Cornwall back in the hunt



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.

Mawgan Osborne (Pirates Ams) of Cornwall U20s is tackled by Bornaros Kaloski of Berkshire U20s (Uni of Reading). – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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.

Tom Spires (Truro) of Cornwall U20s breaks through the tackle from Bornaros Kaloski of Berkshire U20s (Uni of Reading). – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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.

Jack Wickam (Saltash) of Cornwall U20s on the attack. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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.

Steele Barker (Penryn) of Cornwall U20s dives on the chip ahead for a try. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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 unconverted try.

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.   

Steele Barker (Penryn) of Cornwall U20s celebrates his second try of the match. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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 conversion.

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.

Tom Spires (Truro) of Cornwall U20s is tackled by Dylan Crick of Berkshire U20s (Windsor). – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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.

Richard Kevern Backs Coach of Cornwall U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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.

Tyler Gendall Forwards Coach of Cornwall U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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 (Saltash).

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 scores: Tries, Plummer, Oliver, Barker 2, Levick, Spiers, Cons, Simmonds 3, Pens, Simmonds 2

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall U.20s to face Berks

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 game.

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.

Tom Spires (Truro) keeps his place in the back row . – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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 14.

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.

James Tucker (St. Austell) starts at fly-half. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

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 stages.

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

1 James Lambourn Pirates Ams
2 Mackenzie Oliver Redruth
3 Eliot Salt Cardiff Met
4 Steele Barker Penryn
5 Mawgan Osborne Pirates Ams
6 Toby Osborne Pirates Ams
7 Tom Spiers  (Vice Captain) Truro
8 Jack Wickham Saltash
9 Ali Stacey Redruth
10 James Tucker St Austell
11 Max Bullen St Austell
12 Ben Plummer St Austell
13 Aaron Simmonds (Captain) Redruth
14 Fraser Nottle St Austell
15 Charlie Levick   Penryn
16 Cameron Taylor St Austell
17 Mishka Fibbens Penryn
18 Callum Looker Cardiff Met
19 Caden Brownfield Hayle
20 Connor George Unattached
  Backs bench and travelling reserves from
  James Murray Redruth
  Jordan Sidwell Redruth
  Adam Long Camborne
  Guy Brooks Penryn
  Oakley Smitham Camborne
  Travelling reserves forwards  
26 Devon Bennet-Murray Saltash
27 Matt Vincent Hayle
28 Joe Best St Just

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.

Posted in Bill's Blog

New date for Bill Beaumont Cup Final

It has been confirmed by the RFU that the date for this year’s Bill Beaumont Cup Final has been moved from 21st of June to Saturday 30th May.

The county finals will not be part of the England V Barbarians game package which remains at it’s original date.

The good news is that all 5 county finals will be played at Twickenham on the same day, with the Bill Beaumont Cup Final scheduled for 3 pm.

At this stage it is not clear which part of the stadium will be open for the finals, probably just the West Stand lower.

Bryan Llewellyn will advise of travel packages available when sorted.

Obviously, Cornwall will have to qualify first, this is just a heads up.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Trelawny’s Army enjoy day at Eden

Members from Trelawny’s Army were invited to this season’s Cornwall team get-together held at the Eden Project, reports Bill Hooper

Trelawny’s Army leading the singing. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo –

There were some 150 players, family, CRFU officials and guests present, which also saw the launch of the 2020 playing shirt designed by O’Neills. Our current player of the year Tony Whittle is seen modelling the new shirt below.

Tony Whittle of Cornwall (Camborne). – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo Eden Project, Cornwall

At the conclusion of the formal part of the event members of Trelawny’s Army led the singing of “Cornwall, my home” and “Trelawny”.

Founder member of the Army was pictured proudly holding the Bill Beaumont Cup.

John Rowe- Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo , Eden Project, Cornwall

Thanks must be expressed to the CRFU for inviting us and to the Eden Project and St. Austell Brewery.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Yellow Cards Cost Cornwall



DEVON U.20Ss, 30 – 18 CORNWALL U.20 s

By Bill Hooper at Cross-in-Hand, Ivybridge

Cornwall got their campaign off to a disappointing start with this defeat to Devon.

Sadly, Cornwall were the architects of their own demise with indiscipline costing them dear with two yellow cards in the space of 4 second half minutes.

Aaron Simmonds (Redruth) Captain of Cornwall U20s is tackled by Toby Turner of Devon U20s (Devonport Services). – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Devon scored two tries during the sin-binning making it a mountain to climb for the Cornish youngsters, who to their credit responded with a couple of tries.

Frustratingly, Cornwall had the better of the first half, enjoying good territorial advantage, but crucially unable to turn it into scores.

Cornwall coach Richie Kevern was naturally disappointed at the final whistle. “Indiscipline cost us today, going down the thirteen men made it very difficult. We really didn’t make the most of our chances in the first half and that was equally frustrating. We will go away now and prepare for the Berkshire game at Camborne in four weeks time.” 

Tom Spires (Truro) of Cornwall U20s runs through the Devon defence. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

There were positives for Cornwall Skipper Aaron Simmonds looked very accomplished at fly-half, Tom Spiers was a handful in the back row, both the Osborne brothers in the boiler house went well, Eliot Salt carried well, whilst Mishka Fibbens made a big impact off the bench.

Simmonds gave Cornwall the lead after 31 minutes with a penalty. This was cancelled out by Harry Ottaway for the hosts. The same player then nudged Devon ahead with his second penalty that was matched immediately by Simmonds to leave the scores tied 6- all at the break.

Issak Welch (Truro) of Cornwall U20s on the attack. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Ten minutes into the second half was when it started to unravel for Cornwall. Open-side flanker Tom Spiers was harshly carded for a ruck offence.

Devon capitalised laying siege to the Cornwall line with eventually hooker Reece Bartlett forcing his way over, Ottaway adding the conversion.

It was then that fellow back row Cameron Taylor was binned, Devon took full-advantage launching an unstoppable forward drive with No.8 Adam Northcott scoring, Ottaway’s conversion putting Devon 25-6 up.

Mishka Fibbens (Penryn) of Cornwall U20s dives over for a try. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

With the clock against Cornwall fresh legs came on, prop Mishka Fibbens made an instant impact ploughing through the Devon defence to crash over, Simmonds on the money with the extras.

Cornwall gave it a good go creating a chance for Mawgan Osborne out wide, the lock danced along the touchline to squeeze in for an unconverted try.

Mawgan Osborne (Pirates Ams) of Cornwall U20s charges for the corner. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Now trailing by just seven points could Cornwall snatch a draw? They had chances but couldn’t take them, instead Devon made the game safe as lock Ethan Pearce made good ground evading some tired tackle before finding wing Devon Jewsbury who finished well to score Devon’s bonus point try. 

Cornwall U.20: Adam Long (Camborne), Guy Brooks (Penryn), Ben Plummer (St. Austell), Isaak Welsh (Truro), Max Bullen (St. Austell), Aaron Simmonds (Capt), Ali Stacey (both Redruth); Callum Looker (Cardiff Met), Rory Mead (Bude), Eliot Salt (Cardiff Met), Mawgan Osborne, Toby Osborne (both Pirates Ams), Cameron Taylor (St. Austell), Tom Spiers (Truro), Aden Brassington (Redruth).

Replacements: James Lambourn (Pirates Ams), Mishka Fibbens (Penryn), Jack Wickham, Devon Bennett-Murray (both Saltash), James Tucker (St. Austell), James Murray (Redruth), Fraser Nottle (St. Austell).

Cornwall scores: Tries, Fibbens, M Osborne, Con, Simmonds, Pens, Simmonds 2

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall Under 20’s to face Devon

Richard Kevern Backs Coach of Cornwall U20s and Tyler Gendall Forwards Coach of Cornwall U20s watch training. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship campaign 2020 gets underway, this Sunday 26th January, with their first fixture in the Jason Leonard Cup. The team travel to neighbours Devon for their first pool game of the competition. The game will be played at Ivybridge RFC.

CRFU President John Sumnall said “It is great to get this year’s campaign off with a local tie against our neighbours Devon. We thank all our sponsors for their support and assistance with this group of players in this important game representing Cornwall. It is fantastic to see so many different clubs represented, and we thank them for their support to enable these fixtures to be played”

The game kicks off at 14:00 at Ivybridge and will be played on the all-weather pitch.

Coach Rich Kevern 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. We had a tight game against Devon last season at St Austell and we know the guys in green and white will be up for a tough game again this season”

Cornwall has a new forwards coach this season with ex Cornwall U20, Championship and Premiership player Tyler Gendall who joins Rich Kevern. Rich’s brother Adam has also been assisting especially during his recovery from injury.

Cornwall U20s skipper Aaron Simmonds v Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Cornwall Captain this season is Aaron Simmonds he said. “It is an honour to be asked to captain the side for this season. I know the guys are up for a tough campaign as always and have trained well in preparation for this game. This is my second season with the 20’s and I know that it is a tough competition and we will have to perform at our best in every game.”

Cornwall‘s second pool game will be home to Berkshire at Camborne RFC with a 13:30 kick off on Sunday February 23. The final pool game will be hosted by Dings RFC in Bristol on Sunday 15 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. This year we have lost even more and so we start to build again with a mixture of players transitioning from the U18’s, new players identified and nominated from clubs around the county. There are a number of these guys who will be around for the next 2 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  v Devon Sunday 26th January

1 Callum Looker Cardiff Met
2 Rory Mead Bude
3 Eliot Salt Cardiff Met
4 Mawgan Osborne Pirates Ams
5 Toby Osborne Pirates Ams
6 Cameron Taylor St Austell
7 Tom Spiers Truro
8 Aden Brassington Redruth
9 Ali Stacey Redruth
10 Aaron Simmonds (Capt) Redruth
11 Max Bullen St Austell
12 Isaak Welsh Truro
13 Ben Plummer St Austell
14 Guy Brooks Penryn
15 Adam Long Camborne
16 James Lambourn Pirates Ams
17 Mishka Fibbens Penryn
18 Jack Wickham Saltash
19 Devon Bennett-Murray Saltash
20 James Tucker St Austell
21 James Murray Redruth
22 Fraser Nottle St Austell
  Travelling reserves
23 Caden Brownfield Hayle
24 Matt Vincent Hayle
25 Adam Hall Redruth
26 Harry Clemo Camborne

Coaches – Rich Kevern + Tyler Gendall, assisted by Adam Kevern

Medical cover – Neville Curnow + Graham Ashton

Kit – Paul Hurrell, Colin Hatch


Sunday 26th January 2020   DEVON V CORNWALL @ Ivybridge RFC kick-off 2 pm

Sunday 23rd February 2020 CORNWALL V BERKSHIRE @ Camborne RFC 1:30 pm

Sunday 15th March 2020 GLOUCESTERSHIRE V CORNWALL @ Dings Crusaders 2:30 pm

Posted in Bill's Blog

Ladies game at Launceston cancelled

Tonight’s game between Cornwall Club Development XV and Launceston Ladies at Polson Bridge has been cancelled due to a water-logged pitch.

Posted in Bill's Blog

CRFU President John Sumnall’s report back

President’s Diary.

As we enter the second half of the season I would like to share some of my experiences and thoughts during my visits to the Cornwall Clubs and Rugby in Cornwall.

CRFU President John Sumnall

Of the eleven Clubs that I have visited so far, I have been impressed by the commitment that their volunteers give not only to their Club but also to rugby and their community by many different methods. The successful hosting of sponsors at pre match meals and buffets at Bude, Camborne. Launceston and St Austell not only cater for their followers but it also brings in welcome finance and occasionally new people to the game and the Club. Liskeard-Looe provide a very welcome hot drinks cabin adjacent to the pitch and Saltash, on the day that I visited, were selling home made cakes and goodies to help with a mini/junior tour. At Wadebridge, I was impressed by the number of helpers on their two pitches and in the Club House, all volunteers. The number of ex players attending the matches at Newquay Hornets and Penryn state much about the continual commitment and value of these guys and hopefully their current players will follow their example. Deep down in the far south west that great community Club, St Just, had just purchased adjacent land to extend their camping facilities during the summer with the intention of providing even more facilities at their Club.

However, there are unknown benefits to be gained when visiting Clubs and these outcomes include discussing their requirements to enable the CRFU to help to meet, as far as possible, their needs. At Lanner training lights have been arranged. Stithians had ten registered players and two committee members at the beginning of the season and have recently completed all their fixtures well done Stithians. May I remind Clubs that they do not have to wait for a visit. Just ask!

A very pleasant evening was spent at a Cornwall Rugby Referee’s Soceity meeting when a discussion was held entitled “Rugby in Cornwall” and the referees chose to discuss not refereeing but their concern for the state of the game. These included the loss of players between 16 and 18, the introduction of “Game On” and the reasons for the deduction of league points. Most enlightening. Monthly visits are made to the Cornwall Rugby Sages when an update is given on CRFU matters before they enjoy their pasty, pint and singing. These are always well attended by some great past players and stalwarts of Cornish rugby and I thoroughly recommend them to you.

A special highlight was to be invited to the England Women v. France Women at Exeter and not only observe a great win for England but the magnificent spectacle of some 150 girls ferried from Cornwall by our CDCs and others. The Ladies and Girls game is certainly growing in Cornwall from this interest and I wish them every success.

May I wish you all a prosperous New Year and I look forward to visiting more Clubs in the second half of the season.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Boxing Day joy for the Reds



By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground.

Redruth deservedly regained the Rodda’s Milk Cup with a decisive win against old rivals Camborne in front of a four figure Boxing Day crowd.

The Reds travelled down the road with a strong squad and had the luxury to include a few youngsters to give them a taste of this special occasion.

A Happy Redruth squad having regained the Milk Cup, photo Dan Barbary

Town, roared on by their supporters opened the scoring with a Rhys Brownfield penalty, the lead proved short-lived as Redruth piled on the pressure.

Connor Gilbert made good ground before slipping the scoring pass to Dean Bonds who dived in for the opening try.

Matt Shepherd, having missed the conversion made no mistake with a penalty kick to extend the lead.

Redruth maintained their foot on the throttle as they continued to pound the Camborne line with Jack Hodge, Chris Fuca and Gilbert all going close before Bonds sneaked over for his second try.

A second Brownfield penalty gave some relief to Camborne but the relentless pressure from the Reds continued as their pack mauled their way to a further two tries, both scored by Aden Brassington, and bettered by Shepherd for a 27-6 lead at the break.

Aden Brassington receives the TASC Tony Pill Memorial Cup for man-of-the-match from TASC Press Officer Bill Hooper. Photo Dan Barbary.

As the light faded badly in the second half Redruth wrapped up their win scoring couple more tries through Jack Kessell and Ben Priddey with Shepherd landing a conversion.

The final whistle brought huge cheers from the Redruth supporters as they headed home to celebrate.

Camborne:Bell, Nicholas, Gurnett, Semmens, Thomas, Brownfield, Peacock; Hearn, Southworth, Zacharovas, Cook, Goldsworthy, Lawrence, Nicholls, Rose (Capt)

Replacements: Drew, Stanlieck, Blee

Camborne scores: Pens, Brownfield 2

Redruth: Shepherd, Vinnicombe, Simmons, Gilbert, Bonds, Cummins, Stacey; Hodge, Brassington, Williams, Prisk T, Prisk J, Fuca, Grubb, Fox (Capt)

Replacements: Numerous!

Redruth scores: Tries, Bonds 2, Brassington 2, Kessell, Priddey, Cons, Shepherd 3, Pen, Shepherd

Yellow Card: Williams (60)

Referee: Dan Driscoll (Devon RRS)

Crowd: 1200

Trelawny’s Army Tony Pill Cup man-of-the-match: Aden Brassington,a fine game from the young prospect, scored two tries and worked hard throughout.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall U.18, 40 – 10 Bucks U.18

The Cornish 18’s stick 8 tries on Bucks 18s to finish their campaign undefeated and on a high!

Starting XV                                                         Finishes

  1. Matt Trehair (St Austell)                       16. Harry Richardson (Saltash)
  2. Tyler Dower (Camborne)                     17. Dillon Newton (Newquay Hornets)
  3. Declan Prowse (Pz&N & St Just)         18. Cameron Richards (Redruth)
  4. Jack Hoskin (St. Austell)                       19. Tom Jewell (Launceston)
  5. Lewis Richards   (Redruth)                  20. Lewis Wills (Redruth)
  6. Eli Williams (C) (Pz&N)                       21. Kristian Davis (Saltash)
  7. Jack Mills (Saltash)                                22. Cal Grohmann (Camborne)
  8. Oliver Minnis (W Camels)                   23. Dom Tresidder (Camborne)
  9. Huey Campbell (St. Austell)
  10. Sam Walker (Falmouth)
  11. George Hutchinson (St Austell)
  12. Freddie Davies (Saltash)
  13. Kit May (St. Austell)
  14. Callum Preece (Saltash)
  15. Eddie Pearce (Newquay Hornets)

Cornwall Try Scorers:

Sam Walker (Flyhalf), Kit May (Centre), George Hutchinson (Wing), Jack Hoskin (Lock), Eddie Pearce (Fullback), Dillon Newton (Flanker), Dom Tresidder (Wing), Declan Prowse (Tighthead Prop)

Match Report, by James Mills

Bucks 18s went into the match with a confidence boosting win against Devon in their last encounter and were a much fancied team with the selectors. True to form, Bucks had the better of the early exchanges, camping in the Cornwall half for a solid 6 mins after a Cornish early mistake from the kick off. The Bucks boys probed the Cornish defence who stood up well and was not found wanting.

Cornwall with 3 U17s playing, none of whom looked out of place and none more so than flyhalf Sam Walker from Falmouth RFC. The 16 year old with great composure and a useful canon of a left boot used the wind well to push Buckinghamshire back into their own half.

Cornwall making good ground

The Cornish front row at scrum dominated their opposition in the first half and this put the Bucks backs under a lot of pressure which resulted in a well read intercepted try for Sam Walker to scamper in from 20m out.

Buckinghamshire replied quickly and well with a lively scrum half spotting space in the tight 5m left channel on the blindside. With quick thinking the 9 looked to go open but switched to the blind and created a 2 on 1 which was well taken for a fine score of their own from distance. This was on the 14min mark and then the next 26 mins was all about the Cornwall forward pack creating space and possession, winning collisions and scrums for the direct running and off loading game of the Cornish backs. Cornwall ran in 4 more scores in the first half through Kit May (St Austell Centre), George Hutchinson (St Austell Wing) Jack Hoskin (St Austell Lock) and finally Eddie Pearce (Newquay Fullback) The half finished with Buckinghamshire on the attack but getting held up on the Cornish line by Jack Mills (Saltash Openside Flanker) and Jack Hoskin and then losing possession with the ball to be kicked out for half time with Cornwall leading 25-5.

A very good half but a few areas for development around how we started and how our lineout functioned but overall it was about maintaining our focus and intensity with the coaching team very pleased at running in 5 scores.

In the second half Cornwall emptied the bench which lost some of our continuity and forward dominance. Buckinghamshire for their part were able to a degree of parity and momentum up front which made for a tighter contest.

Eddie Pearce takes a perfect pass

The Newquay flanker Dillon Newton now on after missing the last match through injury was keen to make an impact, however he took a knock early in a clash with the Bucks right wing, which needed to be assessed, however the robust forward was back in action shortly afterwards with rampaging runs and ultimately with Newton crossing the white wash with an outstretched arm to open the second half score 30-5.

Cornwall continued to keep the score board ticking with our forwards sucking in the defenders resulting in Bucks having to commit more players to the break down in order to halt the black and gold tide. This created space out wide and centre Kristian Davis (Saltash RFC) with a neatly executed 15m pass found Dom Tresidder (Camborne RFC) to go over on the right. 35-5

The last Cornish score was a forwards try through talisman tighthead prop Declan Prowse having come fresh from representing Chiefs U18s at Allianz park on Friday night against Sarries. Our lad from St Just from 3m out was not going to be stopped. 40-5

Buckinghamshire to their credit rallied and with 2mins on the clock benefited from a wayward cross field clearing kick to run in from 50m out unopposed. Bucks finished the match in the Cornwall half which showed their quality and determination and if it was not for another Eddie Pearce fullback last ditch tackle they were sure to score again, as it was, It was the Cornish forwards who denied their opponents winning the ball off a Bucks maul 3m off the Cornish line to end the match.

Sam Walker the 16 year old flyhalf was awarded the man of the match from our gracious opponents Buckinghamshire but notable mentions need to go the Cornish forward pack who did the business up front for our backs to take the glory.

I shall end with a quote from Dave Saunter CRFU Chairman: “That was as good a game of rugby as I’ve seen from the Under 18s in many a year”

We wish both teams and players all the very best with the SW divisional selection process and we are hopeful that we will have a healthy showing from Cornwall.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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