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Whites take no risks for cup meeting

By Herald Express  |  Posted: December 19, 2013

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NEWTON Abbot will be taking the safety first approach into their Devon Cup semi-final first-leg tie with Brixham at Rackerhayes.

The All Whites are on a roll in National Three right now, making it four wins on the spin and 18 points from the last 20 on offer by beating Chippenham 15-10 last Saturday.

And it is the league that dominates the thoughts of Newton Abbot's director of rugby Roy Henderson, even though the cup looks a better prospect for silverware this season.

"The cup is important to supporters and sponsors, but it is only three games and the league is 26 and we have to concentrate on that,"said Henderson.

"We have had a lot of injuries recently and with the league starting again in early January we don't want to risk anyone who isn't fit against Brixham.

"As a club we do have a lot of respect for the cup and will be putting out a respectable side.

"There are players who are coming back after injury we want to get out there, as well as others who came in against Chippenham and deserve to stay in the shirt.

"Jason Keenan, Ben Cole and Lawrence May were all ruled out against Chippenham for other reasons and they come into consideration.

"Although we will be a bit cautious, we aim to win the first leg and take a points advantage to Brixham for the second."

Newton did have a makeshift feel about them in places against Chippenham, yet still proved too strong for the struggling Wiltshiremen.

"It may sound odd as the score was only 15-10, but we had seven or eight players out yet never looked like losing," said Henderson.

"Considering the problems we had to overcome just to get a side out, it was our most impressive win of the season.

"Beating Bracknell was outstanding, but we had an almost full side out for that one.

"To go away with so many missing and come back with four points said a lot about the group of players we have here.

'Had you told me that before we left I would have gratefully taken it."

Tom White, the prop signed from Okehampton during the summer, opened his Newton try scoring account with a try from a line-out on 21 minutes. Josh Smith converted.

Alex Moore added another try after the break and Smith booted a penalty late in proceedings.

NEWTON Abbot's second string got back to winning ways following their reversal against Torbay Sharks the previous week with a 42-12 win over Devonport Services II.

Devonport Services had no answer to home winger Alipate Laulau, who scored four tries to take his tally to 20 for the season.

Laulau scored a first half hat-trick which, along with touchdowns for Jack Mitchell and George Heath, saw Newton to a comfortable 25-nil half time lead.

The second half was a far more even affair as the home side used their extensive bench, giving valuable experience to several colts who had stepped up to fill the gap left by first team call ups.

Will Castleton opened the second half scoring with a corner try before Laulau scored his fourth to make it 35-nil. Services then enjoyed a spell of pressure which yielded a seven pointer.

Newton's eighth try, scored by Max Snowden, followed, Billy Messingham's conversion was the first one of the afternoon.

Newton completed the double over the Plymouth side having won the away fixture 41-24 back in September.

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