WIVELISCOMBE'S rugby coach Ed Lewsey has reflected on the 2023-24 campaign ahead of the first team's final rugby match of the season on Saturday.

“Without doubt it has been a tough season results wise, but we are small town club with a small pool of players to pick from so it has been a challenge.

“However, we have been spirited throughout the season and only twice have we been roundly beaten. We have been competitive in all our matches but just haven’t had the composure or quality to bring some of those close games home. If we had then we would have been in the top half of the table.

Ed went on: “We turned a bit of a corner around Christmas time which started with our home win over Wellington on Boxing Day, which was a confidence boost and we then went on a run of wins.

However we then lost our number 10 which was quite a blow.

“Yes, it has been a challenge but it's been enjoyable and it's at these times you learn about people's character and from being rock bottom of the table at one stage we have worked our way through and showed real character and fight to battle back and chalk up a few wins.

“Everything is easy when you are winning but when you come under pressure that’s when people have to roll their sleeves up and show a bit of character and I think that the lads have done that well this season.”

The head coach previewed Saturday’s match. “This weekend we are home to Kingsbridge, which is quite a crucial one for us because we still don’t know what the relegation situation is as it hasn’t been announced.

“We are ninth in the table but level on points with Bideford who are 10th so we need to win against Kingsbridge on Saturday to make sure, which is what we intend to do.

“When we played them at the start of the season away from home we got a bonus point as we got within seven points. They are in the top part of the league and we know they have got some good players and a strong line out so we have to be on our mettle to win.

"We aim to end with a strong performance at home before we have a long lay off so let's hope that as many of our supporters as possible turn out to cheer the Wivey boys on."

Wiveliscombe 2nd XV also have a match on Saturday - away to Countdies Three Somerset South. The seconds, too, have found the going tough.

Ed Lewsey - Wivey's head coach