Bill Hooper Reviews the Weekend’s Cornish Rugby Action
Cornwall Under 20’s impressive start
Cornwall Under 20s put on a superb show of running rugby at Camborne on Sunday afternoon running in ten tries against Berkshire in their first County Championship pool game.
After a shaky opening Cornwall gradually got on top going ahead with a try from Toby Robinson. Further first half scores from Declan Matthews and Ethan Tyler along with a couple of conversions from Cavan Boyer gave Cornwall a 19-0 half-time lead.
In the second half Cornwall ran riot with further tries coming from skipper Will Gilder, Matthews, Boyer, Tyler (2), Harry Smith and Seb Firth. Boyer kicked a further three conversions and Tyler added two more.
Berkshire saved their blushes with a penalty from Jake Finlay, to leave the final score Cornwall 64-3 Berkshire!
It was a win and performance that delighted and pleased head coach Mike Rawlings. He said after the game. “I was so pleased to see the boys’ hard work over the past few weeks and months pay off today. I can remember only too well being on the wrong end of similar score-line a couple of years ago when Cornwall lost a semi-final to Yorkshire here at Camborne.
“I did think we were up against it early on as Berkshire dominated but the guys weathered the storm and that built confidence and the guys thought we can do this.
And Rawlings was full of praise for the whole squad. “They really showed their skills levels out there today, but there is still much to work on, our set-piece wasn’t up to scratch and Bryn Jenkins and I will look at that and work on it. Our fitness really told in the final quarter they fell away badly but we kept our energy levels up and finish strongly with that final try.
Cornwall’s next game is at Redruth on Sunday 26th February when they take on Gloucestershire, who lost their opening game at Lydney to Hampshire 12-10.
Also on Sunday the Cornish Pirates were in Championship action when they took on London Scottish at the Mennaye.
A late penalty-try award converted by Laurence May gave the Pirates a 25-24 win.
Pirates’ other tries came from Alex Cheesman and Toby May with the rest of the points via Laurence May’s boot with a further conversion and two penalties.
It was just the result coaches Alan Paver and Gavin Cattle were looking for and leaves the Cornish side in fifth place in the table two points behind Ealing and pushing for a play-off spot. Paver said. “If we had any aspirations of a play-off place this was a game we knew we had to win.”
It’s a weekend off for Pirates this week before they travel to Yorkshire Carnegie on the 18th February.
On Saturday Redruth made it six wins on the bounce in National 2 South with a hard-fought 10-3 win against Bury St. Edmunds. Fortunately for the Reds they scored their points early on through catch-and-drives from Tommy Phillips and Shaun Buzza as conditions deteriorated rapidly and the pitch became very heavy.
The win keeps Redruth well placed prior to Saturday’s trip to Cinderford.
Head Coach Marek Churcher was happy with the win in such conditions. “Conditions were awful today so to get the win is all that matters. We started very well I thought our accuracy was spot on our tempo was good and I thought we might run away with the game, I think we are guilty of losing our concentration when we get ahead early on. Having said that it became very difficult after about fifteen minutes as the pitch cut up with all the rain we have had recently.”
Falmouth’s game at Tamar Saracens in the Cornwall & Devon League was postponed.
In Cornwall League 1, Newquay Hornets got an important win at Liskeard-Looe 18-5, whilst challengers Hayle had a resounding win at home against Roseland 70-5, Doug Arnull scoring three of the Lions’ eleven tries.
Helston won a tight game at Veor 27-24, Decarlo Trerise with two of their four tries. Camborne School of Mines got the better of St. Agnes 12-5, both the student’s tries scored by Tommy Lee
In Cornwall 2 there was only one game played, Illogan Park winning 55-10 at Perranporth. Redruth Albany had a walkover against Camelford whist the game at Stithians against St. Just was postponed.
Truro defeated Torquay Athletic 31-5 to get to the final of the SW Intermediate Cup. Ethan Tyler (2), Jack Hazelton and Darren Jacques scored Truro’s tries with Ashley Hoskin converting all four and adding a penalty.
Truro now face a trip to Chew Valley, on the outskirts of Bristol on Saturday 25th February.
Saltash defeated last season’s defeated National finalists Withycombe in the Senior Vase 24-14, the tie was played on the all-weather pitch across the Tamar at Keyham. Tries were scored by No. 8 Steve Hillman prop Adam Coutts flanker Lewis Wells and wing Will Morton with Kieran Down adding a couple of conversions.
Saltash are at home to North Somerset side Winscombe in the SW Senior Vase final again on the 25th February.
On Saturday Jack Nowell came off the bench to help England come from behind to defeat France 19-16 at Twickenham in the RBS 6 Nations. Well done Jack.