In the only National Trophy tie played on Saturday, Mount’s Bay defeated London Scottish 6-5 at the Mennaye thanks to the boot of Dan Hawkes. Bay’s reward a home tie against the winners of the Nottingham vs. Cornish Pirates tie to be played this weekend. Every incentive for the Pirates to overcome Nottingham and set up an all Cornish tie in the quarter-finals.
Should the Pirates prevail at Meadow Lane, which is by no means certain, then the possibility will be for the tie to be switched to Camborne so that both clubs can profit from higher gate receipts from a bumper gate, which sadly the Mennaye can no longer accomodate.
The weather got the better of the few remaining games with one or two exceptions. St. Austell won through to the quarter-finals of the Junior Vase with a 6-5 win against Teddington at Tregorrick. There reward an away tie to the winner of the postponed Liskeard & Looe v Campion tie, so great incentive for the Lions to win that one and set up another all Cornish tie!
In the few re-arranged league matches that took place, in Tribute Western Counties West a good win for Newquay Hornets against Kingsbridge 12-3. In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon league Hayle after some disappointing results enjoyed a good win at the Memorial Park defeating Plymstock Albion Oaks 22 – 6, thanks to tries from Kevin Tippett, Dave Seager and Adam Keverne. Mile Crump added a penalty and conversion with Paul Lello adding a second conversion.
I was delighted to learn this week of the selection for the England Counties XV for their forthcomming matches against AIB Irish Clubs XV at Donnybrook on Friday February 27th February and against France Amateurs at Twickenham on Sunday 15th March of Redruth’s Darren Jacques and Launceston’s Josh Lord and Mike Myerscough. Congratulations to all three on their selections, well deserved.
Turning to the RBS 6 Nations and the opening weekend of games, reigning champions Wales looked in ominous form as they dispatched Scotland at a bitterly cold Murrayfield on Sunday afternoon by 26-13. Wales with Alun-Wyn Jones and Andy Powell dominating the scrums and with a backline full of exciting runners put down a marker to the other sides, notably England next up for Wales at the Millenium on Saturday. England didn’t convince in their 36-11 win over Italy even though they were helped by Nick Mallett’s bizarre selection of flanker Mauro Bergamasco at scrum-half!!
And so to the most exciting game of the weekend by far, Ireland’s defeat of France 30-21 at Croke Park. It was great to see Brian O’Driscoll back to his best form, he took his try ever so well as did No.8 Jamie Heaslip and centre replacement Gordon D’Arcy. France too will take much from the game even in defeat, there was flair and imagination in their play, which was sadly lacking under Laporte.
Who will bet against a Grand Slam decider between Wales and Ireland on the last day of the tournament on March 21st in Cardiff?