Photo- Jack Nowell with England coach Eddie Jones post Calcutta Cup
Yet again what a weekend weather-wise, which saw loads of already re-arranged fixtures postponed once more!
The league program was completely wiped-out in Cornwall, with just Wadebridge Camels Intermediate Cup SW Final taking place at the Molesworth Field against Matson, currently unbeaten in Western Counties (North).
In the end the visitors prevailed 10-0 scoring all their points in the first half.
London Cornish were also in Cup action, again in the intermediate Cup, in the South East section, they too bowed out, against Cobham 24-18.
With Redruth’s game against Dorking going by the way on Friday. The Cornish All Blacks were the only side in action in National League 2 South at Barnes, sadly it was an all too familiar story as they lost 40-0.
Redruth will hope their pitch dries out this week when they are again at home against former league leader’s Old Albanian, who lost at home on Saturday to Chinnor 17-5.
That’s three defeats on the bounce for Old Albanian and their head-coach James Shanahan will not be relishing a trip to Redruth to put matters right.
Sunday saw Championship action with the Cornish Pirates playing Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley. The Pirates came away from Leeds with a losing bonus point following a 33-26 loss, thanks to a couple of tries from flanker Alex Cheesman and a penalty-try. Laurence May booted a conversion and three penalties to complete the Pirates’ haul.
Cornish Pirates’ Director of Rugby Ian Davies had expected a tough challenge, and it was, but despite the defeat he was pleased with much of the endeavour on display. Speaking after the game, he commented: “Losing Laurie early on with a shoulder injury was a big blow, however Aaron led well from the front and Stuart Townsend was also outstanding.
“Taking on a Top 4 side littered with Premiership-experienced players was always going to provide a challenge, and we needed to be more clinical and efficient in certain areas. Gifting penalties enabled them to acquire field position to use their maul, and our line-out was poor.
“We have been on a good run and came unstuck against a strong Yorkshire Carnegie side. The game was though closer than the scoreline suggests and we deserved our losing bonus point.”
Also on Sunday Cornwall Under 20s kicked off their County Championship campaign away at Berkshire.
Berkshire got off to a flying start to lead 12-0 after just ten minutes and the score-line remained the same until half-time.
In the second half Berkshire scored a third try to go 19-0 up
Cornwall then came into it much more and reduced the deficit with a try from Camborne’s Ben Stean, converted by James McFarlane. However that was as close as they would get.
In the other game in the pool Gloucestershire defeated Devon at Keyham 30-15.
The 6 Nations got underway at the weekend. On Saturday France retained the Garibaldi Trophy against Italy in a tight game in Paris 23-21 with Jules Plisson kicking the winning penalty.
England retained the Calcutta Cup with a 15-9 win at Murrayfield.
Jack Nowell had a great game for England, scoring the decisive try in the second half. Jack was also involved in the build up to England’s first try, his clever chip ahead was gathered by Scotland’s Stuart Hogg, Jack following up tackled him and drove him over the line for a 5-metre scrum to England, from which the English pack mauled over with lock George Kruis getting the score.
So fifty-three years since Richard Sharp’s magical try at Twickenham against Scotland, another Cornishman scores the decisive try in the Calcutta Cup.
The game on Sunday saw Wales battle back to earn a 16 – all draw with Ireland in Dublin.
So after the first weekend, only England and France can still win the Grand Slam, with England also on course for the Triple Crown.
Jack wasn’t the only Cornish try scorer over the weekend. On Friday evening Lucy Demaine, originally from St. Germans in S.E. Cornwall, came on as a second half replacement for England Ladies against Scotland in Cumbernauld in their 32-0 win. Lucy bravely charged down a Scottish clearance near their line and won the race to the ball to score her side’s fifth try! What a memorable debut for her.
Billy Keast also came on as a second half replacement for England Under 20s also at Cumbernauld but the result went in favour of Scotland who won 24-6.
This Wednesday will hopefully see Truro School in Nat West Cup action against QEGS Wakefield at the Quarter-final stage.
The game will hopefully take place at the School with a 12 pm kick-off, although I gather Perranporth RFC’s pitch is on standby if required.