RUGBY: Devizes 57 Salisbury 20

A CLINICAL first-half performance set up Devizes biggest win of the season on Saturday.

The Saddlebacks were without a clutch of players, including loosehead propTom Reed, back rowers Jake Richardson and Moses Navunisaravi, centres Chris Holloran and Mark Warburton, wing Paul Kuipers and full-back Luke Rapson.

But Scott Franklin stepped in for his first first XV match for more than a year, while Toby Buckingham, Will Paviour and Matty Holloran were rewarded for good form with the second team.

After an emotional minute’s silence to pay tribute to club president Les Dowse, the home side started well, orchestrated by skipper and scrum-half Tom Collins and fly-half Andy Thompson.

James Gaiger, restored to his favoured position at number eight burst through to put them into the lead, Thompson converting before Chris Barter surged over with Thompson again adding the extras.

Hooker John Angell got in on the scoresheet from close range before Rory Brown touched down, Thompson’s conversion taking the score to 26-0.

Salisbury got on the board with a drop goal, but Barter scored two more tries ad the first half close, Thompson adding a conversion for a 38-3 interval lead.

A disappointing second half saw errors creep into the home side’s performance as Salisbury hit back with three tries, including one for former Devizes second teamer Michael Roberts.

The Saddlebacks responded with further tries from Collins, Thompson and Gaiger to wrap up their triumph.

FOR MORE RUGBY NEWS, REPORTS & PICTURES SEE THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport

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