Harvey Richards – RIP

It is with great sadness that Trelawny’s Army learned today of the passing of Harvey Richards who played for Penzance & Newlyn and Cornwall and later on became a county selector and President of the CRFU 1994/97.

We wish to express our sincerest condolences to Harvey’s family and friends.

Below is tribute written by the Cornish Pirates Media Officer Phil Westren.

Harvey Richards – Remembered

By Phil Westren       

News has been confirmed this week that one of the truly great Pirates, Harvey Richards, passed away peacefully at his home in Marazion on Monday, aged 93.

Harvey, in his playing days

Harvey ‘Dick’, as he was often referred to, was home on leave from the services and about to return to his ship in the Baltic when he played for the Pirates in their first ever game, which took place at the Mennaye Field on Saturday the 22nd September 1945, against Guy’s Hospital. He was chosen as a reserve for an England trial in 1948, in 1950 played in the Pirates team that famously won 5-0 against Cardiff, and in 1951 was a member of the side that competed in the Middlesex 7s. Besides wearing the black and gold of Cornwall, he also, during time with Rosslyn Park, played for Middlesex.

A fly-half, who was hugely respected, Harvey proudly skippered the Pirates of Penzance & Newlyn RFC in 1952/53, when the team enjoyed what can only be described as a season of unparalleled success. After the opening game was drawn 6-all, against a side of 15 internationals brought together by our former England centre John ‘Ginger’ Williams, the team remained unbeaten in a further 28 matches. Crowds had often totalled 5,000, and there was satisfaction in beating Redruth 21-3 at home and 22-6 away, but when the unbeaten run came to an end on the 7th March 1953, it was the ‘Reds’ who lowered the club’s colours, winning 19-6 at the ‘Mennaye’. At the end of the game Redruth’s Bill Phillips relieved Harvey of his shirt – it was later returned – and due tribute was made the Pirates for accepting defeat in a gracious and sportingly manner. That season had many highlights, but for Harvey no match was more important than one at the very end, when in May 1953 he married his late wife Frances. A great friend and fellow Pirate, England international, John MacG. K. Kendall-Carpenter, was his best man.

A schoolteacher, Harvey became a county selector after hanging up his boots, and he would also in 1973 bring the idea of initiating mini-rugby in schools locally, having watched a demonstration game played before an international in Cardiff. He was a Colts official and Chairman of the Pirates, and in the 1990s was President of the Cornwall RFU (1994-97). Also, during the Pirates ‘Golden Jubilee’ season (1995/96) he was a truly valued and committed member of the Golden Jubilee committee.

Harvey pictured with Gavin Cattle on the Mennaye Field

A Vice President of Penzance & Newlyn RFC, Harvey was also a founder member of the ‘Cornwall Sages Society’, who he described as being ‘A bunch of old rugby buggers, growing old together who enjoy each other’s company!’ They next meet at the Pirates ‘Westholme’ clubhouse on Thursday 7th February, from 2pm. In the meantime condolences are expressed to his family who have confirmed that the funeral service will take at Marazion Methodist Church on Saturday 9th February, commencing 2pm, followed afterwards by a gathering at the Godolphin Arms.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Hodge to captain Cornwall in Championship opener


By Bill Hooper, photos Simon Bryant Iktis photo

Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship campaign 2019 gets underway with their first fixture in the Jason Leonard Cup. Cornwall host neighbours Devon in the first pool game of this season on Sunday February 3rd at St Austell RFC.

Cornwall can call on nine of the squad that were originally picked to face Yorkshire in last season’s final at Twickenham, whilst a tenth, Launceston’s Torin Clarke, misses this opening game due to injury.

CRFU President Peter James said, “It is great to get this year’s campaign off with a home tie against our neighbours Devon, who won promotion to the Jason Leonard Cup last season. We thank all our sponsors and St Austell RFC for their support in hosting this group of players in this important game representing Cornwall”

The game kicks off at 13:30 at Tregorrick Park, home of St Austell RFC with entry of £5, including a programme, for adults and Under 16’s gaining free entry.

Coach Josh Lord said –“This will be a good test for this new set of young players and the experienced guys remaining from last season. Although we have had two warm up games we are in a different ball game now that the Championship is underway”

Cornwall U20s Team Building 181118

Cornwall Captain Jack Hodge said; – “It is an honour to be asked to captain the side for this first game against Devon. I know the guys are up for a tough game as always but have trained well in preparation for the game”

Cornwall‘s second pool game will be away to Hampshire at Overton RFC with a 13:00 kick off on Sunday February 24th The final pool game will again be hosted by St Austell RFC on Sunday 17th March where the opponents will be Gloucestershire.

The CRFU Representative Rugby Chair, Chris Lea said; -”The vagaries of U20 rugby mean we can lose up to 50% of our squad every year through age qualification. There are a number of these guys who will be around for the next two seasons and we are always on the lookout at new talent who can come into the squad and join them over the coming seasons”

Cornwall Squad

1 Jack Hodge ( Captain) Redruth 
2 Rory Mead Bude
3 Chae Jenkins Launceston
4 Dan Goldsmith Launceston
5 Stan Somers Falmouth
6 Will Gibson Cardiff Met
7 Aden Brassington St Ives
8 Jamie Eddy Pirates Amateurs
9 Owen Davey Truro
10 Will Trewin Cardiff Met
11 Reuben Edwards Launceston
12 Connor Gilbert Redruth
13 Jake Penprase Bath Uni
14 Alistair Harding Falmouth
15 Aaron Simmonds                                         Redruth
16 Harry Lightfoot Launceston
17 Mawgan Osborne P&N Colts
18 Noah Stanier-Smith Camborne
19 Alex Bartlett Launceston
20 Jamie Murray Redruth
21 Adam Long Camborne
22 Ben Plummer St Austell
  Travelling reserves
23 Eddy Hall Pirates Amateurs
24 Olly Matthews Wadebridge Camels
25 Cain Worley Liskeard & Looe
26 Joe Vanstone Launceston
27 Kyle Bradley Penryn
28 Lawrence Armstrong Launceston

Coaches – Josh Lord + Richie Kevern

Medical cover – Dr John Garman, Sam West + Graham Ashton

Kit – Paul Hurrell, Colin Hatch

Posted in Bill's Blog

Lord & Kevern pleased with U.20’s preparation ahead of Devon game.

Cornwall U.20s put in an encouraging performance in their final warm-up game ahead of this season’s Jason Leonard Cup campaign.

Under the Hayle floodlights coaches Josh Lord and Richie Kevern gave all their extended squad a good run out as the youngsters defeated a willing RNAS Culdrose XV by 47-5.

After the game both coaches gave their thoughts ahead of their final training session at Truro College, this Sunday, before sitting down to pick the squad to face Devon in their opening championship game at St. Austell RFC on Sunday 3rd February, kick-off 1:30 pm. “The result didn’t really matter tonight, began Lord, these games are about individual performances and putting tactics in place and as we showed tonight if you get that right then you’ll get the result you want.

Josh Lord; photo Simon Bryant

“A lot of the boys really stood out tonight and put their hat in the ring for selection for the Devon game and I think we have the makings of a very fine squad heading into the championship.

Lord is delighted to be faced with some tough choices selecting his squad. “It’s the sort of dilemma you are happy to have, Richie and I will sit down and go through squad to make sure we pick the best side we can for the opening game.

Richie Kevern; photo Simon Bryant

Richie Kevern was equally pleased with what he saw on the pitch during the evening. “From the backs point of view I was very pleased, we had some new faces in again tonight and they looked very exciting going forward, it was good to watch and big improvement from the last game against the Fire Brigade.

Kevern was alos pleased with his side’s defence. “They certainly tackled their hearts out and did well to restrict the Navy boys to just one score.

Kevern couldn’t conceal his pleasure at his side’s willingness to attack and make great use of the ball. “We showed so much intent out there and our continuation was top-draw, some of the tries were really well finished off.

“The boys are chomping at the bit to get stuck into Devon, but as I told them championship games are another level in intensity and they are going to have be at the top of their game to get that vital first win.”       

Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates suffer last-gasp defeat

Coventry 18   Cornish Pirates 17

On the road for a second week running, there was always a feeling that another real challenge lay in wait at the Butts Park Arena, and so it proved. Leading 14-6 at half-time, the Pirates sadly succumbed to pressure applied by their hosts in the second period, a high penalty count and two yellow cards not helping their cause.

Coventry, who have made a welcome return to the Championship following their relegation at the end of the competition’s inaugural 2009-10 season, arrived at this Round 12 stage seventh in the league – the Pirates were fifth.

In a side keen to bounce back from their defeat at Yorkshire Carnegie six days earlier, the Pirates welcomed back wing Robin Wedlake from injury, whilst at fly-half Javier Rojas Alvarez was named after being used early as a replacement the previous week following an unfortunate injury to Will Cargill. On the bench, a fit again Dan Frost was selected as the replacement hooker, with Harvey Skinner taking the seat vacated by Rojas Alvarez.

When the Pirates emerged from the changing rooms it was ever-present lock Toby Freeman, set to make his 50th appearance for the club, who had the honour of leading the team onto the field. Then, when play was underway, after an early opportunity to pose a threat from a line-out was lost, the Cornish visitors shortly after opted for a penalty kick at the posts which was successfully struck by Rojas Alvarez.

A penalty from Coventry’s fly-half Will Maisey levelled matters, and they shortly after went close to scoring the game’s opening try after charging down a kick. That threat, thankfully, was foiled, however midway through the first half a second Maisey penalty made it 6-3.

From the restart ‘Cov’ were immediately penalised, giving Rojas Alvarez the opportunity to again draw the scores level, and he did. 

A good spell of play from the Pirates followed, with wing Alex O’Meara displaying football skills to apply pressure on the home side. Strong running from centre Callum Patterson and No. 8 Tom Duncan also forced Coventry on the back foot. Pleasingly, at this stage, the Pirates line-out was working better than the previous week, as was the scrum. Set piece is so important, in any game, and when another chance to take three points was given, a third penalty from Rojas Alvarez delivered.

Confirming a dominance heading to half-time, Freeman caught cleanly at a line-out and the Pirates drove forward. Scrum-half Alex Day made a dash, the advance continued through Patterson and a fine run from hooker Sam Matavesi, and then it was full-back Kyle Moyle who in a flash lent support to dive over for his eighth Championship try of the season. Rojas Alvarez was unable to add the extra two points, but the Pirates nonetheless arrived at half-time with a thus far deserved 14-6 lead.

Of no surprise, the home team looked to up their game at the start of the second period, and, under the floodlights and in less than ideal pitch conditions, in the process fully test their opponents. Initially the Pirates were not only up to the challenge but also went further ahead when Rojas Alvarez landed his fourth penalty of the afternoon.

Coventry, of course, have a gifted squad of players, including Tongan international wing David Halaifonua and former Pirates and Gloucester hooker Darren Dawidiuk, For the latter it was time soon to depart as Coventry introduced a couple of front-row replacements. Also, during this period, after the Pirates scrum was put under extra pressure it was not long before referee Mr. Chivers spoke to Pirates’ skipper Brett Beukeboom and a yellow card was shown to flanker Josh Caulfield.

The Pirates did well to keep Coventry at bay, before in the 56th minute replacement hooker Scott Tolmie scored an unconverted try from a well-executed driving maul.

With the scoreline reading 11-17, the home side were very much back in the match, and there another former ‘Pirate’, in Tom Kessell, now on the field as Coventry’s replacement scrum-half.

The Pirates strived to hold out in the last quarter, it a test for their resolve, as it was for Coventry who have only lost at home twice in the Championship this season. Sadly, however, the Cornish side’s penalty count continued to rise.

The game was slipping away from the Cornish outfit, who near the end also lost their leader, Beukeboom, to the sin bin. He had been spoken to on a couple of occasions and from the resulting line-out it was a second try from Tolmie that gave Coventry their chance of victory. His effort was scored from quite wide out, so the conversion to ultimately win the game was, considering the extra pressure involved, anything but a formality. Taking the responsibility was centre Tony Fenner, whose effort was struck in complete silence – that’s until it sailed through the posts to roars of jubilation.

There was still the slimmest of a chance for the Pirates to perhaps score again, but the restart went out on the full and the game was soon over. It also ended a day when to leave with losing a bonus point was of absolutely no consolation.

Speaking at the end of the match, Cornish Pirates’ co-coach Gavin Cattle said. “For us it was one of those gut wrenchers of a game and one also played in conditions that were difficult for both sides. Compared to last week there were though positives, such as our collision and sound defensive sets, plus in the first forty we had some good ball off the scrum.

“I thought we did well to disrupt their set piece but our penalty count in the second half was too high, which tells a story in itself, and the yellow cards didn’t of course help.

“Ultimately, such occasions are a collective responsibility, there no excuses and we have to learn from the experience.”

Coventry:   15 James Stokes (22 Heath Stevens, 40), 14 Junior Bulumakau, 13 Rob Knox, 12 Tony Fenner, 11 David Halaifonua, 10 Will Maisey, 9 Pete White (21 Tom Kessell, 59); 1 James Gibbons (17 Charlie Beech, 46), 2 Darren Dawidiuk (16 Scott Tolmie, 46), 3 Phil Boulton (c – 18 Josh McNulty, 65), 4 Tom Jubb, 5 George Oram, 6 Dan Faleafa (20 Latu Makaafi, 59), 7 Ben Nutley (19 Ben Adams, 59), 8 Adam Peters.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Callum Patterson (21 Harvey Skinner, 59), 11 Robin Wedlake (22 Matt Evans, 75), 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker (17 Jack Andrew, 75), 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Tyler Gendall, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Josh Caulfield (19 Dan Lee, 73), 7 John Stevens (18 Matt Bolwell, 59), 8 Tom Duncan (16 Dan Frost, 75).

Replacement (not used):   20 Jake Ashby

Yellow card:   6 Josh Caulfield (46), 5 Brett Beukeboom (79)

Scorers: Coventry – tries: 16 Scott Tolmie (58, 80); con: 12 Tony Fenner (80); pens: 10 Will Maisey (9, 23) Cornish Pirates – try: 15 Kyle Moyle (40); pens: 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez (3, 25, 35, 45)

Crowd: 2273

Referee: Neil Chivers (RFU)

Report by Phil Westren, photo, Brian Tempset

Posted in Bill's Blog

Below par Pirates pick up a losing bonus point

Frustration for Below Par Pirates

by Phil Westren

Yorkshire Carnegie 18   Cornish Pirates 13

It was known pre-match that this contest would inevitably be a tough one, and likely enjoyably entertaining against a rapidly improving Yorkshire Carnegie side whose Director of Rugby is former Pirates High Performance Manager Chris Stirling. Well, tough it was, but not enjoyable, particularly from a Pirates perspective in what was for them a below par and frustrating performance.

Having ended 2018 on a high, a 27-nil win at home to London Scottish propelling them up to third in the Championship table, the Pirates arrived at this halfway point in the league keen to push on at the start of the New Year. They were also able to name a starting XV that showed just one change from their last outing. Prop Marlen Walker, a second half replacement against ‘Scottish’, swapping places with Jack Andrew.

On a breezy afternoon at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, it was visiting fly-half Will Cargill who kicked the match off. Unfortunately, however, his services were then curtailed, as following a collision he had to depart proceedings with a mouth injury.

It was also not long before Yorkshire Carnegie opened their account, when in the eighth minute prop Marc Thomas was identified as a try-scorer following a potent driving maul. Young fly-half Jacob Umaga, returning to Yorkshire Carnegie from Gallagher Premiership side Wasps on dual registration, added the conversion.

The Pirates were finding it hard to make much impact in the match and were also luckless when Cargill’s replacement, Javier Rojas Alvarez, saw a penalty effort go wide.

Approaching the half-hour mark the home team extended their lead. Winning a turnover, they quickly spotted an opportunity to spin the ball away quickly, with No 8 Dan Temm’s run setting up a try for debutant wing Elijah Niko. The conversion attempt by Umaga this time missed.

It was time for the Pirates to respond, and they did, thankful to opportunist hooker Sam Matavesi who stole possession close to the hosts line. Dotting the ball down, his seventh Championship try of the season was converted by Rojas Alvarez.

The Cornish team now appeared rejuvenated, wing AJ Cant and full-back Kyle Moyle both running well before right on half-time the offer of a penalty award saw skipper Brett Beukeboom call up Rojas Alvarez whose successful kick at goal reduced the deficit to just two points. At this particular break, 12-10 was a scoreline that the Pirates likely considered themselves fortunate to trundle off to.

An excellent long-range penalty effort from Umaga extended the home team’s lead right at the start of the second half, which it was hoped would again draw a response from the Pirates. Matavesi, along with back-rowers Josh Caulfield and John Stevens tested the home defence, however it was the home side who were gleaning impressive advantage at the breakdown, whilst the Cornish Pirates line-out was also not functioning to requirement.

Walker and No 8 Tom Duncan were next to provide a little go forward, but Yorkshire Carnegie defended admirably and when they were able to kick clear a potential scoring opportunity was lost.

On 56 minutes, Umaga surprisingly missed an easy penalty opportunity from in front of the posts. However, he shortly after made no mistake with a more difficult attempt, opening an eight points gap as play now entered the last quarter.

In striving to get back into the match the Pirates were simply giving too many penalties away, the referee seemingly not, on this day, their friend.      Thus far, Yorkshire Carnegie had been the better side, though they too erred in a match that was failing to live up to expectation. Umaga also missed another penalty

For the Pirates, the need was simply to finish strongly, as there was still time to snatch a result. Sadly, though, it felt like the more they tried then yet more penalties were given away, with there also a yellow card shown to prop Tyler Gendall.

The Yorkshire team also soon after lost flanker Josh Bainbridge to the sin bin, which at least balanced personnel at 14-a-side.

With a display of late energy, the Pirates made yardage and showed good support play, and were surely unlucky not to be awarded a penalty try when home centre Andy Forsyth deliberately knocked the ball down. As it worked out, referee Mr. O’Grady showed ‘yellow’ to Forsyth and awarded the Cornish Pirates just a penalty. Skipper Brett Beukeboom once again gave Rojas Alvarez the nod to take a kick at goal which, being successful, also at least gave the Pirates a losing bonus point.

Speaking straight after the match, disappointed Cornish Pirates’ co-coach Gavin Cattle said. “We were well below our standards, slow out of the blocks and there too many individual errors. Credit though to Yorkshire Carnegie for their work at the breakdown which was very effective.

“Mistakes were made when we were under pressure but also when we weren’t, and it so disappointing when our effort and preparation ahead of the match was bang-on and our attitude outstanding.

“The game was dominated time-wise by the scrum, there a lot of stop-starts and it overall very frustrating. It also meant that by giving too many penalties away we gave them too much field position.”

Gavin added, “This is a challenging period, but not grumbling we will dust ourselves off and look to put wrongs right before getting on the road again away to Coventry next Saturday.”

Yorkshire Carnegie:   15 Jacob Umaga, 14 Chris Elder, 13 Andy Forsyth, 12 Pete Lucock, 11 Elijah Niko, 10 Jade Te Rure, 9 JB Bruzulier; 1 Marc Thomas (17 Nic Mayhew, 62), 2 Joe Buckle (16 Dylan Donnellan, 78), 3 Craig Mitchell (18 Andy Foster, 53), 4 Cian Romaine (19 Fa’atinga Lemalu, 40), 5 Matt Smith, 6 Richard Mayhew (c), 7 Josh Bainbridge, 8 Dan Temm.

Replacements (not used):   20 Lewis Wilson, 21 Sam Wolstenholme, 22 George Watkins.

Yellow cards: Josh Bainbridge (72), Andy Forsyth (77).

Cornish Pirates:   15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Callum Patterson, 11 AJ Cant (22 Matt Evans, 69), 10 Will Cargill (21 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 7), 9 Alex Day (20 Jake Ashby, 69); 1 Marlen Walker (17 Jack Andrew, 60), 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Tyler Gendall, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Josh Caulfield (18 Dan Lee, 53), 7 John Stevens (1 Marlen Walker, 74), 8 Tom Duncan (19 Matt Bolwell 53).

Replacement (not used):   16 Charlie Gibbings.

Yellow card: Tyler Gendall (70)


Yorkshire Carnegie – tries:1 Marc Thomas (8), 11 Elijah Niko (29); con: 15 Jacob Umaga (9); pens: 15 Jacob Umaga (43, 59).

Cornish Pirates – 2 Sam Matavesi (34); con: 21 Javier Rojas Alvarez (35); pens: 21 Javier Rojas Alvarez (40, 79).

Referee:   Matthew O’Grady (RFU)

Attendance:   1637

Posted in Bill's Blog

Tribute Cornwall Cup Draw

Semi final Draw.

St. Ives RFC   v    Saltash RFC

Wadebridge Camels RFC  v  St. Austell RFC.

Semi Finals to be played on or before 3rd February 2019.

Early Kick Offs advised as extra time may be needed to gain a result.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Redruth’s poor form sees return of Hambly

Redruth’s poor pre-Christmas form continued into the New Year as they slipped to a fifth straight National League 2 South defeat to Worthing Raiders 28-17.

It was the first time the Sussex club had won in Redruth and they did so thanks to three tries from winger Curtis Barnes and the trusty boot of Matt Mclean.

Tom Notman scored a couple of tries for the Reds with Connor Gilbert getting a third, whilst Aaron Simmonds kicked a conversion.

In the wake of this defeat it was announced yesterday evening that former head coach Nigel Hambly would be returning to the club as Director of Rugby with immediate effect until the end of the current season.

Redruth are home again this Saturday to Guernsey with a 1 pm kick-off.

In the South West Premier, Camborne staged a great second half comeback against Newton Abbot. Trailing 20-5 at half-time with just an Alex Ducker try on the board, the cherry and whites scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to secure a bonus point win 26-20.

Second half tries came from Ducker, his second, Josh Semmens and Declan Matthews with Dave Mankee and Rhodri McAtee (2) adding the conversions.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Launceston were made to work hard at home to North Petherton before winning 37-27. Glen Coles, Martin Kneebone, Greg Thomas (2) and Adam Collings scored the tries with Coles converting three and kicking two penalties.

Launceston are at Okehampton this Saturday for a top-of-the-table clash,

St. Ives ran riot at Alexandra Road in their “away” fixture against Coney Hill 91-12 with Pete Mabbott scoring five of his side’s fifteen tries.

In London 1 South, London Cornish made a fine start to the New Year with a 27-17 over former National League side Westcombe Park. Twenty-four 2nd half points turned the London 1 South match with Westcombe Park on its head, the exiles running out deserving winners, the points courtesy of tries from Matt Hakes, Rich Stephens, and a penalty try, with full back Dan Phoenix landing 3 conversions and 2 penalties. This 4th win in 6 matches hoists Cornish up to 8th in the table.

In Tribute Western Counties West, St Austell have opened up the promotion race with a 23-21 win at leaders Sidmouth. Ben Plummer, Hugh Noot and Chris Ashwin scored the tries with Cav Boyer kicking the other points.

Falmouth lost at home to Wellington 40-10. A J Geach with their sole try converted by Tom Edmonds who also landed a penalty.

Wadebridge Camels lost heavily at Kingsbridge 53-5, Jarred Wheatman with their unconverted try.

Truro also lost away to Paignton 23-17, Sam Rhodes and Matt Symons scored their tries with Owen Davey converting both, earlier on Justyn Irons had kicked a penalty for Truro.

Tiverton beat Saltash at Moorland 23-17. Phil Eastwell and Ryan Cruickshanks with the Ashes’ tries both converted by Kieran Down who also added a penalty.    

Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates get back to Championship action with a win

Report By Phil Westren, photo Brian Tempest – 30th Dec 2018

Cornish Pirates 27   London Scottish 0

Under the glow of the Mennaye Field’s floodlights, on their return to Greene King IPA Championship action this result gave the Cornish Pirates deserved satisfaction. Indeed, it not only saw them end 2018 on a high with a bonus point victory, but they also ‘nilled’ their opponents and, in the process, climbed up to third in the league table.

As expected, this final fixture of the year delivered another atmospheric occasion, with the expected seasonal bumper crowd present. It also marked scrum-half Alex Day’s 100th appearance for the club.

There was just one change in the Cornish Pirates starting line-up from the one that faced London Irish in the Cup before Christmas, with AJ Cant named on the wing. He had been used as a replacement in the game against ‘Irish’, following an injury suffered by Robin Wedlake.

The calm and mild weather conditions were far better than expected for the time of year, and there was a real buzz about a Mennaye Field that had also recovered well following the Pirates last outing.

Match underway, to their credit, London Scottish dominated possession for much of the first half but had nothing to show for it due to a miserly home defence.

With the Pirates line once again proving difficult to breach, it was also pleasing that they were able to create scoring chances. Two would be taken in the first half, an opener through full-back Kyle Moyle who, following some good inter-play, notched up his seventh Championship try of the season. Fly-half Will Cargill added the extras. Then, close to half-time, following a determined drive towards the Penzance posts the ball was swiftly released to the right, enabling wing Alex O’Meara to squeeze in at the clubhouse corner for try number two.

The crowd had been entertained well enough in the first period, as they were at the start of the second half when hooker Sam Matavesi tore down the right and in the process used his potent hand-off. It certainly raised added interest for supporters in the old Western National corner (nowadays often called Naughty Boys corner), as did a run from Cant who has quickly shown a level of ability that should see him do well at Championship level.

To their credit London Scottish continued to be competitive, with play a little boisterous at times, however the mood of the Pirates was simply to give them ‘nowt’.

A Cargill penalty on 68 minutes made it 15-0, and after No. 8 Tom Duncan then scored a converted try the Pirates dug deep to secure a bonus point effort. Replacements had been made, including a debut for hooker Charlie Gibbings. Other fresh faces, namely fly-half Javier Rojas Alvarez and prop Jack Owlett then made telling contributions. The former posted his penalty kick perfectly down the left touchline, and it was the latter who was in position to apply the downward pressure for try number four.

The Cup win for the Pirates against London Irish two weeks earlier had delivered the perfect Christmas present, whilst this result was one to provide genuine optimism for the New Year. For sure, a lot of hard work is and has been undertaken by individuals, with the passion of Dicky Evans also still steering the plotted course.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Alex O’Meara (Matt Evans 68), 13 Rory Parata, 12 Callum Patterson, 11 AJ Cant, 10 Will Cargill (Javier Rojas Alvarez 74), 9 Alex Day (Jake Ashby 74); 1 Jack Andrew (Marlen Walker 58), 2 Sam Matavesi (Charlie Gibbings 74), 3 Tyler Gendall (Jack Owlett 74), 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Josh Caulfield (Dan Lee 61), 7 John Stevens, 8 Tom Duncan.

London Scottish:   15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Miles Mantella, 13 Richie Vernon (Jacob Perry 57),12 Reuben Bird-Tulloch (Jacob Perry 22, Bird Tulloch 32) , 11 Rob Stevenson, 10 Rory Jennings, 9 Grayson Hart (Josh Barton 73); 1 Jordan Brodley (Jonny Harris 61), 2 Billy Harding (Ollie Adams 76), 3 James Litchfield (Phil Cringle 48) , 4 Theo Vukasinovic (Byron Hodge 68), 5 Tjiuee Uanivi, 6 James Tyas, 7 Lewis Wynne (Matt Marley 74), 8 Mark Bright (c).


Cornish Pirates – tries: Moyle, O’Meara, Duncan, Owlett; cons: Cargill (2); pen: Cargill.

Referee:   Dean Richards (RFU)       Attendance:   2,963

St. Austell Brewery’s Man-of-the-Match:   Tyler Gendall

Posted in Bill's Blog

Camborne reclaim the churn



By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground.

Dave Mankee’s penalty mid-way through the second half proved to be good enough for Camborne to re-gain the Rodda’s Milk Cup against old rivals Redruth.

It proved to be an absorbing game with defences generally on top played out before a crowd of over 1,500 in the winter sunshine. It was by and large a good-tempered game.

Camborne’s head coach Liam Chapple was delighted with his side’s performance. “We defended so well throughout the whole game and when chances came our way we took them. Getting to half-time all square at 14-all gave us a huge lift that we could go on and get a result here. All credit to the boys for digging in and playing their hearts out. I hope we can use this result as a launch pad for our league campaign in the New Year starting at home against Newton Abbot.”

Playing down the slope first half it was Redruth who had the early pressure roared on by their home support. Having gone close early on wing Tom Notman finished off a textbook move off a scrum after Pale Nonu made good ground before scrum-half Jack Oulton provided the scoring pass.

Full-back Ashley Hosking knocked over the conversion and the Reds so it seemed were up and running.

Redruth looked to build on their early score with Sam Parsons making a return for this fixture playing in the back row putting in some strong runs.

As the game reached the half-hour marked so the fortunes changed. Within the space of a couple of minutes Camborne profited from two interceptions from deep in their own twenty-two to score. The first from a mistake from Nonu saw lock Neil Stanlieck charge up-field like a raging buffalo only to be hauled down five metres short of the Redruth line. After a couple of phases flanker Cameron Bone squeezed over to the huge roar of the Camborne end. Mankee’s conversion looked wide but was given by the referee.

Moments later it was a case of déjà-vu as man-of-the-match and winner of the Tony Pill Cup, centre Declan Matthews picked off another speculative pass to sprint in from his own twenty-two under the Redruth posts, Mankee slotted the conversion to put Town 14-7 up in front of their delirious fans.

Redruth hit back but their chances all came to nothing as the error count piled up, eventually in time added on at the end of the first half they scored a second try through centre Connor Gilbert from short-range. Aaron Simmonds on as replacement added the extras to tie it up at 14-all at half-time.

The second half proved a cagey affair both sides had chances but wasted them. Mankee was short with a penalty attempt from near half-way but some twelve minutes later he was on the money with another attempt that put his side ahead.

With time running out Redruth tried everything, however the game was held up following a neck injury to Camborne player Oakley Smitherham which necessitated in the player being stretched off to warm applause.

Redruth had a period of pressure on the Camborne line at the end but a knock-on saw Camborne re-gain the churn, despite defending for the final moments with just thirteen men, to the huge delight of their fans at that end.   

Redruth: Hosking, Notman, Gilbert, Whitworth, Bonds, Kevern, Oulton; Hodge, Brown (capt), Salt, Heazelton, Hattam, Parsons, Stevens, Nonu.

Replacements: Joyce, Barnes, Clemson, Tucker, Hosking A, Simmonds

Camborne: Long, Thomas, Semmens, Matthews, Blee, Mankee, Bawden; Hearn, Southworth, Drew (capt), Cook, Steinlieck, Bone, Nicholls, Rose.

Replacements: Trewhella, Zacharovas, Riches, Hendra, Smitherham, Brownfield.

Referee: Bradley Bignall (RFU)

Crowd: 1586

Trelawny’s Army Tony Pill Cup man-of-the-match: Declan Matthews (Camborne). A fine game from the centre who looked sharp in attack and tackled ha

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall Under 20s


It was a steep learning curve for the Cornish youngsters against the Cornwall Fire Services XV which boasted several players with senior experience.

The final score of 52-14 to the Firemen under the Hayle floodlights was perhaps a little harsh on the lads who stuck at it and showed plenty of promise.

Speaking after the game Cornwall coaches Josh Lord and Richie Kevern gave me their thoughts. Josh felt that the lads could take a lot of heart from their performance. “There were masses of good points to take from tonight’s game, a lot of new boys coming into the squad and putting their hat in the ring for the nest trial game.

Josh acknowledged his side was up against it especially at scrum-time. “We were up against a well-drilled and solid pack with a lot of experience,  at this level you would expect them to dominate against a fairly young pack that had never played together before. I do feel that we adapted to the challenge as the game wore on and we can take a lot of credit out of the game.

“We had a good chat at half-time we set out some goals for the second forty and I felt we accomplished what we had planned, we looked a better unit and played some good rugby when we moved the ball.

Josh confirmed that the preparations are going well with training sessions at Truro College on a Sunday morning. “We are building for the opening championship game against Devon at St. Austell (Sunday 3rd Feb kick-off 2 pm). We will be building up our training ahead of our next trial game against Culdrose in January.

Josh acknowledges that the expectations are high following last season’s run to the final. “After tasting getting to Twickenham last season the boys want to go one better. I felt the score-line last year flattered Yorkshire in some ways, no complaints on the result, but we went out in the second half determined to play and not try to damage limitation. I am convinced that it’s a mindset thing as opposed to an ability thing, if we believe then we can achieve.”

Richie Kevern expressed how pleased he was to be involved this season. “It’s been great to come in and be involved with a great bunch of lads. We’ve got some exceptional talent coming through with the right attitude and they want to play, have a go.

“You saw that at times today when they move the ball they create chances and look dangerous, it’s just that final pass or offload we need to work on to complete the puzzle.

Richie was also full of praise for the attitude of the players at training. “Top draw I have to say, there is a huge buzz around the squad after last year, numbers are good at training and they all want to make the squad, it’s a great credit that they turn up having played a game on Saturday but are still keen on a Sunday morning. Josh and I are going to have a hard job picking the squad because so many boys are pushing their cases for inclusion.”        

Posted in Bill's Blog

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