Moyle’s late tries confirm Pirates’ win

Richmond 10   Cornish Pirates 23

By Phil Westren, Cornish Pirates Media Officer. Photo Brian Tempest

In front of their loyal travelling supporters, an uplifting last-minute try scored by full-back Kyle Moyle, his second in the match, delivered a sought after and ultimately deserved bonus point victory for the Cornish Pirates in this Round 14 Greene King IPA Championship match played at the historic Richmond Athletic Ground.

Ahead of this contest the two teams had met each other five times since the West London’s side’s Championship level arrival in 2016. Richmond won the first two encounters, but the Pirates had emerged victorious since, including a hard-fought 29-19 result at home in September.

For the 11th versus 5th in the league clash, the Cornish Pirates made four changes in their starting XV from the one that faced Jersey Reds the previous weekend. Matt Evans was selected on the wing and Alex Schwarz at scrum-half, whilst in the forwards prop Christian Judge was named to make his first start since September and Josh Caulfield returned to wear the number six shirt. A fit again Tom Duncan also took a seat on the bench.

Game underway at the ‘RAG’ it was the home side who dominated possession early doors, their team including two familiar Cornishmen in former Pirates back-rower Jake Parker and hooker Rupert Freestone, who has joined Richmond this season from Plymouth Albion.

Making use of a thirteenth minute penalty that came their way, the choice of a kick to the corner by Richmond was followed by a driving maul. It proved very effective and led to the game’s opening try, scored by prop Will Goodrick-Clarke. Full-back Lewis Dennett was luckless in adding the extras.

Midway through the half the Pirates leaked a second score which followed the sin-binning of flanker Matt Bolwell. He was fully committed chasing scrum-half Alex Schwarz’s kick, but at the point of impact with an opposition player the referee deemed it a foul and had no hesitation in reaching to his pocket for ‘yellow’. As for the score mentioned, that followed another penalty kick and, yes, another catch-and-drive. It was one that was also truly impressive, as from some 20 metres out the driving maul ended with another home ‘Will’ the try-scorer, this time in the shape of lock Will Warden. The conversion attempt, however, once again missed.

The penalty count against the Pirates was far too high in the first half, however they got back into the match following a terrific 40 metres line-break run by flanker Caulfield, whose pace and determination saw him make it over the line for a superb try. On clearly a difficult day for the kickers, fly-half Javier Rojas Alvarez was unable to add the extra two points.

In now February gloom at the RAG, the Pirates performance had actually lit matters up a little, and with a penalty awarded before the break – one slotted by Rojas Alvarez – it got just that bit brighter. At just 10-8 come the half-time whistle it was all to play for.

The wind appeared stronger at the start of the second half, and the Pirates line-out also struggled to function. Quick to make changes, it was interesting to see what impact fresh legs might have.

Although a penalty kick opportunity from replacement Harvey Skinner went to right of the posts, the Pirates were now seemingly picking up the pace. Also, a great run down the touchline by Kyle Moyle lifted spirits as he ghosted past defenders. The home side managed to clear the danger, but it wasn’t long before Moyle was again applying pressure which led to an attacking line-out opportunity. It was also one that would prove to be well executed, ending with an unconverted try scored by Matt Evans.

Into the lead for the first time in the match it was time now to up the ante, and they did. Evans, centre Callum Patterson and Alex Day applied further pressure, the latter having replaced Schwarz who had showed up well given his first Greene King IPA Championship start. The ball would also once again reach the hands of Moyle who spotted space and had the acceleration to score his tenth try in league matches this season. Despite it unconverted, the score had opened up what could prove an important eight points gap.                    

As it worked out, come the very end the Pirates extended their lead, a super second half display crowned with their bonus point providing try. Skipper Brett Beukeboom, Skinner and wing Robin Wedlake were involved, but it was ‘Moyler’ who popped up again and avoided a desperate attempted tackle to cement his second score – and the win. The result also saw the Pirates move up to third in the league table.

At the end of the game Cornish Pirates’ co-coach Gavin Cattle was quick to give credit to Richmond for their gritty performance, praising also their good set piece. As for the Pirates, after a first half when he felt his team had made too many errors and had given away too many penalties, he was pleased with the second half reaction.

He said. “During the interval we spoke about our first half performance, so it was good to react as we did in the second forty, with the bench as a whole also playing their part.

“Credit to Moyler who I think is the best full-back in the league. He showed some really good touches, has a balance to his game and he took his chances well.

“We have learnt in the past that Richmond is a difficult place to come to and that was the case today. However, it is when you are in that arm wrestle and how you respond that’s important, and we did by dominating the second half to secure the victory.”

Richmond:   15 Lewis Dennett, 14 Callum Sirker (21 Jono Woodward, 63),13 Cam Mitchell (c), 12 Henry Cheeseman, 11 Marcus Webber, 10 Rory Damant (22 Rob Kirby, 74), 9 Luc Jones (20 Jamie Gibbs, 63); 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Rupert Freestone (16 Caldon Pike, 75), 3 Craig Trenier (17 Dave Spelman, 69), 4 Will Warden (19 Toby Saysell, 66), 5 Max Crawford (18 Charlie Lenygon, 58), 6 Jake Parker, 7 Jesse Liston, 8 Chris Davies.

CornishPirates:   15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Matt Evans, 13 Rory Parata (22 Dan Koster, 63), 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Robin Wedlake, 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez (21 Harvey Skinner, 44), 9 Alex Schwarz (20 Alex Day, 66); 1 Marlen Walker (17 Tom Concu, 66), 2 Sam Matavesi (16 Dan Frost, 50), 3 Christian Judge, 4 Danny Cutmore, 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Josh Caulfield (18 James McRae, 50), 7 Matt Bolwell (19 Tom Duncan, 69), 8 Dan Lee.

Yellow card:   7 Matt Bolwell (19)

Scorers: Richmond – tries: 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke (13), 4 Will Warden (20).Cornish Pirates – tries: 6 Josh Caulfield (23), 14 Matt Evans (60), 15 Kyle Moyle (74, 80); pen: 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez (38).

Referee:   Greg Macdonald (RFU)

Crowd:   1175

Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates book semi-final

Jersey Reds 13   Cornish Pirates 17

By Phil Westren, Media Officer Cornish Pirates

During a period of less than kind weather conditions, having negotiated their road and air travel safely to Jersey, for the Cornish Pirates the outcome of this Championship Cup quarter-final tie proved oh so worthy.  A late try scored by replacement Dan Koster and converted by fly-half Javier Rojas Alvarez secured the victory, the result one which in all honesty few would have predicted.

Not only had the Pirates succumbed to a 33-10 league match defeat at the Jersey team’s Stade Santander International ground in October, but it was a venue where they have only ever won twice previously, their last success a 24-0 British & Irish Cup match victory in December 2013.

The Cornish side was, of course, fully aware that a tough challenge was in prospect, but this was also clearly one that they were up for.

Selection for the match saw the same starting backs as had appeared in the last two outings, whilst in the forwards Toby Freeman was named on the flank with Dan Lee switching to No. 8. Having recovered from a slight injury picked up in training last week, which followed his return from a loan spell at Saracens, for prop Christian Judge it was a seat on the bench.

On a sunny, but also cold and windy afternoon there was no lack of positivity at the start of the match, scrum-half Alex Day busy for the Pirates and full-back Kyle Moyle unfortunate to lose his footing when taking off on a run. Then, when Jersey Reds were awarded a penalty and full-back Brett Herron posted the ball to touch, a position was set for the hosts to seriously threaten. An initial probe was held, however when the Reds had a ‘put in’ just five metres out it was scrum-half Will Homer’s long pass that found the hands of wing Leroy Van Dam. There was welcome enough space for him to cross out wide on the left. It was a well taken score that was also well converted by a Cornishman and former Pirate in the shape of fly-half Aaron Penberthy.

There was disruption soon after in the Pirates ranks when wing Alex O’Meara and then prop Tom Concu departed, the pair replaced by young AJ Cant and Christian Judge, whilst there was also concern that the line-out was functioning less than smoothly, not helped of course for either side on the day because of the wind.

When a series of penalty awards directed Jersey’s way, it also gifted them further realistic opportunities to score. Thankfully, however, although tested the Pirates did well to defend their line. and they then won an important turnover to gain welcome relief.

Managing some go forward near the end of the half, through the efforts of a rampaging Dan Lee and centre Rory Parata it was the Pirates turn to apply a little pressure. A driving maul also raised morale, as did in the very last minute of the half a penalty awarded at scrum time. With an opportunity to get points on the board, skipper Brett Beukeboom decided to call forward fly-half Javier Rojas Alvarez, whose successful strike made it 7-3 at the break.

In this absorbingly competitive contest, when play resumed it continued to be closely fought, there little to choose between the two sides. However, approaching the hour mark a penalty opportunity slotted by Penberthy opened up a seven points gap, but with there still clearly all to play for.

Shortly after the restart, a penalty kick to touch provided a chance for the Pirates to hit back, and they did just that. A driving maul gained real momentum and when the ball was released both Parata and Rojas Alvarez went close. Referee Mr. Ridley signalled penalty advantage to the visitors, but they didn’t need it as Freeman’s converted try drew the scores level.

Another penalty was soon awarded the Pirates, and this time it was Moyle who was called upon to attempt the kick at goal. It was from some distance out, but in the context of the match was well worth an attempt, even though it missed.

A next long-range attempt went to Penberthy, it one with wind advantage. It was felt a potentially huge moment in the game, possibly a deciding one, and the cheers from the crowd confirmed that it was successful.

There was no way this Pirates team would slacken off, and showing immense character there was firstly a run from Rojas Alvarez which kept hopes alive and then a scrum that offered promise. With the ball released perhaps quicker than the defending Reds had expected, it was suddenly in the hands of replacement Dan Koster who flew over the line for an all-important converted score.

The Pirates had to show further character to thwart their opponents at the very end, both at maul time and when Jersey’s No. 8 Janco Venter ran menacingly, but to their enormous credit they held out to record this super 17-13 Cup tie win.

A semi-final place now beckons, details to be confirmed. For the immediate present it was time to enjoy the moment and also follow the fortunes of Pirates-bred England internationals Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan-Dickie in Dublin, to see if another surprise would materialise – and it did!

Speaking after the Cornish Pirates successful afternoon’s work, co-coach Alan Paver said.“The game was a good arm wrestle with both sides very competitive and even on the day.

“They were hurt come the final whistle, as we were when losing at the end against Coventry in the league recently, but we needed this result. Our track record in Jersey hasn’t been good, so to emerge from what was certain to be a tough battle and get over the line with a win is a big mental plus for us”.

Alan added.“We always take Cup matches seriously as it important for the club and our supporters. You could tell the reaction of the guys at the final whistle, they were over the moon to get through at the end.”

Jersey Reds: 15 Brett Herron, 14 Jack Stapley, 13 James Newey, 12 Mark Best, 11 Leroy Van Dam, 10 Aaron Penberthy, 9 Will Homer; 1 Roy Godfrey 17 Harry Morley, 52), 2 Charlie Maddison (16 Nick Selway, 48), 3 Leeroy Atalifo (18 Sam Rodman, 59), 4 Jerry Sexton (capt), 5 Dave McKern (19 Charlie Beckett, 64), 6 Rory Bartle, 7 Max Argyle, 8 Janco Venter.

Replacements (not used):   20 Kyle Hatherell, 21 Hilton Mudariki, 22 George Eastwell.

Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Alex O’Meara (22 AJ Cant, 08) , 13 Rory Parata, 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Robin Wedlake (21 Dan Koster, 67), 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 9 Alex Day (20 Alex Schwarz, 60); 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Tom Concu (17 Christian Judge, 10), 4 Danny Cutmore, 5 Brett Beukeboom (c), 6 Toby Freeman, 7 Matt Bolwell, 8 Dan Lee.

Replacements (not used):   16 Dan Frost, 18 Jake Clemson, 19 James McRae.

Scorers: Jersey Reds – tries: 11 Leroy Van Dam (10); con: 10 Aaron Penberthy (10); pens: 10 Aaron Penberthy (57, 69).

Cornish Pirates – tries: 6 Toby Freeman (63), 21 Dan Koster (75); cons: 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez (63, 75) pen: 10 Javier Rojas Alvarez (40).

Referee:  Christophe Ridley (RFU)

Attendance:  1010

Posted in Bill's Blog

Penprase seals Cornwall’s win


CORNWALL 29 – 20 DEVON                                                           

By Bill Hooper at Tregorrick Park

With the final play of the game centre Jake Penprase, surged towards the try-line from a horde of players, to dot down bonus point try and confirm an opening day win for Cornwall in this season’s Championship.

Jake Penprase (Bath Uni) of Cornwall U20s is tackled by Oli Gibbons (Topsham) of Devon U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis

Cornwall deserved the win in a pulsating game that flew by and was credit to rugby at this level.

Cornwall head coach Josh Lord was delighted with side’s start to the Championship. He said. “I am delighted we got the bonus point win against a very good Devon side who will cause the other side’s in the group plenty of problems. I thought our game management was top draw; we made some good choices for a young side.

“We want to play heads up rugby and back the player with the ball, at times we played some excellent rugby, however as ever there will things to look at before the next game away to Hampshire.”

The young black and golds made a great start with a try after just four minutes, strong running from skipper Jack Hodge and good hands from full-back Aaron Simmonds put flying winger Reuben Edwards in at the corner, Simmonds landing a touchline conversion to the roar of the crowd.

Simmonds was again on the money moments later with a penalty kick to put Cornwall 10-0 up.

Connor Gilbert (Redruth) of Cornwall U20s is tackled by Harry Ottaway (Newton Abbot) of Devon U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Falmouth’s Alistair Harding looked threatening with ball on the wing as did club mate Stan Somers in the back row. 

Devon were give a life-line when Cornwall looked to run the ball from their own line, the Cornish player was tackled and lost possession enabling Devon to work the short side for wing Nick Headley to score an unconverted try.

Devon edged a little closer when skipper Sam Brown knocked over a penalty.

Cornwall’s scrum-half Owen Davey had a tidy game as did No.8 Jamie Eddy, whilst the mid-field combination of Gilbert and Penprase looked threatening when they had the ball. 

It was a titanic struggle at the breakdown and at time tempers flared but Cornwall’s nerves were soothed when Simmonds went over in the corner following a fine mid-field break from centre Connor Gilbert.

Jack Hodge (Redruth) Captain of Cornwall U20s fends off the tackle from Dan Armstrong (Exmouth) of Devon U20s. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Simmonds missed the conversion as he did a penalty chance shortly after to leave Cornwall 15-8 up at half-time.

Devon began the second half strongly aided by a yellow card to Cornish lock Noah Stanier-Smith.

Further pressure saw Devon’s flanker Nathan Davies go over, with Brown adding the conversion to tie the scores 15-all.

Cornwall needed a score and it came from Somers following good forward play, with Simmonds obliging with the conversion.

Stan Somers (Falmouth) of Cornwall U20s dives between the posts for a try. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Devon wouldn’t lie down and they scored a third try when prop Callum Davies was driven over, crucially the conversion hit the post and stayed out.

Cornwall’s win was secured with the final play when Penprase dived through from a powerful maul with Simmonds adding another conversion.

The final whistle was greeted enthusiastically by the sizeable crowd in the grandstand.    

Backs coach Richie Kevern was equally pleased with the result. “The whole side played really well, I was particularly impressed with Owen Davey at scrum-half he controlled the game and I thought Jamie Eddy at No.8 had a strong game. The boys all stuck to the game plan and got their reward at the end with the bonus point try which could be vital.”  

Aaron Simmonds (Redruth) of Cornwall U20s on the attack. – Photo mandatory by-line: ©Simon Bryant/Iktis Photo

Huge credit must go to the trio from Redruth Hodge, Gilbert and Simmonds who only got home in the early hours of Sunday morning have played for Redruth at Canterbury the previous day.

Cornwall: 15 Aaron Simmonds (Redruth), 14 Reuben Edwards (Launceston), 13 Jake Penprase (Bath Uni), 12 Connor Gilbert (Redruth), 11 Alistair Harding (Falmouth), 10 Will Trewin (Cardiff Met), 9 Owen Davey (Truro); 1 Jack Hodge (Redruth) (Capt), 2 Rory Mead (Bude), 3 Chae Jenkins, 4 Dan Goldsmith (both Launceston), 4 Noah Stanier-Smith (Camborne), 5 Stan Somers (Falmouth), 7 Aden Brassington (St. Ives), 8 Jamie Eddy (Pirates Amatuers) Reps 16. Harry Lightfoot (Launceston), 17 Mawgan Osborne (Pz & N Colts), 18. Eddy Hall (Pirates Amateurs), 19. Alex Bartlett (Launceston),  20. Jamie Murray (Redruth), 21 Adam Long (Camborne), 22 Ben Plummer (St Austell).

Cornwall scores: Tries, Edwards, Simmonds, Somers, Penprase, Cons, Simmonds 3, Pen, Simmonds.

Devon: 15 Ollie Gibbon (Topsham), 14 Nick Headley (Exmouth), 13 Will Lamont (Ivybridge), 12  Sam Brown (Taunton) (Capt), 11 Bradley Down (Hartpury), 10 Harry Ottaway (Newton Abbot), 9 Sam Fulthorpe (Exmouth); 1 Callum Wood (Exmouth), 2 Martinas Dromantas (Barnstaple), 3 Callum Davies (Bideford), 4 Ethan Pearce (Crediton) 5 Dan Armstrong (Exmouth), 6 Nathan Davies (Ivybridge), 7 Rudi Evans (Topsham), 8 Asipeli Vea (Sidmouth). Reps: Owen Garner (Ivybridge), Reece Bartlett (Devonport Services), Toby Turner (Kingsbridge), Jake Smith (Exeter Athletic), Reegan Spencer (Plymstock Albion Oaks), Finlay Marks (Topsham), Will Throgmorton (Newton Abbot).

Devon scores: Tries, Headley, N Davies, C Davies, Con, Brown, Pen, Brown

Referee: Joe Binfield (Gloucs)

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall’s U.20 campaign starts with a win

Cornwall U.20s defeated their Devon counterparts 29-20 in an enthralling encounter at St Austell, thanks to tries from Reuben Edwards, Aaron Simmonds, Stan Somers and Jake Penprase. Full report to follow Monday.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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

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