A MIX-AND-MATCH Tavistock side were given a good run out by Plymouth Argaum at Sandy Park, writes Sara Rain.

Argaum were 12-5 up at half-time before Tavistock brought on some experienced replacements and came back to lead 22-12 before the visitors got a late try to make the final score 22-17.

Both clubs felt they got a lot of the fixture.

In the absence of head coach Joel Caddy, Joe Hair and Will Reed took charge of the team on Saturday.

Hair said: ‘We had a lot of youngsters out there who didn’t get a run out against Crediton last week.

‘The team that went out were boys that have been training and turning up every week and Argaum really took it to us, but I think we fronted up well.

‘There was maybe a bit of indecision out there but we are still trying to work out platforms and structures. When you mix-and-match players it is always going to take a little while to gel.’

Reed added: ‘Some of the youngsters did step up. A lot of colts have moved up and it has given us a lot more strength. They will do well for the second team and some will be pushing for the firsts.

‘Full credit to Plymouth Argaum, they are never an easy side to beat. For about three years they were our bogey side. Some of the boys have not played them before but they never gave up and so it was a good test for us.’

Argaum boss Dean Avery was delighted with how his makeshift team performed.

‘It was a fantastic result for us really,’ he said. ‘We basically had a bare 15 with three players on the bench who had not played for many years. Players have come in and it just shows that what we are doing at the club is right. It is really positive for us.

‘We’ve got loads of guys to come back in, but there’s certainly now appetite for shirts. There’s a lot of competition.’

The downside for Argaum was that key player Tom Worboys suffered a nasty facial injury and had to go to hospital for stitches and with a suspected fractured cheekbone.

It was Argaum’s first pre-season run-out and it was a chance for them to experience the new tackle law.

‘The referee did ref it very well,’ said Avery. ‘It is really hard for the lower clubs like us as even if you have 16 players at training to have eight against eight you don’t want to be smashing each other, so it is really hard to coach this new rule. But I thought the referee was good.’

Against a young Tavistock side, Argaum dominated the early stages. They were held up over the line before Al Percival scored on the left.

But 11 minutes later Tavistock levelled with a try by flanker Russell Lumley. However, midway through the first half, Argaum restored their lead with a try by hooker Darren Ewers following a line-out, which Cheyene Edwards converted.

Argaum did have new signing Lee Rowley sin-binned minutes later but they defended well with 14 men.

Tavistock brought on a few more recognisable first team players in the second half and they cut the gap to 12-10 with a try by centre Alex Lewandowski.

Straight away Tavistock added a second try after Argaum messed up the re-start and the hosts attacked brilliantly from a scrum on halfway with Conor Packwood scoring down the right.

Another try followed through Jonny Harris, but Argaum kept going and scored with the last play of the game courtesy of Tom Holliday.