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Weekend round up of the local rugby action

Photo: TASC’s Ben Gilby presents LCRFC DoR Dickon Moon with a couple of training balls in recognition of last season’s promotion to London 1 South


The action this week began on Friday night when the Cornish Pirates made their way over to Jersey for the Championship game at rue des Landes.

Frustratingly the game ended 19-13 to the Reds consigning the Pirates to a third narrow defeat.

Centre Tom Laverick scored the Cornish Pirates’ only try, with the other points coming from the boot of Laurence May.

Pirates will hope to get that vital first win this Sunday when they host Rotherham Titans at the Mennaye 2:30pm.

In National League 2 South, a much changed Redruth made hard work of overcoming newly promoted Wimbledon on their first visit to Hell fire corner.

Having dominated the opening stages, Reds found themselves trailing to an unconverted try from the visitors.

They hit back before half-time with tries from Ethan Pattison, Sam Parsons and Rob Coote with Joe Elderkin adding a couple of conversions.

It took Redruth until 10 mins form time to get the bonus point try scored by Jack Simmons. Redruth ran out winners 24-15.

In the South West Premier League, there was a tremendous tussle at the Recreation Ground as Camborne staged a comeback against pace-setters Newton Abbot falling just short at the final whistle 31-32.

Jake Champion, Tommy-Lee Southworth, Kieran Westlake, James Goldsworthy and Phil Hinchley scored tries for the Cherry and Whites with Dave Mankee and Murray Westren adding the conversions.

A couple of points for Town to keep them handily placed in fifth spot.

Sadly there was no match for Launceston in Tribute South West 1 West as Matson couldn’t raise a side and forfeited the game.

Congratulations to London Cornish as they sealed their first win in London 1 South demolishing Cobham 57-10.

The exiles scored nine tries on the day Trelawny’s Army’s Ben Gilby was on hand to present the club with a couple of practice balls in recognition of wining London 2 SW last season.

Tries were scored by Chris Kolapo-Ajala (2), Tom Jeffery (2), Dan Phoenix, Richard Stephens, Harry Somers, Tim Homan and Andy Hill, whilst George Kimmins slotted six conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West, the derby game at St. Austell went the way of the home side as they defeated St. Ives 29-3. George Tregilgas and George Knowles scored tries for the Saints with Cavan Boyer adding both conversions and five penalties.

In reply the Hakes sole points via the boot of Rhys Brownfield.

Falmouth are up and running following their first win since promotion defeating Torquay Athletic 18-0 at the Rec. Seb Firth and Matt Rooke scored the tries for the Eagles with skipper Justyn Irons kicking the other points.

Wadebridge Camels bounced back from their loss at St. Ives with a 34-22 win at home against Tiverton. Matt Ballard scored three tries with Will Pengelly and Joe Pretty also crossing. Danny Thomas kicked the rest of the points.

Truro did well to come away from Services with a couple of league points despite losing 28-22. Josh Symons, Luke Tidball, Jack Tidball and Ben Teasdale scored their tries with Steve Evans adding a conversion.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Saltash remain top following their 35-10 win at Plymstock. Steve Hillman (2), Tom Martin (2), Will Morton and Phil Eatwell scored the Ashes’ tries, Harrison Reburn kicking a penalty and conversion.

Lanner were the highest scores of the day as they thrashed Wessex 109-10 at St. Day.

Penryn were given a tough game at home edging Wellington 19-14 at the final whistle. George Mitchell, Andrew Seviour and Sam Hitchings scored tries for the Borough with Aaron Simmonds adding a couple of conversions.

Hayle drew at home with Withycombe 25-all.

Bude suffered away day blues again as they went down 35-11 at Honiton.

Pirates Amateurs suffered a third straight defeat going down at the Mennaye to Torrington 29-8.

Check the results page for the Tribute Cornwall League results.



Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates Go Oh So Close To Toppling Bristol

Cornish Pirates 29  Bristol Rugby 31  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Played between two fully committed and gifted sides, this thrillingly pulsating contest provided an occasion when without doubt the game of rugby was a true winner, reports Phil Westren from the Mennaye Field.

Welcoming the might of Bristol Rugby to the Mennaye Field, a bumper crowd was inevitably present, ready to witness the favourites expected to bounce back to the Premiership. Indeed, their squad arrived littered with international talent, whilst also included in head coach Pat Lam’s side was a former ‘Pirate’, in the shape of prop Tyler Gendall.

Despite an at times wet, and throughout blustery afternoon, the atmosphere about the ‘Mennaye’ was great, with it boosted pre-match by the arrival of the popular Falmouth Marine Band.

Team news for the Pirates confirmed the same squad selected as lost narrowly at Ealing Trailfinders the previous weekend, there no changes in the starting XV or on the bench.

Making a cracking start, the Pirates opened the scoring in just the third minute when wing Alex O’Meara crossed at the Newlyn Gate corner. On a day less than easy for kickers, fly-half Laurence May was luckless with his conversion attempt.

The home team continued in positive mode, keeping it high tempo and clearly unsettling their opponents, until Bristol eventually mounted a couple of telling attacks of their own. With their ‘All Black’ flanker Steve Luatua influential, possession was twice spread wide to wing David Lemi. A forward pass initially denied the Samoa star, but given a second chance he shortly after breezed in for a try at the scoreboard corner. Irish international fly-half Ian Madigan’s conversion attempt went wide, as was the case when Bristol took the lead thanks to ‘Wallaby’ wing Luke Monahan’s try.

The responsive efforts of the Pirates were rewarded when May kicked a penalty to narrow the deficit, but just past the half hour mark Lemi scored again, with Madigan this time adding the conversion.

Basic errors were frustratingly not helping the Pirates cause, and on the stroke of half-time Madigan slotted a penalty to give the visitors a healthy looking 20-8 lead.

A collection took place at half-time for The Chestnut Appeal, which is the Cornish Pirates chosen charity for this season, and the half-time rugby exhibition was provided by young rugby players representing Roskear and Perran-ar-Worthal Primary Schools.

Bristol continued to underline apparent dominance when the second half got underway. Madigan first added a further three points from a penalty, and then executed a well weighted cross-field kick that led to livewire Lemi completing his hat-trick. In rolling back the years, he also broke Bristol rugby try-scoring record in competitive matches.

Now was a test of character for the Cornish side, it one that they soon showed willing to take on. Man-of-the-match skipper Nicolas De Battista led the way, with O’Meara also at all times willing to ‘give it a go’. Gaining territory from where serious pressure was applied, the sudden reward for the Pirates was the award of a penalty try, signalled at the Penzance posts by referee Karl Dickson.

Madigan notched another penalty for his side, but the Pirates refused to buckle and for the last quarter of the match were very much in the ascendancy.

Another O’Meara run lifted the crowd, and when forward power took over it was prop Marlen ‘Magic’ Walker who scored a try converted by replacement Will Cargill.

A 22-31 scoreline looked somewhat interesting, but it would get even better after wing Kyle Moyle followed up a Cargill kick and won a race that would apply try-scoring pressure at the scoreboard corner. Cargill followed up with an excellent conversion that made it 29-31, with all still to play for. An exciting and tense conclusion was guaranteed.

In time remaining the Pirates might well have sneaked a win that at one time looked completely out of their reach. As we know, they didn’t, but in once again showing immense character the registering of two league points was the very least they deserved. Theirs was a performance that surely bodes well for the future.


Cornish Pirates:   15, Toby May, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Dan Koster (Pete Laverick 47), 12 Nicolas De Battista (c), 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Laurence May (Will Cargill 56), 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker (Billy Keast 70), 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 3 Jack Andrew (Christian Judge 56), 4 Josh Caulfield, 5 Toby Freeman, 6 Rupert Cooper (Matt Bowell 56), 7 Alex Cheesman, 8 Tom Lawday (Dan Lee 51).

Replacement (not used):   Mike Pope


Bristol Rugby:   15 Jordan Williams (Mat Protheroe 56), 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Will Hurrell, 12 Tusi Pisi (Billy Searle 69), 11 David Lemi, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Rhodri Williams (Ryan Glynn 65); 1 Soane Tonga’uiha (Jack Cosgrove 46), 2 Jason Harris-Wright (Max Crumpton 69), 3 Tyler Gendall (Nicky Thomas 73), 4 Sam Jeffries, 5 Joe Latta (c), 6 Steven Luatua, 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Nick Haining (Jordan Crane 41-51 HIA, 77).



Cornish Pirates – tries: O’Meara, Penalty try, Walker, Moyle; cons: Cargill (2); pen: L. May.

Bristol Rugby – Lemi


Referee:   Karl Dickson (RFU)                  Attendance:   2,236


St. Austell Brewery’s Man-of-the-Match:   Nicolas De Battista

Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates give Bristol a run for their money

It was an appetising first home league game of the season for the Cornish Pirates against Championship favourites Bristol at the Mennaye.

The Pirates got off to a dream start with an unconverted try scored by winger Alex O’Meara with barely 3 minutes on the clock.

David Lemi tied the scores as Bristol began to ramp up the pressure which was further emphasised when Luke Morahan went over in the Club house corner moments later.

Laurence May kept the Pirates keen with a penalty to cut the deficit to just 2 points before the half hour mark.

Lemi then went over for his second try of the game with fly-half Ian Madigan kicking the conversion and a penalty before the break to leave the visitors 20-8 up.

The Irishman then added a further penalty after half-time before Lemi completed his hat-trick of tries in the Western National Corner and Bristol looked set fare at 28-8 for a comfortable afternoon in West Cornwall.

However, the Pirates had other ideas and stirred themselves in front of the four figure crowd.

A penalty-try for the Pirates cut the deficit despite Madigan kicking a third penalty.

Prop Marlen Walker got over for a try following great pressure from the home side with May adding the extras.

With the crowd getting behind the lads Kyle Moyle latched on to May’s kick through to score try number four, May’s conversion leaving the Pirates agonisingly close at 29-31.

Despite the loss Pirates picked up another couple of points ahead of Friday night’s clash against Jersey Reds on the island.

On Saturday Redruth travelled to Barnstaple in National League 2 South but sadly three yellow cards and an inability to see the game out saw the Reds slip to defeat in North Devon 29-24.

Redruth struggled in the first half finding themselves 17-7 down with just a Sam Matavesi try converted by Joe Elderkin on the board.

Elderkin then kicked a penalty and converted Kyle Marriott’s try to tie the scores.

Craig Williams got over for the third Redruth try again betterd by Elderkin before Barnstaple replied with two late tries to seal their second win of the campaign.

In the South West Premier league, Camborne sealed a first win at Brixham in over forty years winning 21-20.

It was a brave win by Town who travelled with no backs amongst their replacements. Taron Peacock and Jake Champion scored the tries with Dave Mankee adding a conversion and three penalties.

In the Tribute South West 1 West, Launceston maintained their good start with a second away win this time at Thornbury 28-22. Ryan Western scored two tries on his 250th appearance for the Cornish All Blacks with new recruit Dan Pearce scoring the other points with a try, two conversions and three penalties.

In London 1 South, London Cornish slipped to a second defeat, 34-18 this time at Civil Service Rugby. Lineout deficiencies proved costly for the exiles as they continue to adapt to life at a higher level.

Cornish did score three fine tries through Dave Funston, Andy Hill and David Smith, with George Kimmins landing a penalty.

In Western Counties West, I took in the game at Truro as they entertained Crediton. In blustery conditions Truro scored three fine first half tries through prop Ollie Seagrove, centre Matt Symons and veteran fly-half Steve Evans. Evo kicked a couple of conversions for a 19-12 half-time lead.

In the second half scoring was limited to just a penalty kick to each side, Evans again for the home side, to leave Truro 22-15 winners.

It was good to see last season’s Cornwall U.20 skipper Will Gilder as the man in the middle for this game. Will has an on-going knee injury which is keeping him from playing at the moment, so he has turned his hand to refereeing for the time being.

St. Ives followed up their win at Falmouth last week with an excellent 49-17 win at home to Wadebridge Camels.

The Hakes scored five tries through Liam Jolly, Pete Mabbot, Rob Elloway, Tom Chandler and Sam Carter plus they had a penalty-try awarded. Rhys Brownfield had a good day with the boot kicking 19 points.

For the Camels Adam Collings and Matt Ballard scored tries both converted by Danny Thomas who also landed a penalty.

St. Austell made up in part for their disappointing loss at home to Sidmouth last week by winning 34-16 at promoted Paignton.

Hugh Noot, Andy Inch Shane Johns, George Tregilgas and Ian Venner scored the Saint’s tries with Cav Boyer kicking three conversions and a penalty.

Falmouth are still adapting to life at this level as they slipped to a second defeat this time at Tiverton 27-12. Nathan Carne and Dan Hubble scored their tries with Justyn Irons kicking a conversion.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Saltash made it two wins on the trot with a 40-17 win at Morlands against Plymouth Argaum. Ashes scored six tries through Steve Hillman, Lewis Wells, Will Morton, Conor Cooper, Ryan Rayner and Ryan Cruickshanks with Kieran Down slotting five conversions.

Penryn made it two wins on the trot following their 35-5 win at Torrington. Andrew Seviour scored a hat-trick of tries with James Salisbury adding a brace of his own. Mitch Vague added a couple of conversions and two penalties.

Bude had a good win at home defeating Hayle 36-0. Joe Wilson, Ed Hillman-Cooke (2), Angus Hodge and a penalty-try award accounted for the tries with Ollie Denford adding three conversions.

Lanner lost 25-6 at Wellington with just a couple of penalties from Nick Prout to show for their efforts, whilst Pirates Amateurs went down 38-0 at Tavistock.

Check the results page for all the Tribute Cornwall league results.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Redruth start campaign in sparkling form

What a cracking game to start the 2017-18 league season at the Recreation Ground Redruth on Saturday. A ten try spectacle with nine scored by the home side in a resounding 58-10 win to put the Reds top of the table in National League 2 South.

Pre-season games against Swansea and Plymouth Albion indicated that the squad were in good shape, and so it proved.

The Redruth back three of full back Rob Coote and wings Jack Simmons and Jack Kessell were the stars of the show.

Following an early penalty by fly-half Ashley Hosking, back from a stint at Truro, the Reds scored three first half tries through Kessell (2) and centre Nielson Webber, with Hosking adding two conversions for a 22-3 half-time lead.

In the second half flanker Sam Matavesi came more into the game and further tries from skipper Rich Brown, flanker Chris Fuca, prop Craig Williams, scrum-half Jack Oulton and a brace from winger Tom Notman off the bench, Joe Elderkin, on for Hosking added a further three conversions.

It was a pleasing start for new head coach Pale Nonu along with forwards coach Gareth Tedstone. Redruth know that sterner tests await not least Saturday’s trip to Barnstaple who won 33-13 at Wimbeldon.

Oh so close, that was the result at Ealing as the Cornish Pirates saw Laurence May’s last-gasp conversion attempt sail past the post to condemn them to an opening day loss by a single point 29-28.

Despite the frustration at the final outcome, Pirates coaching staff took much from the game ahead of Sunday’s clash with Bristol ant the Mennaye.

Kyle Moyle, Tom Lawday and Toby Freeman scored the tries, whilst May added three penalties and two conversions.

In the South West Premier League, Cambone were given a tough examination by promoted Maidenhead at the Recreation Ground winning 30-27. Trailing 10-3 with just a Dave Mankee penalty on the board, The Cherry and Whites levelled matters following a length of the field move finished off by winger Matt Blee, Mankee adding the extras.

Despite falling behind again before half-time, Cambone first reduced the deficit in the second half through a Mankee penalty before adding the conversion to Taron Peacock’s try.

Skipper Jon Drew then scored with Mankee again adding the conversion.

A late surge from the visitors was to no avail as Mankee slotted another penalty to keep Maidenhead at bay.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Launceston got their season off to a winning start with a fine 41-29 win at Keynsham.

Dan Pearce, who arrived from Bude over the summer, scored 26 of his side’s points with two tries and three conversions. The Cornish All Blacks other tries came from Ryan Western Martin Kneebone and skipper Lloyd Duke.

It was a tough baptism for London Cornish in London 1 South as they lost at home to Havant 44-25.

They trailed 21-6 at the break with just a couple of George Kimmins penalties for their endeavours.

Cornish made a better fist of it during the second half scoring tries through Chris Kolapo-Ajala (2) and, James LeBroy with Kimmins adding a couple of conversions. Cornish will lick their wounds and come back stronger as they get to grips with the quicker pace of this league.

In Western Counties West, St. Ives won the derby clash at Falmouth’s Recreation Ground defeating the Eagles 30-15.

Wadebridge Camels also got off to a winning start defeating promoted Paignton 23-19 at the Molesworth Field. Matt Tarby and Will Pengelly scored the Camels’ tries with Danny Thomas kicking the other points.

There was disappointment for Truro as they slipped to a narrow defeat at Chard 26-24. Truro came away with two points thanks to tries from Luke Tidball, Ben Teasdale, Darren Jacques and Steve Evans.

Cornwall Cup holders St. Austell also made a disappointing start to their league campaign. Despite recovering from an eleven point deficit after a slow start to lead 22-11, they were undone at the end by two breakaway tries scored by the visitors.

Ian Venner, Peter Rowe, George Tregilgas, on his first team debut and Hector Bright scored the Saints tries to give them a couple of points.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Lanner made a great start with a 53-14 win against Torrington.

Hayle marked their return to this level with a 36-25 win over Wessex.

After a slow start Penryn put in a storming second forty to defeat Tavistock 43-24. Borough trailed 17-5 at half-time with just an unconverted try from James Salisbury on the board.

Penryn edged closer early in the second half thanks to Tomas Oliver try before Andrew Seviour’s try converted by Matt Horton tied it up. Horton added the extras to his own try to move Penryn ahead. Ross Hancock. Oliver and a 60 metre dash from Seviour put the icing on the cake for the Borough.

Bude found it tough going away at Withycombe going down 36-5.

Saltash served notice that they will again be in the promotion chase after posting a 50-19 win against Pirates Amateurs at the Mennaye.

Ryan Rayner, Ryan Cruickshanks (3), Ollie Mulberry, Will Morton and Adam Coutts, Kieran Downs kicking the other points.

For the Amateurs Jack Lonsdale and Noyce scored tries.

Cornwall League results can be found in the link.    


Posted in Bill's Blog

Camborne RFC Fixtures & Results 2017-18



Sat 19th Aug Launceston v Camborne (Away) 3pm

Wed 23rd Aug Truro v Camborne (Away) 7pm



Sat 9th Sept Brixham v Camborne (Away) 3pm


Sat 23rd Sept Bournemouth v Camborne (Away) 3pm


Sat 7th Oct Weston-super-Mare v Camborne (Away) 3pm


Sat 28th Oct CAMBORNE V CLEVE (HOME) 3pm

Sat 4th Nov Dings Crusaders v Camborne (Away)


Sat 25th Nov Lydney v Camborne (Away)


Sat 9th Dec Hornets v Camborne (Away)


Tue 26th Dec CAMBORNE V REDRUTH (HOME, Rodda’s Milk Cup) 2:30pm

Sat 6th Jan Newton Abbot v Camborne (Away)


Sat 20TH Jan Bracknell v Camborne (Away)


Sat 3rd Feb Newbury Blues v Camborne

Sat 17th Feb Cleve v Camborne (Away)


Sat 10th Mar Exmouth v Camborne (Away)


Sat 7th Apr Ivybridge v Camborne (Away) 3 pm


Sat 21st  Apr Maidenhead v Camborne (Away) 3pm

Posted in Bill's Blog

A look back in time – Cornwall & the Lions

A Look Back In Time – Cornwall-Associated ‘Lions’

By Phil Westren


That Jack Nowell not only impressed, but also survived the rigours of the quite terrific semi-final and final matches in the Aviva Premiership, AND because he is now actually in New Zealand and made his debut for the British Lions this week, it is a worthy time to look back in time and recall certain names of other Cornwall-associated players who have toured over the years as members of British teams. So here goes………….

Firstly, back in 1908, John Jackett (Falmouth), James ‘Maffer’ Davey (Redruth), Frederick Jackson (Camborne), who were all members of the famous 1908 County Championship winning side, were in  A.F. Harding’s pioneer ‘Anglo/Welsh’ team that toured Australia and New Zealand. Bert Solomon (Redruth) was also invited but declined the offer.

Cornwall produced a healthy number of England internationals in the early 1900s, whilst although not capped by his country the legendary Roy Jennings (Redruth) toured with the British Lions team to Australia and New Zealand in 1930.

Next, in 1950, Vic Roberts (Penryn & England) and Malcolm Thomas (a Welshman who played for Cornwall, Devonport Services, Newport & Wales) toured Australia and New Zealand. Malcolm toured similarly in 1959, in the side captained by Ronnie Dawson.

Redruth’s dashing fly-half, former England captain Richard Sharp, was a Lions tourist in South Africa back in 1962. He unfortunately missed the first two tests after breaking his cheekbone in the match against Northern Transvaal, having suffered a high tackle inflicted upon him by Mannetjies Roux. Richard’s mum was Redruth-born and his father a rugby-mad mining engineer who attended the Camborne School of Mines. An Oxford ‘Blue’, Richard also played cricket for Cornwall.


And who is next on the list? Well, it was of course our very own Brian ‘Stack’ Stevens who was a member of the famous 1971 British Lions squad, which he joined in New Zealand after Ireland’s Ray McLoughlin (broken thumb) and Scotland’s Sandy Carmichael (multiple fracture of the cheekbone) had to return home after being injured in ‘the game of shame’ against Canterbury. Ireland’s Willie John MacBride said of ‘Stack:

“He was one of God’s honest forwards with a great attitude. The Saturday team was pretty well settled by the time he joined the 1971 Lions but if we had needed him for a test we wouldn’t have hesitated for a second.”

Two years after helping Cornwall win the memorable 1991 County Championship final at Twickenham, lock Andy Reed (Bath & Scotland) in 1993 played for the Lions in New Zealand. Selected for the first test played in Christchurch, Gavin Hastings’ team lost 20-18.

Eight years later, in 2001, a Bude boy, Phil Vickery (Gloucester & England) played for the British Lions in Australia. The 2003 Rugby World Cup winner was also a tourist to South Africa in 2009, then not as a ‘Cherry & White’ but as a ‘Wasp’.

And now, in 2017, it’s Jack, proudly a product of our Penzance & Newlyn RFC youth section, who en route to Exeter Chiefs, England, and the British Lions, has also played for Redruth, Plymouth Albion and the Cornish Pirates. We wish him and the team all success in New Zealand.

On this theme we must also mention various other snips of interesting information, such as former Penzance, Cornwall & England wing Barrie Bennetts having in 1910-11 toured to Argentina with J. E. Raphael’s British team (not an official British Lions side)

Dr. Jack Matthews (Cardiff & Wales) was a ‘Lion’ in 1950. One of the truly great centre three-quarters, he married a Penzance girl and of no surprise also briefly wore a Pirates shirt.

And then there was prop John ‘Tess’ O’Shea (Cardiff & Wales) who also captained and played for the Pirates in 1970-71, besides playing for Cornwall. In 1968, on the tour to South Africa, he also became the first British Lion to be sent off for foul play, in a match won 37-9 against Eastern Transvaal. On leaving the field he was pelted with oranges and also struck in the face by a spectator. John’s son, Richard, also played for the Pirates.

Any other names to mention? Well, Maurice Colclough, then of Angouleme & England, was a second-row forward who toured with Bill Beaumont’s 1980 team in South Africa and with Ciaran Fitzgerald’s team to New Zealand in 1983. He also played for the Pirates in September, 1986, at a time when he spent several weeks in Penzance whilst N. Holman & Sons refitted an old trawler into a floating restaurant, that he later opened in Swansea.

Finally mustn’t forget breakaway forward Tom ‘Rusty’ Richards, who was a quite remarkable figure. The son of Cornish miner John Richards, Rusty was actually born in a rough mining camp called Vegetable Creek, Australia, in 1882, however he played for Dr. Tom Smythe’s 1910 Lions team in South Africa when representing Bristol.

Rusty’s story is fascinating, as in 1905, along with other members of his family he followed his father to the South African goldfields. Joining the Mines team, he was surrounded by Cornishmen, including Redruth’s ‘Maffer’ Davey. Both played for Transvaal in the Currie Cup.

Not eligible to play for South Africa, who would tour Britain in 1906-07, Rusty had a sudden desire to play against them on English soil, so he sailed from Durban bound for the ‘Mother Country’ and on arrival joined Bristol. Despite not being resident in England for the required period of time, he was selected for Gloucestershire, and did indeed play against the South African tourists, who were quite taken aback to see him!

Hearing of plans for an Australian team to visit Britain, he soon returned home with an aim to achieve selection for the tour, and play for the Wallabies. His elder brother Bill had played for Australia, and after impressing for Queensland Rusty gained the selection he sought, playing against Wales and England – and for the gold-medal-winning Australia team that played Cornwall at the London Olympic Games in 1908.

A year later he captained and coached the Charters Towers side in Australia, but his wanderlust had not diminished and he soon set sail for South Africa where, as previously mentioned, the Lions toured in 1910. The squad lost a number of players through injury, and you’ve probably guessed what happened next. It takes some believing – but it is true. Yep, Rusty, whose courage also earned him the Military Cross for bravery in WW1, was invited to join the tourists, listed as a Bristol player, and he made 12 appearances, including featuring in two tests.  What a truly great man he was – a player, war hero, Olympian, and a Lion!


Posted in Bill's Blog

Former Quins CEO appointed Stadium for Cornwall Project Leader

Photo: Mark Evans

The Cornish Pirates are delighted with the appointment of former Harlequins CEO Mark Evans as Project Leader for the Stadium for Cornwall.

The announcement by the Cornish Pirates was first delivered to stakeholders and sponsors at a briefing meeting held by the Directors at the Penventon Hotel, Redruth, on Wednesday night, also present was Alan Cadger representing the architects, Holmes Miller.

Commenting after the meeting, Mark Evans, who now runs a sports consultancy business across a number of sports, said:

“This is an exciting project for Cornwall and I have agreed to lead the Phase 1 stage of the Stadium project. For the guys running the day to day needs of the club this can be rather overwhelming, so my considerable experience in this area, which of course takes a lot of time, is aimed to help.

“My hope to focus on providing extra resource and experience is to give the Pirates and the other partners a degree of confidence that the project is being managed sensibly and for momentum to be maintained and monitored to make sure we get the right type of facility for the different stakeholders.”

Given that the Heads of Terms between the different partners has now been signed and given the way things have moved on in terms of the overall development he is very optimistic that there will be a spade in the ground next spring/summer.

“The position is similar to the development that took place when I was at The Stoop (the Harlequins ground) where we had four phases to rebuild the ground. People forget that was just over 15 years ago.

“The Stoop was a pretty ordinary facility and you have to do it in phases. Phase 1 though is the big one, where you put all of your core facilities in – all the things you need to run because at the end of the day from a Cornish Pirates perspective it is a rugby club and you’ve got to be able to put the show on the road.  

“We don’t live in a country where there is much public money to put into professional sports facilities so you have to come up with innovative funding models to help raise capital. You just can’t be an elite rugby club in England now without having a decent stadium, it simply cannot be done.

“I am a great believer that you have to take everything in steps, to help progress towards the ultimate goal which must be to reach and stay at the highest level. There is no guarantee, but without it there is no possibility and that’s how I’m viewing this. You can look around a number of sports and see that it’s like building a sort of tower and you just have to put all the blocks in place.”

Alan Cadger from the architects, Holmes Miller said:

“After travelling to meet the partners and work through ideas, an exciting day ended with a very exciting presentation made to shareholders and others, and it’s shown a real commitment from the Cornish Pirates and their partners to move the stadium project forward.

“With experience and connections with sporting venues such as Murrayfield, the Rose Bowl, Wembley and the Olympic Velodrome we have now been brought on board to deliver this project.

“The potential is undoubtedly there and a sporting county like Cornwall, which is a rugby heartland in particular, clearly deserves to have a stadium.”

Cornish Pirates’ Chairman, Paul Durkin, who led the presentation, has commented:

“The main content of Wednesday night’s presentation explained the progress and capital requirement to shareholders and stakeholders on the stadium build and financing requirement and to announce the two key appointments of Alan and Mark as architect and Project Leader. This is a significant milestone in the realisation of the stadium and great news for Cornwall and for Truro City FC, Truro and Penwith College and the Cornish Pirates.”

Posted in Bill's Blog

Lancashire power to second half win



Report by Bill Hooper, photos Simon Bryant Iktisphoto

Lancashire deservedly reclaimed the Bill Beaumont Cup with a powerful second half performance that saw them score 19 unanswered points as Cornwall’s grasp on the title wilted under the Twickenham sun.

Prior to kick-off there was a poignant minute’s silence for the victims of the barbaric events in Manchester last Monday and at the conclusion Cornwall RFU President Peter James presented his Lancashire counterpart Tom Fitzgerald with a bouquet of 22 red roses, which will be laid in memory of those killed in Manchester on behalf of the Cornwall RFU and Cornish supporters.

There was a late change to the Cornwall side when winger Lewis Vinnicombe pulled out due to a shoulder injury sustained against Herts. Seti Raumakita came in on the wing with Jack Simmons stepping onto the bench.


Photo: Hooker Richard Brown tackled by Lancs Mark Goodman

The game began slowly for Cornwall, as they got shoved back in the first scrum conceding a penalty.

Slowly they came more into it with fly-half Joe Elderkin kicking well for territory. The coaches made an early call for a change in the scrum with Dan Collier coming on in second row for Bryn Jenkins.

Cornwall seemed to fall foul of referee Ben Blain especially at the breakdown, which was very frustrating.

Cornwall came to life a series of penalties were kicked to the corner with the Cornwall maul getting going for an unconverted try from flanker George Jones, Matt Shepherd’s conversion attempt hit the upright.

Raumakita ran well on to a Shepherd kick over the top but he failed to adjust his footing close to the touchline and was caught out.

More bad luck for Cornwall followed when they lost prop Tommy Phillips with a dislocated shoulder, he was replaced by Town’s Andrius Zacharovas.

Lancashire came back into it enjoying some good periods of possession, even turning down some kickable penalties looking for a try but they found the Cornish defence in mean mood.

Photo: Pride of the Borough No. 8 Grant Randlesome on the charge with scrum half Jack Oulton in support


Shepherd kicked a penalty to the corner to set up a catch and drive from which Collier and Sam Matavesi drove for the line but Lancashire’s No.8 Tom Ailes infringed and was shown yellow. Sadly Cornwall didn’t manage to capitalise having to settle for a Shepherd penalty and an 8-0 half-time lead.

Robin Wedlake looked set to be put away but Jake Murphy’s pass was sadly slightly forward

Despite bringing on fresh legs Cornwall couldn’t match the increasing dominance of the Lancashire side as the northern side began to dictate play and spread the ball wide.

Tony Whittle put in some crunching tackles for Cornwall trying to stem the tide.

Wing Scott Armstrong broke up-field linking with fellow wing Alex Bingham for the later to score in the corner, Chris Johnson’s excellent conversion bringing Lancashire right back in it.

Photo: BJ Chapman gave his all for Cornwall


Scott Rawlings, who was having a big game in the mid-field for Lancashire, as the waves of attack from the red rose mounted. Bingham turned provider for hooker Tom Burtonwood who was out wide to run in a second try for the lead.

Cornwall’s Tom Notman almost connected with an interception but the ball slipped agonisingly away.

Armstrong then claimed a third try for Lancashire as the ball was again moved wide from a ruck with Johnson adding the extras for a 19-8 lead.

There was to be no way back for Cornwall as Lancashire saw out the win to claim yet another title.

What now for Cornwall? It’s likely that one or two senior players may well have played their last game for Cornwall as the changing of the guard looks set to continue for next season.


CORNWALL: (Redruth unless stated): M Shepherd (Plymouth Albion), S Raumakita, R Wedlake (both Plymouth Albion), J Murphy (Barnstaple, capt), T Notman, J Elderkin, J Oulton; T Phillips, R Brown, C Williams, B Jenkins (Barnstaple), T Whittle (Camborne), G Jones (Penryn), S Matavesi (Camborne), G Randlesome (Penryn).

Replacements: M Ballard (Wadebridge Camels), A Zacharovas (Camborne), D Collier (Plymouth Albion), C Fuca, BJ Chapman, D Mankee (Camborne), J Simmons (Camborne).

Cornwall scores: Try, Jones, Pen, Shepherd

LANCASHIRE (Fylde unless stated): L Allen (Preston G); S Armstrong, C Briers, S Rawlings (Sale FC), A Bingham ;  C Johnson,  S Stelmaszek; D Birchall (all Sale FC), T Burtonwood,  A Lewis, R Birtwell (Sedgley Tigers), R Tomlinson (Rossendale)  M Goodman (Sedgley Tigers), E Stewart (capt), T Ailes (Sale FC).

Replacements: S Griffiths, R Davies (Sale FC), P Althram (Preston G) J Matthews (Sedgley Tigers), G Smith, S Collins (Sedgley Tigers), C Connolly (Sale FC).

Lancashire scores: Tries, Bingham, Burtonwood, Armstrong, Cons, Johnson (2)

Yellow Card: Ailes (30)

Referee: Ben Blain (RFU)



Posted in Bill's Blog

Statement from Cornwall RFU


Following the tragic events in Manchester earlier in the week there will be a moments silence before the kick off, of the Lancashire v Cornwall game on Sunday.

Both teams and the match officials will line up on the 15 metre line facing the west stand.

To further recognise the close ties that Cornwall has with Lancashire, and the Cornwall RFU wishing to show unity and support for the people of Manchester and Lancashire, the Cornwall President Mr Peter James will prior to the moments silence present to the President of Lancashire Mr Tom Fitzgerald 22 red roses on the pitch at Twickenham.

The significance of the 22 red roses, is that the red rose is the emblem of Lancashire, 22 people tragically lost their lives in the atrocity and the rugby teams are made up of 22 players. 

Cornwall RFU have asked that the Lancashire President lay the flowers at a suitable position in Manchester in due course 

The roses not only come from the Cornwall RFU, but also on behalf of the thousands of Cornish supporters who will travel to Twickenham tomorrow, and from everyone back in the duchy.

We all feel the pain that they have, and are continuing to suffer, and hope this small gesture shares our thoughts with the people of Manchester and Lancashire at this difficult time.


Cornwall RFU



Posted in Bill's Blog

Dawe’s thoughts ahead of Sunday’s game plus Lancashire team news

Cornwall ready for Lancashire challenge

By Bill Hooper, photos Simon Bryant Iktisphoto

Cornwall completed their preparations on a glorious Thursday evening at Redruth RFC with the players eagerly looking forward to Sunday’s game at Twickenham.

It’s familiar foes, the red rose of Lancashire that Cornwall meet for the fourth time in five years. Lancashire won the first two finals before Cornwall prevailed 18-13 in 2015.

Photo: Graham Dawe feeling apprehensive ahead of Sunday’s game

Once again Cornwall coach Graham Dawe will be up against Lancashire’s Mark Nelson on the sidelines, both men hold each other in high esteem.

“I am looking forward to it”, said Dawe. “I am apprehensive, we’ve won a lot of games in a row now, I hope it doesn’t end on Sunday. You go into a game fifty, fifty, somehow we’ve got to keep it going and get another win and enjoy the experience, we know we’ve got a good team with a good group of players, we will need that little bit of luck you get in a game the bounce of the ball and get the scores, but yes apprehension is always there ahead of a big game. This side has the ability to win, they are young and hungry, but as Cornishmen know it’s always hard to win on the road.

I asked Dawe about bringing in lock Dan Collier. “Well he’s eligible, he has been part of the squad he trained at Camborne last week he’s fit and available. It was a very tough call to leave out Brad Howe. We discussed it as a group with the selectors and we see Brad more as a backrower, that’s not to say he hasn’t done a good job for us this season. Collier is an outstanding lock and a good ball-carrier, so a good option to have in the squad.

“I fully understand how disappointed Brad must feel, he’s a young man and chances will come again and as the famous Scottish and Lions coach Jim Telfer used to say “You’ve just got to keep on improving day by day as a rugby player and you will get there in the end.”



Photo: Cornwall captain Jake Murphy being interviewed by BBC Spotlight and former Cornwall player Andy Birkett.

With both Ben Hilton and Damien Cook not playing this season Dawe has had to rebuild the boiler house and he was full of praise for his locks this season. “Both Bryn Jenkins and Tony Whittle have been outstanding this season, but if you lose one of those two early in a game then you have a player who is predominantly a back rower coming in, Brad can play in the second row but Dan brings that extra scrumaging.

Dawe has no worries about the mid-day kick-off time. “We are used to the format now and prepare accordingly, the biggest worry is the opposition. Mark Nelson will challenge his players he won’t be travelling down to Twickenham to come second. I get on very well with Mark he’s nice guy very endearing and I love him to death. He’s typical Lancastrian he expects nothing less than blood and sweat from his players.

The Lancashire side to face Cornwall on Sunday;

LANCASHIRE: 15 Lewis Allen (Preston G); 14 Scott Armstrong, 13 Chris Briers (both Fylde), 12 Scott Rawlings (Sale FC), 11 Anthony Bingham (Fylde); 10 Chris Johnson, 9 Sam Stelmaszek; 1 Dan Birchall (all Sale FC), 2 Tom Burtonwood (Fylde), 3 Adam Lewis (Fylde), 4 Bob Birtwell (Sedgley Tigers), 5 Reece Tomlinson (Rossendale) 6 Mark Goodman (Sedgley Tigers), 7 Evan Stewart (Fylde, capt), 8 Tom Ailes (Sale FC).

Reps: 16 Simon Griffiths (Fylde), 17 Rhys Davies (Sale FC), 18 Peter Althram (Preston G) 19 Jonathan Matthews (Sedgley Tigers), 20 Greg Smith (Fylde), 21 Steve Collins (Sedgley Tigers), 22 Connor Wilkinson (Fylde).

Please note photographs used on this site may not be reproduced without the agreement of Simon Bryant Iktis photo





Posted in Bill's Blog

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