Cornish rugby round up
By Bill Hooper
Jack Nowell came off the bench to score two tries in the final ten minutes for England as they laboured to a 36-15 win against Italy at Twickenham on Sunday in the RBS 6 Nations.
Meanwhile, Nicolas De Battista’s try scored in the dying moments of the game gave the Pirates a bonus point win 34-5 against Rotherham Titans. The win sees the Cornish side leap-frog Jersey in the championship table back into fifth place. The two sides will lock horns at the Mennaye on Sunday, St. Piran’s Day!
The Pirates’ other tries came from Tom Duncan, Tom Channon and man-of-the-match John Stevens.
Laurence May kicked three conversions and a couple of penalties, with Will Cargill adding the extras to De Battista’s late effort.
Recruitment for next season continues at the Mennaye with the announcement that Tom Cowan-Dickie is set to return to the Pirates’ colours next season. The utility front rower had a previous spell in Penzance before heading off to Exeter Chiefs.
Cornish Pirates coach Alan Paver is delighted to welcome Tom back to the Mennaye Field, commenting: “Tom is a nuggety, mobile and no nonsense front-rower, who at 25 is still young. He has already gained considerable experience and at the same time clearly has the potential to take his game to another level. We are really pleased to welcome him back to the Mennaye Field.”
Tom is also very much looking forward to making a return to his Cornish rugby roots. He has said: “I’m excited and keen to return to the Cornish Pirates. It is a step up in level but a challenge that I am looking forward to, as is working with coaches like Alan and Gavin.
“During my first spell at the club, being younger then my playing opportunities were limited. However, it was a time well spent, developing as a player and especially at hooker, due to Rob Elloway and Dave Ward kindly taking me under their wing.
“I feel I have also benefitted during my time at Plymouth Albion, Redruth and Exeter Chiefs, and I therefore wish to express my appreciation to those clubs.”
In the Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth finally caught up with their game-in-hand defeating Tamar Saracens 61-12. Dave Jones bagged four tries, Dan Hubble two, with Tom Simmons, Brad Cock and Tom Edmonds, skipper Justyn Irons kicked eight conversions. The win puts Falmouth 14 points clear at the top of the table.
In Cornwall 1 Helston defeated leaders Newquay Hornets 29-8, whilst their nearest challengers Hayle were held 12 all by Liskeard-Looe. Veor defeated St. Agnes 27-17 and Roseland won 24-5 at Camborne School of Mines.
Newquay Hornets still head the table but only on points difference from Hayle, with Liskeard-Looe a further five points behind.
In Cornwall 2 Lankelly-Fowey moved to the top of the table following their 36-8 win at Trewergie against Redruth Albany. St Just defeated Camelford 24-12, Stithians had a walkover against Perranporth.
Congratulations to the Cornish sides that made progress in their National Cups last weekend. Truro won 14-7 at Chew Valley in the Intermediate Cup, thanks to tries from Jack & Luke Tidball both bettered by Ashley Hosking.
Truro’s reward is a trip to Swanage and Wareham in what is a quarter-final tie on March 18th.
London Cornish in the same competition easily defeated Harrow 63-20 to reach the last eight, they now face Charlton Park should they win then the winners of Truro’s tie await them in the semis.
In the Senior Vase, Saltash advanced to the last eight defeating Winscombe 32-20. Ashes tries came from Will Morton (2), Ryan Cruickshanks and James Moriarty. Kieran Down kicked the other points.
Saltash will face Swindon Old Boys at home in the last eight again on March 18th.
St. Austell Colts made it through to the last eight of the National Colts Cup after beating Thornbury Colts 26-8.
Cornwall Under 20s disappointingly lost their second group game to Gloucestershire Under 20s, 9-18 at Redruth on Sunday. St. Austell’s Cavan Boyer kicked all Cornwall’s points in the first half. The Gloucestershire pack dominated throughout in the heavy conditions and it has to be acknowledged were worthy winners on the day. Cornwall travel to unbeaten Hampshire for their final group game on Sunday March 19th, a win will see them through to the quarterfinals.