St Austell were always likely to be tough opponents for Sidmouth, even at Blackmore, and so it proved - the visitors won 38-14. 

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Sidmouth, with no game this weekend, have a fortnight to mull over any shortcomings. 

Raleigh Park may be the place to be on Saturday and a big crowd is guaranteed - it's the 'Exe Derby' between Withycombe and Topsham in Devon & Cornwall Division. 

Both sides go into the game in high spirits. 

Second-placed Topsham routed Tavistock 72-0 in West Devon last Saturday, while a driving maul try from Chris 'The Fridge' Gibbons earned improving Withies a hard-fought first away win of the season (5-3) at Liskeard & Looe. 

Topsham remain a point behind leaders Pirates Amateurs (Penzance). 

On the national scene, Exeter Chiefs boss Rob Baxter called on his players to “get on with it” after suffering their third defeat in six matches, going down 33-21 at home to London Irish. 

Baxter said: “We’re almost refusing to get on with things, everything seems a little bit more complicated than it needs to be. 

“The thing that’s frustrated me the most is that level of performance in front of our home crowd again.”

Curtis Rona of London Irish goes over for a try during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exete

Curtis Rona of London Irish goes over for a try during the Gallagher Premiership match between Exeter Chiefs and London Irish at Sandy Park on 23 Oct 2021. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK