The news we have all being dreading broke this morning. The RFU have ended the season below the Premiership.
This means, apart from the leagues, national and local cups, that the Bill Beaumont, Gill Burns and Jason Leonard Cup competitions are cancelled for 2020.
There will be no presentation this season at our AGM of the Bill Osborne or Jess Humber Shields, however as the Under 20s played their pool games we will be presenting the Tony Mead Shield to our Under 20 player of the year at our AGM in September.
A late try from skipper Aaron Simmonds gave Cornwall Under 20s a deserved win against fancied Gloucestershire Under 20s.
Cornwall’s hearts were in their mouths as referee Julian
Rainford at first appeared unsure of the grounding, happily for the Cornish
lads his assistant saw the grounding. The win sees Cornwall top their group to
earn a home quarter-final in two weeks time.
Whether that game goes ahead remains to be seen, for now
the Cornwall squad can reflect on a job well done.
Cornwall got off to a cracking start, pressing in the
Gloucestershire twenty-two, lock Steele Barker charged down an attempted
clearance, gathered the ball before passing inside to fellow lock Mawgan Osborne
who scored. Simmonds added the first of his four conversions.
The Gloucestershire boys, rattled, then conceded a
penalty in front of the posts that Simmonds calmly popped over to stretch the
Eventually the home side settled with their fly-half Tom Price getting them on the board with a penalty.
A searing break from Charlie Levick set up Cornwall’s
second try that led to the Osborne brother combining to send Toby over for
another converted try.
Flanker Tom Spiers again caught the eye with his work at
the breakdown turning ball over and dangerous with the ball in hand.
Gloucestershire were starting to get some momentum at scrum time, they pressurised the Cornwall line and from a 5-metre scrum their powerful No.8 Adam Hopkinson drove over for Price to convert.
Cornwall will be disappointed in the manner they saw
their lead disappear, attacking in the opposing twenty-two, a stray pass was
hacked on by Gloucestershire’s Tim Andrew, the wing showed his speed hacking on
again to win the race to the line, Price’s conversion tying the scores at
Cornwall started to use their bench, Mishka Fibbens and Joe Best came on putting in some big drives.
Spiers’ good work was temporarily halted when he appeared
to be harshly sin-binned. Price took the chance to put his side ahead from the
kicking-tee for the first time.
Under the cosh Cornwall conceded another try from a
close-range scrum with Hopkinson once again the scorer, Price’s conversion
giving Gloucestershire a 27-17 advantage with the clocking ticking down.
Prop Eliot Salt, who had a fine game, took a heavy knock that stunned him for several minutes, it gave Cornwall the chance to refocus.
Cornwall had to throw the dice, they piled on the
pressure, Spiers was held up over the line, suddenly the home side saw yellow.
Following several concerted drives near the
Gloucestershire line Cornwall got their lifeline thanks to Cameron Taylor,
Simmonds calmly slotted the extras to make it game on once more.
Back came the Cornish lads, patience being their watchword, the calmly went through the phases that led up to Simmonds try, a dramatic comeback!
It wasn’t over, Cornwall had to withstand a final
Gloucestershire surge near their line, but when they knocked on Cornwall had
After the final whistle Cornwall coach Richie Kevern was
delighted with his side’s never say die attitude. “We showed some character out
there today, to have made that good start and then find yourself ten points
down nearing the end the lads could have cracked, but they showed a mature
attitude, were patient and forced the errors from Gloucestershire, they earned
that win the hard way.”
Cornwall U.20: Levick, Brooks, Simmonds (Capt), Plummer,
Bullen, Tucker, Stacey; Looker, Oliver, Salt, Barker, M Osborne, T Osborne,
CORNWALL RFU UNDER 20 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP 2020 The Jason Leonard Cup.
Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship team,
play their final fixture in the pool stage of the 2020 Jason Leonard Cup. The
team play Gloucestershire away at Dings RFC with a 1430 kick off on Sunday 15th
CRFU President John Sumnall said “This is another must win game if
Cornwall wish to progress in this year’s competition. The guys came back from
the defeat against Devon to record a superb victory over Berkshire. This has given
them a chance to progress, however the pool is very tight and a number of
outcomes are still possible”
The game kicks off at 1430 at Dings RFC in Bristol and will be played on the astro-pitch surface.
Coach Rich Kevern said – “The guys performed well at a wet and windy
Camborne but this will be another step up for these players. Gloucestershire
are always tough opponents especially on their home turf but I know the guys
will be up for the contest. A number of guys have performed well in both games
and we are hopeful they will represent Cornwall at the South West trials in
Cornwall has made one change to the starting line up with Callum Looker starting at loose head prop and James Lambourn going onto the bench. For the replacements the coaches have gone with a 4 / 3 split with Joe Best earning his first call up and Mishka Fibbens becoming a travelling reserve. For the backs Liam Stoddern makes his first appearance on the bench.
There is a late change at 14. with the coaches’ decision awaited.
Cornwall Captain Aaron Simmonds said; – “We needed to produce a
performance at our only home pool game and put behind us the game against
Devon. The guys stuck to the game plan and played some good rugby although
there are areas we still need to work on to continue that momentum”
Cornwall lost their first game 30-18 away to Devon before picking up a
bonus point win against Berkshire, winning 42-7. Gloucestershire won away at
Berkshire 24 – 30 before drawing away to Devon in their last pool game 29 -29.
The pool standings at present have Devon and Gloucestershire both on 8 points,
Cornwall are third with 5 points, and Berkshire are fourth on 1 point. Devon
will travel to Berkshire on the same day as Gloucestershire host Cornwall. A
win for Cornwall will see them earn another quarterfinal place in the
competition, but a loss will be the end of the season for the team.
The Representative rugby chair Chris Lea said; -“It
is testament to the players to bounce back after the Devon game but now need
another performance to guarantee they remain in the top tier of the Jason
Leonard Cup next season. There has been a number of months hard work put in not
only by the players but the coaching, medical, backroom staff and the guys who
provide the game analysis, multi-media and photographs to support the players
and our thanks go to each and every one of them. ”
Gloucestershire U20 v Cornwall U20
Sunday 15 March @ Dings RFC 1430 kick off
TOM SPIERS (V. CAPT)
AARON SIMMONDS (CAPT)
Coaches – Rich Kevern +
Tyler Gendall, assisted by Adam Kevern
By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground, Camborne.
Cornwall put in a much improved performance defeating a useful Berkshire side by six tries to one to keep their hopes of making the last eight in this season’s Leonard Cup competition.
The Camborne pitch was heavy after all the rain in recent
weeks, but Cornwall made light of the difficult conditions.
Cheered on by members of Trelawny’s Army, skipper Aaron Simmonds opened the scoring after just 3 minutes with a well-struck penalty.
Truro flanker Tom Spiers gave a Berkshire forward an
almighty hand-off sending him sprawling in the Camborne mud to set the tone,
Spiers went on to have an outstanding game.
Cornwall continued to capitalise profiting from a
Berkshire error, St Austell centre Ben Plummer intercepting to slide in at the
corner for an unconverted try.
Saltash No.8 Jack Wickham made a strong break off the back of a scrum gaining good ground; he was another who made a good impression.
The continued Cornish pressure soon led to another try, good work from the St. Austell wings Fraser Nottle and Max Bullen combined to put lock Mawgan Osborne away, the Pirates Amateurs player ran hard towards the line before shipping a pass to hooker Mackenzie Oliver to score, Simmonds adding the extras.
A third try was not long in the offing, a kick through
saw Penryn’s lock Steele Barker gleefully take full advantage to score an
Towards half-time Berkshire got some territory making the most of a catch and drive to score through hooker Harry Wayne Branch, fly-half Jack Grapper kicked a good conversion to leave the score 20-7 to Cornwall at half-time.
Cornwall made another fast start with barely two minutes
of the second half played, the outstanding Spiers put away Barker for his
second try, the lock sliding in under the posts to give Simmonds a routine
Simmonds then kicked a second penalty to put the game well
and truly out of Berkshire’s reach.
Further scores came from Penryn’s Charlie Levick, from his own kick ahead to win the chase, then to cap his fine performance a deserved final try for Spiers under the sticks that Simmonds bettered.
Speaking after the game Cornwall coach Richie Kevern was delighted with the team’s performance. He said. “It was a good performance in tough conditions, we told them in no uncertain terms that if they lost today then that would be the end of the road for this season, they took it on board and put in a tremendous performance.
Kevern was delighted with the side’s sound defence and good discipline. “There were times when we had to defend and all credit to the lads they put in the hits, this week our discipline was good and that made a big difference.
Kevern also had words of praise for Tom Spiers. “He has
had two big games for us, his defence is top draw and when he has the ball in
hand he is a real handful to deal with, he has got a very bright future.”
Cornwall now travel to play Gloucestershire Under 20s in
their final pool game on Sunday 15th March at Dings Crusaders, with all
to play for.
Cornwall U20: Charlie Levick (Penryn), Fraser Nottle (St.
Austell), Aaron Simmonds (Redruth, Capt), Ben Plummer, Max Bullen, James Tucker
(all St. Austell), Ali Stacey (Redruth); James Lambourn (Pirates Ams), Mackenzie
Oliver (Redruth), Eliot Salt (Cardiff Met), Mawgan Osborne (Pirates Ams), Steele
Barker (Penryn), Toby Osborne (Pirates Ams), Tom Spiers (Truro), Jack Wickham
Replacements: Cameron Taylor (St. Austell), Mishka Fibbens
(Penryn), Callum Looker (Cardiff Met), Caden Brownfield (Hayle), Connor George
(Unattached), James Murray, Jordan Sidwell (both Redruth).
Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship team,
play their only home fixture in the pool stage of the 2020 Jason Leonard Cup.
The team host Berkshire at Camborne RFC with a 1330 kick off time on Sunday 23
February, and will be played on the main pitch.
Cornwall Under 20 coaches Richie Kevern and Tyler Gendall have made ten changes, three positional, to the side ahead of Sunday’s Jason Leonard Cup pool game against Berkshire at Camborne RFC.
Coach Rich Kevern said – “The first game against Devon has to be a
wakeup call for the players. We had lots of opportunities to win the game but
didn’t take them and allowed a strong Devon team to get back into the match.
Discipline is another area we have to improve and to ensure that we keep to our
The changes are; in the front row, James Lambourn comes in at loose-head
with Oliver Mackenzie at hooker.
In the second row Penryn’s Steele Barker partners Mawgan Osborne, whilst Toby Osborne goes from lock to blindside flanker.
Saltash player Jack Wickham comes in at No.8.
There is a change at half-back with James Tucker starting at fly-half,
with skipper Aaron Simmonds moving to the outside centre berth, St. Austell’s
Ben Plummer moves to inside centre and fellow Saint Fraser Nottle coming in at
Another Penryn player, Charlie Levick comes in at full-back.
The coaches are at present unable to confirm the complete line up on the replacements bench due to re-arranged league matches taking place on the Saturday, however they have named five forwards with three backs to be added.
Cornwall Captain Aaron Simmonds said; – “The guys were disappointed with
our performance against Devon. We had been prepared well by the coaches but let
ourselves down in a number of areas on the field which cost us dearly and
ultimately the result! This is our only home game and it would be great to get
the fantastic Cornish crowd to turnout and support us at Camborne on Sunday. ”
CRFU President John Sumnall said “We are pleased to be playing this game
at Camborne RFC and thank the club and its members for hosting us. Our first
game saw 13 young players representing the County at this level for the first
time and although the result in a tight game went against them, I am sure they
will be up to the challenge of this tough game against Berkshire. It is
fantastic to see so many different clubs represented, and we thank them and our
sponsors for their support to enable these fixtures to be played.”
Berkshire lost their opening game to Gloucestershire so both counties
will be looking for a win to kick-start their hopes of making the knockout
Cornwall‘s final pool game will be hosted by Dings RFC in Bristol on
Sunday 15 March where the opponents will be Gloucestershire.
The team manager Colin Hatch said; -“The President
rightly points out the number of new players that played in our last game,
however it is no different for any other county in this competition. A number
of these guys are playing rugby week in and week out for their clubs at all
levels of the game. We have emphasised the fact that this competition is short
and if we don’t perform then it is over for this season. I am sure that the
players will have learnt from the first game and will want to make amends in
this home game.”
Cornwall Team to play Berkshire
Tom Spiers (Vice Captain)
Backs bench and
travelling reserves from
Coaches – Rich Kevern
+ Tyler Gendall, assisted by Adam Kevern + Brad Howe
Gates open to the public at 1230, with entry for adults costing £5
including a programme. Young people under the age of 16 accompanied by an adult
get free entry.