Match Report OPM 25 Tamar Saracens 24

Article and Photos by Sara Raine Plymouth Sports Gazette

A LATE Henry Matthews penalty secured OPMs a narrow 25-24 victory over city rivals Tamar Saracens at King George V Playing Fields on Saturday.

OPMs, having been 22-12 up mid-way through the second half, found themselves trailing 24-22 going into the dying minutes, but Matthews put them back in front. However, Saracens still had a late chance to win the game, but the hosts desperately managed to keep them out right at the death.

“It was a hard-fought win,” said OPMs captain Billy Garratt. “We really made hard work of it. Our discipline in the first half was good, but we fell off second half. A yellow card got them back into the game.

“There was a scary point at the end when we’d just gone down to 14 again and they put a nice kick in, but we managed to come through and get the win. That’s two out of two now in Devon One.

“But we do have to focus on tackling as I think there was about 23 missed tackles out there.”

Tamar Saracens were unhappy with some decisions which went against them.

“We’re gutted,” said spokesman Marc Cioffi. “It was a tough pill to swallow, especially considering I felt we played the better rugby.

“A few silly decisions cost us the game.

“There was that controversial penalty near the end, but we still came back fighting.”

Sarries took the lead in the first minute. OPMs failed to gather the kick-off and gave away a penalty. The visitors went for the line-out and from it prop Adam Coutts scored and Lewis Swatton converted.

Both teams were making silly mistakes but as the half wore on OPMs began to settle and they pulled level on 25 minutes. After some good play to get into Sarries 22 they were awarded a penalty. They went for the corner and from it Garratt was driven over. Pete Regan converted to equalise.

And almost straight away, OPMs added a second try when fly-half Regan scored on the left after some good play. He also converted to make it 14-7.

Regan increased their lead with a penalty on 37 minutes before Dan Best scored in the right corner to reduce the gap to 17-12 on the stroke of half-time.

OPMs went 22-12 up in the 57th minute when Matthews broke down the blindside to score in the corner.

But the match changed when OPMs had Ben Hooper yellow card on 64 minutes. Straight away, Sarries made the extra man tell with Fraser Tatchell crossing on the left.

And four minutes later, Sarries went ahead when flanker Josh Heath scored a great try which saw him outrageously dummy two OPMs players. Swatton added the conversion to put his side 24-22 ahead.

With time running out, OPMs got a penalty, which was moved forward 10 metres for back-chat. That extra 10 metres made it a far easier kick for Matthews to edge his side back ahead in injury-time.

However, there was plenty of injury-time to add on and OPMs again made a mess of taking the kick-off and gave away a penalty. Sarries opted not to go for goal and instead went for the line-out. Although they lost that, they kept the pressure on and right at the death Swatton nearly scored when he kick over the defence and the ball bounce away from two OPMs players but they somehow managed to stop Sarries from scoring.

KGV Social Area Grand Opening

OLD Plymothian & Mannamedian Rugby Club have created a new ‘clubhouse’ at their King George V Playing Fields, which they opened at the weekend.

Sara Raine of Devon RFU was in attendance and wrote… (pictures by Sara Raine)

The Devon One have totally renovated the changing pavilion at their Elburton home.

Among the changes were turning two old dressing rooms into a large, bright social area with club photographs around and male and female toilets, plus a modern kitchen. They have also improved the other changing rooms and made a new referees’ dressing room.

The redevelopment has been done primarily for use for their juniors, although the senior team did use it on Saturday for the visit of North Tawton.

It does mean junior teams will be able to enjoy after-match food at the venue, while parents will be able to enjoy a drink or breakfast while their children train or play on a Sunday morning.

“We have primarily done it for the juniors,” said club chairman Matt Glastonbury.

“We want to have more of a club feel. Teams were travelling down but they had nowhere to congregate.

“We are hoping that it will really help promote the juniors and give a real rugby club atmosphere for teams coming down.

“We have got a new catering manager and it is a venue that we’ll be able to use for lots of other things.

“This weekend went very successfully. All the parents were very pleased with it. It means they don’t have to stand in the rain now. Their feedback was that they wanted somewhere to go – and that’s what we have provided.

“There’s a small area at the front where we are going to be putting table and chairs out so that if it is nice weather the parents have an nice vantage point, but also when it is horrible they can go in where it is warm and have tea or coffee and a bacon bap.

“This shows that we are moving on. It is pretty much the start of our grand plan.

“We have got under-14s now and in a couple of years’ time we’ll have under-16s in the Fisherman’s Cup and then it will be colts so we need to be ready.

“Our focus for the last couple of years has been on the juniors and this proves that we are really serious about them. Hopefully, it will help us attract even more young people.”

He added: “But it is not only the changing rooms and social area that have been redeveloped, we’ve done a new referees’ room as well. The whole place has been redeveloped to a point now where we feel it is sustainable. Like I said, we do have some other plans for the future, but we’ll start with this.”

The club’s two senior teams normally go back to the OPM Club at Plymouth College after games, but some sides from outside the area do not always want to make the trip there afterwards. Now the club can offer an alternative. They did get a temporary licence to serve drinks for last Saturday’s game against North Tawton.

“We still go back to the OPM Club and we will continue to do that this season,” said Glastonbury. “The college really support us.

“But teams like North Tawton, Buckfastleigh, South Molton don’t always necessarily want to travel back into Plymouth.

In the long-term we would like something there every Saturday and Sunday. At the moment we’ll do something there on occasional Saturdays, but it is mainly about the Sundays and making sure the juniors have a nice experience.

“If say Tavistock or another club bring all their teams down they can all have a dressing room and can go somewhere and have food afterwards.”

The revamped pavilion has six changing rooms, plus two breakout rooms, a new large social area with kitchen and toilets, a snug room, a referees’ room and an outdoor area at the front of the building.

Pre-Season Friendly OPM's v Tamar Saracens

TAMAR Saracens and OPMs were both happy with a pre-season run-out at Parkway on Saturday.

Saracens won the battle of the Devon One rivals 22-10 thanks to a late converted try, but OPMs’ pack impressed on the day.

Both teams were without a number of players, but it was an even – and at times feisty – contest that could have gone either way.

In the end two early Saracens tries scored from clever cross-field kicks proved decisive, but OPMs certainly showed they are likely to be competitive in Devon One this coming season.

“We are really pleased with that,” said OPMs head coach Howard Turner afterwards. “We had 10-12 what we would class as first team players who weren’t around, but all the guys who played showed they are absolutely capable of playing Devon One rugby.

“I think our forwards are a huge plus at the moment. I think we were the better pack of forwards, but we just struggled a little bit behind with a few playing out of position and that was where their two tries with kicks over the top came from, but we ironed that out.

“We have always had big thing about defence and I think that shone through. We are pleased with that start.

“We are just really looking forward to getting into the season now. I think it is going to be very interesting.”

Tamar Saracens head coach Pete Lethridge said: “It was a good workout – better than I expected.

“They (OPMs) had a big, physical pack and we had a lot of inexperience in our pack, but the boys did well – I was impressed by some.

“We do have a lot of players to come back, but I think it was a good test for both teams.

“We have learnt quite a bit – we know how they (OPMs) want to play this season.

“But I was impressed with a lot of the younger lads and I am looking forward to the next game now.”

Saracens went 7-0 up after just seven minutes when winger Dan Best scored after a great cross-field kick by Lewis Swatton, who added the conversion.

Two minutes later tempers flared and OPMs were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes. However, while a man down they cut the gap with a Sammie Matts penalty.

On 20 minutes, Sarries extended their lead with another cross-field kick to the right corner. It looked like OPMs would gather the ball but it took a bounce awkwardly and fell perfectly for Ricky Lennon to gather and score.

After that though, OPMs took control for the rest of the half. They dominated the forward exchanges and on 26 minutes they pushed Sarries off a scrum and forward Ben Hooper scored with a pick-and-go move. Matts added the conversion to cut the gap to two points.

Devon under-20 player Swatton, back from a short spell at Devonport Services, kicked a penalty to put Saracens 15-10 up, but OPMs still had most of the possession.

The pre-season match was a bit of a stalemate after the break, but five minutes from time, Saracens sealed the win when centre Karl Andrews scored under the post and youngster Swatton converted.

Article and pictures by Sara Raine Plymouth Sports Gazette

OPM Rugby AGM Friday 22nd June @OPM Suite 19:30

OPM Rugby AGM on Friday 22nd June – OPM Suite @ 1930

We are holding the Annual General Meeting, where we will be looking back at the past season and let everyone know our plans for the for next season. We will also be looking to all members to elect the leadership of the club, and invite those interested to join us in with helping this club grow.

There will be a BBQ for all attending  – free of charge to paid up members (Direct Debit), and a small charge to Pay As You Play or Non-paying members.

I hope that you will be able to join us and help us shape the future of our club!

If you are interested in any of the roles below, please put your name down or let your interest be known to one of the

OPM Rugby Committee

Club Officers for Election – Main Committee

  • Chairman                           [Current: Matt Glastonbury]
  • Vice-Chairman(s)              [Current: Henry Matthews and Chris Pasco]
  • Treasurer                           [Current: Martin Finlay]
  • Junior Committee Chair  [Current: Jenny Trinder]

Club Roles/Officers to be appointed by the Main Committee

  • Head Coach
  • Fixture Secretary
  • Social Committee Chair
  • Touch Co-Ordinator/Recruitment
  • Sponsorship, Marketing and Communications Chair
  • Disciplinary Chair
  • Webmaster
  • Membership Secretary
  • Devon and Plymouth Combination Representative
  • International Ticket Co-Ordinator
  • Others Roles

Thank you for your interest and i look forward to seeing you all at the AGM.

Many Thanks

Matt Glastonbury

OPM Chairman

Devon Junior Cup Semi Final

OPMs could not cause an upset against Devon One runners-up Topsham and book a place in a county cup final.

But they did give their higher league hosts a bit of a scare and Topsham needed two late tries to put the game beyond OPMs and win 27-5.

“The score does not reflect the game,” said OPMs’ Henry Matthews. “It was just the last 10 minutes that killed it.

“It was 15-5 for most of the game. They are a good side, but we are pretty sure we scored three tries that were disallowed.

“It was pretty frustrating for us. We also had two players sin-binned at the same time so we were down to 13 for 10 minutes in the second half, but we had the ball for that 10 minutes.

“We played some really good rugby. Luck was not on our side, but all credit to Topsham they pulled a result out of the bag.

“We are pleased with it as they are in the play-offs for the Devon/Cornwall League and if they get into it they will do okay. It shows there’s not that much between the Devon/Cornwall and the top of Devon Two”.

Matt Naylor scored OPMs’ only try at Bonfire Field, with Matt Slee (2), Chris Ellor and George Holwill scoring for Topsham. Slee and Holwill scored in the last 10 minutes.

Topsham will now play Devon One champions South Molton in the final next weekend.

OPMs will have another chance of cup success on Wednesday when they play Cornwall/Devon League side Tavistock on the RNEC Cup final at the Rectory.

Story from  Plymouth Sports Gazette

RUGBY REPORTS: Ivybridge, Devonport Services and Saltash claim crucial wins





Former Bath back-rower Anthony Brooks has passed away

Anthony Brooks very sadly passed away this week. Anthony was at Plymouth College from 1972-79 and made a number of appearances for OPMs before going onto play for Bath and captained Rossyln Park and England B. Latterly he was director of Rugby at Maidenhead.

He also represented England under-19s, under-23s and the Barbarians invitational side.

OPM RFC would like to offer their condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.

End of Season Dinner 2018 Copthorne Hotel Sat 19th May

Venue: Copthorne Hotel Plymouth
Price per ticket: £35
Date: Sat 19th May 2018
Start time: 6pm
Dress code: Black tie

Now the rugby season is coming to a close we look forward to our end of season dinner. Looking back on the season’s journey for the good and the bad. Everyone welcome!

This year’s venue is at the Copthorne Hotel in Plymouth. This will include awards presentations, a three course meal and followed by a Disco.

The menu choices are below so take your pick and let me know your choice either by messaging me on the Facebook page or contacting me on 07923163560.

-Mushroom and thyme veloute, sauteed wild mushrooms (v)
-Confit duck leg terrine, toasted onion bread, red onion chutney
-Smoked applewood arancini balls, crispy fried rocket, sweet red pepper sauce

-Braised lamb shank, roasted root veggies, rosemary mash
-Ballontine of chicken stuffed with spinach mousse, potato fondant & wild mushroom jus
-Pan seared sea bass, braised fennel, gnocchi & tomato sauce
-Mediterranean vegetable stack, mozzarella cheese, basil pesto (v)

-Homemade treacle tart, clotted cream & honeycomb
-Chocolate and raspberry panna cotta
-Vanilla baked cheesecake, tulle biscuit

Followed by freshly brewed tea, coffee and mints

For payment please use the link below. And state your name and reference ‘Dinner’.

OPM Big Weekend of Rugby

This weekend we have a massive day of Rugby up at Fotress Elburton.

The 1st XV take on North Tawton in a promotion battle.  OPM need to beat North Tawton by more than 7 points to secure promotion.  KO at 14:30

If that’s not enough excitement the OPM Jesters are entertaining Totness at home with a 14:00 KO.  Thanks to Totness for fulfilling a late notice fixture.

There is also a VP’s Day at the club and many of the old guard will be there to support our promotion fight.

To follow up this exciting day of Rugby its then back to the club house at Plymouth College to watch England take on Scotland in the Six Nations at Murrayfield.

In preparing for the big game the team have been training hard with an outstanding showing of 34x players on Thurs evenings session.