Pirates Give ‘Irish’ A Scare

Photo Brian Tempest: Matt Bolwell and Robin Wedlake make the tackle with Toby Freeman in support

London Irish 38   Cornish Pirates 29

Trailing 26-8 at half-time few would have given a chance of the Cornish Pirates winning this one, however with a display of character mixed with skill they near the end genuinely came close to creating an upset, reports Phil Westren from the Madjeski Stadium.

This game was clearly always going to be another tough challenge for the Pirates versus a team they faced and lost four times against in 2016/2017. Their opponents, with former Ireland coach Declan Kidney and Les Kiss at the helm, are also understandably favourites to bounce back into the Premiership from which they were relegated at the end of last season.

For the visit to the Madejski Stadium, Callum Patterson returned to the Cornish Pirates side at inside centre and Harry Strong was named on the left wing. Just one change in the forwards saw Tom Cowan-Dickie selected at hooker. Listed on the bench was prop Marlen Walker who, having recovered from injury, was naturally keen to make a first appearance of the season.

After the Cornish Pirates ran out onto the field, London Irish followed. Given deserved applause as their first man out was former England wing Topsy Ojo – about to become the most capped ‘Exile’ of all time, the one club man and record try-scorer set to make his 291st appearance.

Following an early scrum penalty given away by the Pirates, their opponents were quick to take advantage, a touch kick providing a position from where their immediately effective catch-and drive worked to perfection, with skipper Josh McNally the identified try-scorer. Fly-half Ben Meehan kicked the conversion.

From the restart the Pirates got stuck into ‘Irish’. Prop Jack Owlett and Number 8 Tom Duncan were to the fore, and after showing promise and applying pressure the reward was a penalty kicked by fly-half Will Cargill.

Quick points on the board were just what the Cornish side needed, with the three then added to on 14 minutes with a superbly taken try. After London Irish looked to kick the ball clear of danger there was sense that if Robin Wedlake could gather safely, then despite being some 35 metres out a try could be ‘on’ – and that is how it worked. Instinctively assessing space to work in, the wingman took off. Was it an easy run to the line? No, but he made it look so and dived over in the right corner for an unconverted score.

For the remainder of the half the home side looked to keep possession and play to their strengths, which they did well. A second potent catch-and drive ended with Samoan international lock Teofilo Paulo scoring a try to regain the lead, and after a period of building phases the ball was ultimately released to 19-year-old left wing Ollie Hassell-Collins, who scored on his debut. Meehan converted as he did the home team’s final try of the half, scored by prop Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi. A potent driving maul had delivered again, for the scoreboard to read 26-8.

Th Pirates had played well in parts in the first half, however occasional errors let them down as was the case right at the start of the second period when an attacking line-out opportunity ended with London Irish gifted back possession. Then, as if to rub salt in a wound, scrum-half Brendan McKibbin took advantage of poor Pirates defending to score a converted try at the posts.

Now was once again a test for the visiting team, which for all but the remainder of the half they passed.

A quick tap penalty by scrum-half Alex Day was given prompt support by flanker James McRae, replacement prop Marlen Walker played a role and full-back Kyle Moyle suddenly appeared and left defenders grasping air as he made it over the line. Cargill added the conversion.

The Pirates now had a look of increased confidence, which was added to after referee Ian Tempest  firstly yellow-carded home centre Bryce Campbell for a high tackle on Dan Koster and then subsequently awarded a penalty try after the Pirates had driven strongly to the line, But there was still more to heighten interest levels, as Mr Tempest went immediately again to his pocket, to also send former ‘Pirate’ Blair Cowan to the sin bin.

Home supporters, along with Messrs Kidney and Kiss, were now showing more than a tad of concern, but as it worked out the Pirates were unable to take advantage playing against 13 men. Fair play then to Irish.

But, in time remaining, the defiant Cornish team still held onto the dream of upsetting the odds, and after maintaining a solid defence close to their line were soon taking play to halfway. Locks Brett Beukeboom and Toby Freeman, who have been so industrious this season, made sure the advance continued into enemy territory, and how.

Inter-play with replacement Javier Rojas Alvarez again making an impact saw play taken into the opposition ‘22’, with Wedlake given not quite enough room to add to his try collection in the right corner. No worries, maintaining possession the ball was worked left where that man ‘Moyler’ again appeared to score his second impressive try of the afternoon. Cargill again converted.

If the score stayed at 33-29 then two points would be a good return for the Pirates. However, to sneak a win and secure five was also now a real possibility, and it would have been deserved. Sadly, it was not to be, as after Beukeboom saw his afternoon ended with a yellow card before he departs to fight a cause for Canada in November, McNally scored his second try of the afternoon to conclude proceedings. It had been a real battle of a game, played during Halloween time, and the Pirates had given their opponents a real scare.

Cornish Pirates’ co-coach Gavin Cattle was proud of his squad’s effort, saying:

”Knowing overall we are not the finished article and there are areas to work on, I am pleased with the boys who can take much from the game in terms of belief. There were some big performances out there and we created some fantastic tries.

“London Irish have the strongest set piece in the league and they were happy to play tight rugby for obvious reasons, but, as ever, we again showed a lot of character and at the end there was natural disappointment because I feel we deserved to get two points out of the match.

“After a few days off we will regroup, review the game and then look to push on.”

London Irish: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Brendan Macken (22 Ciaran Hearn, 74), 12 Bryce Campbell, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Ben Meehan, 9 Brendan McKibbin (21 Stephen Myler, 70); 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (18 Patric Silliers, 50), 2 Motu Matu’u (16 Dave Porecki, 64), 3 Ollie Hoskins, 4 Josh McNally (c), 5 Teofilo Paulo (19 Barney Maddision, 70), 6 Jake Schatz (20 Conor Gilsenan, 58), 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Matt Rogerson.                                                                                                     Replacement (not used):   17 Manasa Saulo     Yellow cards:   12 Bryce Campbell (57), 7 Blair Cowan (58)

Cornish Pirates:   15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Dan Koster (22 Alex O’Meara, 70), 12 Callum Patterson (21 Javier Rojas Alvarez, 64), 11 Harry Strong, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day (20 Alex Schwarz, 70); 1 Jack Andrew (17 Marlen Walker, 48), 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie (16 Sam Matavesi, 55), 3 Jack Owlett (18 Tyler Gendall, 63), 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (captain), 6 James McRae, 7 Matt Bolwell, 8 Tom Duncan.                                                                                                              Replacement (not used):  19 Danny Cutmore   Yellow card:  5 Brett Beukeboom (77)

Scorers: London Irish – tries: 4 Josh McNally (5, 79),  5 Teofilo Paulo (20), 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins (28), 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (36), 9 Brendan McKibbin (45); 10 Ben Meehan (6, 29, 37, 46). Cornish Pirates – tries: 14 Robin Wedlake (14), 15 Kyle Moyle (50, 71), Penalty Try (58); cons: 10 Will Cargill (51, 72); pen: 10 Will Cargill (10).

Referee:   Ian Tempest (RFU)

Assistants:   Ian Bibey & Nigel Carrick

Official 4:   Andrew MacNeaney

Attendance:   4624

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornish clubs round up

 

In National League 2 South, Redruth travelled to bottom-of-the-table London Irish Wild Geese for a 5 pm kick-off.

Despite leading 21-7 at half-time, the Reds were clawed back by the Wild Geese who at the final whistle had secured their first win of the season 33-28.

Redruth travelled back with a couple of bonus points thanks to tries from Dean Bonds (2), Ben Fox and Tom Notman, whilst Aaron Simmonds put over all four conversions.

The result sees the Reds slip to 4th place ahead of their clash with Henley Hawks (3rd) on Saturday at the Rec 3 pm.

In the South West Premier, Camborne returned to action after a week off but they were unable to return back from Bracknell with anything to show following a 38-21 defeat.

Jordan Rose scored a couple of tries with Jordan Nicholls getting their other try. Dave Mankee converted all three.

In Tribute South West 1 West, it was a day for high scoring in both games involving Cornish clubs. Launceston had a tremendous result at Bridgwater & Albion defeating the home side by 60-33.

The Cornish All Blacks scored nine tries with both Torin Clarke and Will Morton bagging hat-tricks. Their other scores came from Andy Knight, Martin Kneebone and Chae Jenkins with Glenn Coles adding six conversions and a penalty, sum day out!

That result puts Launceston top of the table two points ahead of Okehampton.

At Alexandra Road, St. Ives had an equally fruitful day defeating Newent 50-43!

The Hakes scored eight tries with Martyn Lawrence, Pete Mabbott, Rob Elloway and Tom Nicholas all getting a brace each, Dan Magee adding five conversions.

In London 1 South, another tough afternoon for London Cornish as they lost at home to Havant  24-45.

It was the Hampshire side’s first league win of the season and for the exiles a fifth defeat from the opening seven games played.

Joe Donnelly, James La Broy and Dan Phoenix all scored tries with George Kimmins adding the conversions and a penalty.

In Tribute Western Counties West, St. Austell won a well-contested derby at Wadebridge Camels 17-11.

George Tregilgas, Rob Jeffs and Ian Venner scored the Saint’s tries with Liam Freeman kicking a conversion.

For the Camels Jacob Johns scored an unconverted try with both Danny Thomas and Shawn Hartley kicking a penalty each.

Truro picked up another good win at home to Tiverton 20-14. Luke Tidball and Luke Trescothick scored tries with Owen Davey kicking both conversions and a couple of penalties.

Falmouth won 25-18 at Winscombe, with a fine defensive performance, which sees them up to 5th place.

Saltash followed up their Cornwall Cup 1st round win last weekend with a first league win of the season at Bideford 13-10. The try for Ashes was scored by Joe Ryder with Kieran Down converting and adding two penalties.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn picked up a big win at bottom side Hayle 50-0. That result keeps Borough in second place just a point behind Plymstock.

Bude are third following their 78-3 win at Withycombe.

Lanner won a cracking game at Mount Ambrose defeating Pirates Amateurs 37-33.

Liskeard-Looe found Honiton in good form as the “Lacemen” won 66-14 on their Allhallows patch.

Both Tribute Cornwall 1 & 2 kicked off last weekend, with Newquay Hornets and Stithians topping the tables after round 1.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Bedford give Pirates the Blues

         

        

Photo Brian Tempest: Kyle Moyle scores at the Newlyn End.                                                                                 

Cornish Pirates 29   Bedford Blues 30

Report by Phil Westren

Arriving at Round 8 in the Greene King IPA Championship, this third versus fourth-placed contest was always going to be closely fought, and so it proved. Games between the two teams are also often entertaining, which in part this one was, however both sides made mistakes but with the visitors arguably just about deserving their narrow victory.

Changes in the Cornish Pirates side from the team that lost away to Jersey Reds the previous weekend saw Harry Strong and Dan Koster named as the centre pairing.

Hooker Sam Matavesi, who has been selected in the Flying Fijians squad for their forthcoming autumn tour of Europe, returned to a front-row that also included prop Jack Owlett in the starting line-up. In the back-row, James McRae was selected at blind-side flanker.

Among the replacements, having recovered from an injury suffered in pre-season, Argentine international Javier Rojas Alvarez was poised to make his debut off the bench.

On a glorious October’s afternoon, after the Blues opened the scoring in the sixth minute thanks to a penalty successfully struck by fly-half Will Hooley, the Pirates responded immediately to score the game’s opening try. It was a super effort, a swift passage of play instigated by Strong on halfway and impressively finished off by Matavesi at the Penzance posts. It was his sixth Championship try of the season to which fly-half Will Cargill added the extras.

Midway through the first half Hooley slotted his second penalty, so could the Pirates respond again? Yes/no, would be the answer, as although the efforts of Koster and full-back Kyle Moyle raised hopes, the Blues not only cleared the danger but also through a kick-chase conjured up a converted try of their own scored by full-back Rich Lane.

In general, the game thus far had provided frustration for the Pirates, not helped by a couple of poor kicks out of hand and a line-out that wasn’t now functioning. To inflict a little extra pain, the Bedford side further increased their lead when centre Lewis Robling fired over a long-range penalty attempt.

Near the end of the half, an attack started by wing Robin Wedlake again saw Moyle go close, before in the last-minute Cargill wisely opted for penalty kick at goal that was suitably landed to make it 10-16 at the break.

With a developing breeze on their backs, early into the second period the Pirates were at first luckless when a penalty attempt by Cargill was narrowly off target. However, following a bullocking run by skipper Brett Beukeboom, territory was acquired to ‘do the business’. Without hesitation Moyle chose his course to the line, his movement spotted by scrum-half Alex Day who deftly delivered the try-scoring pass.

It was an encouraging start to the second half, with there a feeling that if the Pirates could cut out errors and build phases then home advantage should likely count. It was a fair assumption, but one tested when Bedford wing Ryan Hutler scored a converted try.

The arrival though of Javier Rojas Alvarez all but immediately reinvigorated home hopes, and for good measure a second fine try scored by Moyle and converted by Cargill added to the sudden feeling. Indeed, the Pirates were in full and confident flow, only for their efforts to be punished when a loose pass enabled the Blues to break away for a converted try scored by wing Dean Adamson.

There was still time for the Pirates to get back into the match, which they did when replacement scrum-half Alex Schwarz showed determination to score near the Newlyn posts – his first try in Pirates colours. Replacement fly-half Harvey Skinner kicked the conversion to make it 29-30, and with eleven minutes on the clock a tense finish was guaranteed.

As it worked out, there would be no more scores for either side, but the gaming ending with the Pirates at least acquiring two bonus points They are also still placed third in the league table.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Dan Koster, 12 Harry Strong, 11 Matt Evans (Javier Rojas Alvarez 61), 10 Will Cargill (Harvey Skinner 68), 9 Alex Day (Alex Schwarz 64); 1 Jack Andrew (Billy Keast 68), 2 Sam Matavesi (Tom Cowan-Dickie 64), 3 Jack Owlett (Tyler Gendall 68) 4 Toby Freeman (Danny Cutmore 68), 5 Brett Beukeboom (captain), 6 James McRae, 7 Matt Bolwell, 8 Tom Duncan.

Bedford Blues:   15 Rich Lane, 14 Ryan Hutler, 13 James Elliott, 12 Lewis Robling (Fraser Strachan 68), 11 Dean Adamson, 10 Will Hooley, 9 James Lennon (Alex Gliksten 54); 1 Sean McCarthy, 2 Jacob Fields (Jarad Williams 62), 3 Alex Penny (Ben Cooper 64), 4 Will Carrick Smith, 5 Mark Flanagan, 6 Ollie Curry, 7 Josh Buggea (Gerard Ellis 62), 8 Huw Worthington (Jack Nay 54).  Replacement (not used): Hayden King.

Scorers: Cornish Pirates – tries: Moyle (2), Matavesi, Schwarz; cons: Cargill (2), Skinner; pen: Cargill.                                                                                                          Bedford Blues – tries: Lane, Hutler, Adamson; cons: Hooley (3); pens: Hooley (2), Robling.

Referee:   Michael Hudson (RFU)

St. Austell Brewery’s Man-of-the-Match:   Matt Bolwell

Attendance:   1,707

 

 

 

Posted in Bill's Blog


Simmonds kicks Reds to storm-force win

REDRUTH 14 – 10 CANTERBURY

By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground.

Redruth left it late to stage a final quarter revival to overturn a 10-0 half-time deficit playing down the slope into the teeth of a gale.

Canterbury made a strong start with the wind at their backs with their big heavy forwards making good ground into the Redruth twenty-two.

They were rewarded with an opening try scored by centre Tom Best following good work by by Mackintosh on the wing, who did well to keep the ball alive.

Goal-kicking was to prove difficult in the conditions with Canterbury’s fly-half Harvey Young having no luck, whilst Redruth’s young full-back Aaron Simmonds coolly converted both tries which proved decisive.

 

 

Photo: Simmonds’ kicks proved decisive

Redruth tackled like demons throughout as the waves of huge Canterbury forwards looked to storm their line just as Storm “Callum” was pounding the Cornish coast.

The Reds finally gone some territory in the opposing twenty-two but sadly chances went begging as they became too eager near the line.

Instead Canterbury increased their advantage with a second unconverted try scored just after the half-hour by full-back Aiden Moss following good forward pressure near the Redruth line. It remained 10-0 to the visitors at half-time.

Despite good possession Redruth found the Canterbury defence equally stout and tough to break down.

The breakthrough for Redruth had an element of good fortune, a kick ahead by Simmonds appeared to rebound off a Canterbury player and into the arms of centre Jack Simmons who ran thirty meters to the line, tackled just short he managed to stretch and score. Simmonds added the extras to make it game on.

Good play from scum-half Jack Oulton set up the move that eventually led to a powerful forward drive from Redruth that saw replacement prop Jack Hodge driven over, Simmonds once more on the money with the extras.

The drama didn’t end there, Canterbury with two players in the bin could have struggled as Redruth looked to make the game safe, however Canterbury went back to basics camping under the Redruth posts for an age but couldn’t get over despite the twelve minutes of time added on.

The final whistle was greeted with huge cheers as Redruth made it six wins from seven starts and moved up to second place in the league table behind leaders Redingensians.

REDRUTH: Simmonds, Janes, Simmons, Gilbert, Cornish (Bonds 55), Tucker (Kevern 41), Oulton, Concu, Brown (Capt) (Gidlow 57), Williams (Hodge 55), Pascoe, Clemson (Howe 57), Grubb, Stevens, Fox.

CANTERBURY: Moss, Mackintosh, Sterling, Best T, Grimes, Young (Murray 64), Braithwaite (Smart 55), Cooper (Green 67), Otto (Edwards 64), Kenny (Wake-Smith 55), Cadman, Corker (Capt), Whetton, King, Stevens.

Referee: Ben Russell (RFU)

Crowd: 485

Redruth-man-of-the-match: Jack Oulton

Redruth scores

Tries, Simmons 61, Hodge 69, Cons, Simmonds 62, 70

Canterbury scores

Tries, Best 12, Moss 32.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Pirates suffer another loss in Jersey

 

                            

 PHOTO Brian Tempest: Sam Matavesi scored in Jersey prior to Fiji call up

Jersey Reds 33   Cornish Pirates 10

 

Playing what was inevitably always going to be a tough challenge away to Jersey Reds, the Cornish Pirates suffered their second loss of the season against a dominant home side, writes Phil Westren

Having played one less game than the Pirates this season, Jersey Reds arrived at this stage sixth in the Greene King IPA Championship table. They were also, inevitably, not only keen to once again frustrate their opponents – remembering that the Pirates sole Championship win on the island was back in 2012 – but to also knock them off their perch at the top of the league table.

The selection by the Pirates showed just two changes in the starting XV from the previous week. A fit again Robin Wedlake, who arrived at this Round 7 stage as the Championship’s top try-scorer this season, returned to the right-wing berth, whilst in the forwards Matt Bolwell slotted into the back-row in place of the injured John Stevens.

In dry, sunny and warm conditions, with the wind much kinder than that experienced in other places about, the Pirates kicked this game off in front of a large crowd gathered at the Stade Santander International, St. Peter, ground.

The Pirates went through the phases well at the beginning, hoping to conjure up an early score. Points would be delivered, but when a first real chance in the game arose, it was the Reds who scored first.  Wing Leroy Van Dam had initially gone close, however following a scrum turnover it was the choice firstly of his line taken and then personal pace that led to centre James Newey making it over the whitewash for a try converted by a former ‘Pirate’, fly-half Aaron Penberthy.

So, first blood to the home side but with the teams appearing evenly matched in the opening period. As the half developed, however, despite the Pirates enjoying spells of possession it was the Reds who increasingly looked a potently powerful force. Indeed, following a penalty and an inevitable catch and drive, which the Pirates were unable to repel, a second home try was scored, this time by hooker Charlie Maddison. Penberthy again converted

On a day when there was still enough wind about for kicking to be a little bit tricky, a penalty strike from Pirates fly-half Will Cargill drifted wide. The weather element was also one where advantage though could be taken, which is how it looked when Penberthy made it 17-0 through landing a penalty kick taken from inside his own half.

Despite the best efforts of scrum-half Alex Day and back-rowers Tom Duncan and Matt Bolwell, there was zilch joy for the Pirates before in the 40th minute Cargill was successful with a second penalty attempt. The award came following a series of strong pick-go-drive plays that led to the Jersey team being penalised by the sticks.

17-3 at the break, it would be important for the Pirates to hopefully score again early in the second half, and in the process quell an atmosphere already pumped up by home supporters, including noise generated by cow bells.

If a good start materialised, it could perhaps cast doubts in Jersey minds. Unfortunately, however, when an early penalty was conceded, Penberthy happily stepped forward to re-open a 17 points gap.

Such was the general dominance displayed by the home side, it already in reality felt that they would be likely winners and as the minutes ticked away there appeared simply no way back for the Pirates. Reds’ lock Charlie Beckett had gone close and another run from Van Dam had also sent alarm bells, let alone the cow variety, ringing. A third penalty from Penberthy also cemented the general view.

The Pirates had acquired bonus points in all games played during the season but it just wasn’t happening for them, with credit also of course to the solid home defence.

Nearing the end of the match brought a flurry of points. Penberthy added to his repertoire with a drop goal, a converted try for the Pirates scored by replacement hooker Sam Matavesi brought scant consolation, and then a third Jersey try, a fine converted effort scored by wing Koch Marx, brought the game to a conclusion.

Yes, the Pirates toiled away, but this was an afternoon when a Championship victory on the island eluded them once more, remembering that their one such recorded win was back in 2012.

Jersey Reds had deservedly taken the spoils. Their front-five had been dominant, providing a platform for the rest of their able team to take advantage.

Cornish Pirates’ coach Gavin Cattle was honest in his assessment after the game, commenting:

“We knew it was going to be tough and prepped for the set piece but ultimately it came down to theirs being superior. Also, when we did have possession we weren’t building pressure and our skill execution and accuracy let us down.

 “They dominated and it’s up to us now to reflect on that and see where we can put the wrongs right, although I thought the replacements who came on helped stabilise us, including the performance of prop Jack Owlett who showed promise,

 “Ultimately, however, it was one of those games when you have to tip the hat to the opposition and say well done, and give credit to Jersey for a very comprehensive performance.”

 

Jersey Reds:   15   Auguy Slowik, 14 Koch Marx, 13 James Newey, 12 Mark Best (22 Brett Herron, 74), 11 Leroy Van Dam, 10 Aaron Penberthy, 9 Will Homer (21 Calum Waters, 60); 1 Harry Morley (17 Cameron Holstein, 69), 2 Charlie Maddison (16 Nick Selway, 60), 3 Leeroy Atalifo (18 Sam Rodman, 59), 4 Jerry Sexton, 5 Charlie Beckett (19 Dave McKern, 62) 6 Max Argyle, 7 Jake Upfield (20 Rory Bartle, 54), 8 Janco Venter.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Callum Patterson (22 Harvey Skinner, 54), 11 Matt Evans, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day (21 Alex Schwarz, 60); 1 Jack Andrew (17 Billy Keast, 55), 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie (16 Sam Matavesi, 51), 3 Tyler Gendall (18 Jack Owlett, 36), 4 Toby Freeman (19 Danny Cutmore, 55), 5 Brett Beukeboom (captain), 6 Josh Caulfield (20 James McRae, 61), 7 Matt Bolwell, 8 Tom Duncan.

Scorers: Jersey Reds – tries:   13 James Newey, 2 Charlie Maddison, 14 Koch Marx; cons: 10 Aaron Penberthy (11, 23, 78); pens: 10 Aaron Penberthy (36, 44, 58); drop goal: 10 Aaron Penberthy (72). Cornish Pirates – try: 16 Sam Matavesi (74); con: 10 Will Cargill (74); pen: 10 Will Cargill (40).

Referee:   Neil Chivers (RFU)

Attendance:   1660

Posted in Bill's Blog


Sam gets Fiji call up

Cornish Pirates Sam Matavesi has been called up by Fiji for their autumn tour in Europe.

The Fijians have a tough program with tests against Scotland at Murrayfield on November 10th, Uruguay at Hartpury on November 17th and finally France in the stade de France on November 24th.

Sam, who’s home club is very much Camborne, has had previous caps for Fiji.

Photo: Simon Bryant- Sam scores for Cornwall against Hertfordshire

Posted in Bill's Blog


Pirates Survive a Nottingham Comeback

Photo: Kyle Moyle dives in for a spectacular try

 

Cornish Pirates 36   Nottingham Rugby 28

By Phil Westren

Playing this Greene King IPA Championship Round 6 fixture conditions, the Cornish Pirates impressed mightily in acquiring a 36-0 lead with just 37 minutes on the clock. Amazingly, they did not score again, however it was ultimately enough to secure yet another bonus point win to keep them top of the league table, with considerable credit also due the visitors for their response to get back into the match.

The Pirates were rightly expecting another tough challenge against potentially very difficult opponents, remembering that they lost twice to Nottingham Rugby last season, 34-31 at home and 18-17 away.

Robin Wedlake, who at the end of Round 5 was comfortably the top try-scorer in the present Championship campaign, had picked up a slight injury, so Alex O’Meara filled the right-wing berth. The one other change in the backs from the selection that started away against Ealing Trailfinders the previous weekend saw a return on the left wing for Canadian international Matt Evans. As for the forwards, Number 8 Tom Duncan and hooker Tom Cowan-Dickie returned from injury, the latter making his first appearance of the season.

Listed among the replacements were prop Jack Owlett, recently announced as dual-registered with Exeter Chiefs, and Dan Koster who was another player making a welcome return from injury.

On a fine autumn’s afternoon, flanker Josh Caulfield led the team out for his 50th appearance for the club and the Cornish Pirates were quick to get on the scoresheet. Duncan burrowed over for a try at the Penzance posts and fellow returnee Cowan-Dickie then crossed for a second. Fly-half Will Cargill converted both.

It was a terrific start by the home side, but one that would get even better with a flash of running brilliance from a roaming O’Meara, who also showed strength to score a converted try wide on the left.

Incredibly, the prospect of a bonus point-providing fourth try was already in sight and, after Nottingham had briefly threatened, Pirates’ full-back Kyle Moyle was the man to deliver. Receiving possession near to his own line, with just 18 minutes on the clock he ran nearly the length of the field for a score that made it 26-0. Okay, the Pirates have been playing well this season, but this still seemed somewhat unreal.

A penalty kicked by Cargill extended the lead before the Pirates powerful pack, with six of their number Cornish-bred, built phases to register a fifth try, this time scored by skipper Brett Beukeboom. Cargill converted on the previously mentioned 37 minutes mark, for what did indeed prove to be the Pirates last points in the game.

Nottingham, skippered by scrum-half Murray McConnell, must have wondered what had hit them, so a fine try scored by flanker Jordan Coghlan and converted right on half-time by fly-half Shane O’Leary, at least provided some encouragement.

Into the second half and it was the ‘Green & Whites’ who scored again in the 51st minute, USA international lock Cameron Dolan celebrating a try on his debut and O’Leary converting.

Could the Pirates reassert themselves? The answer on this day would be no. Two more converted tries for the visitors scored by wing Billy Robinson and centre Will Millett not only earned Nottingham a deserved bonus point, but also led to a tense finish.

The Pirates, thankfully, held on. Yes, they had perhaps taken their foot off the pedal and perhaps also their flow had been broken by changes. However, a win was again theirs, and they still sit top of the table.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Rory Parata (Dan Koster 61), 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Matt Evans, 10 Will Cargill (Harvey Skinner 51), 9 Alex Day (Jake Ashby 63); 1 Jack Andrew (Billy Keast h/t), 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie (Sam Matavesi h/t), 3 Tyler Gendall (Jack Owlett h/t, Tyler Gendall 43, Jack Owlett 52), 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (captain, Danny Cutmore 51), 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 John Stevens, 8 Tom Duncan.

Nottingham Rugby:   15 Sean Scanlon, 14 David Williams (Jack Spittle 56), 13 Will Millett, 12 Geared Lyons, 11 Billy Robinson, 10 Shane O’Leary, 9 Murray McConnell (captain, Darryl Veenendaal 50); 1 Aniseko Sio, 2 Jake Farnworth, 3. Mike Daniels (Oisin Heffernan 26), 4 Cameron Dolan, 5 Danny Qualter, 6 Shane Buckley, 7 Jordan Coghlan, 8. Josh Poullet (George Cox 52).

Replacements (not used): Luke Cole, Jamie Jack, Ben Davies-Moore.

Scorers: Cornish Pirates – tries: Duncan, Cowan-Dickie, O’Meara, Moyle, Beukeboom; cons: Cargill (4); pen: Cargill.

Nottingham Rugby – tries: Coghlan, Dolan, Robinson, Millett; cons: O’Leary (4).

Referee:   Sara Cox (RFU)

Attendance:   1639

St. Austell Brewery’s Man-of-the-Match:   John Stevens

Posted in Bill's Blog


Round up from the leagues

 

In National League 2 South, Redruth renewed rivalries with Birmingham & Solihull chalking up a third win on the road already for this season 25-22.

The Reds had to battle hard for the win withstanding a final onslaught from the home side before the final whistle sounded.

Tries for Redruth were scored by flankers Sam Stevens and Mark Grubb, with centre Jack Simmons score sandwiched between the backrowers efforts.

Full back Aaron Simmonds, who continues to impress with each outing kicked two conversions and a couple of penalties.

The result sees Redruth move up to third place in the league ahead of Saturday’s home game against Canterbury (3pm).

In the South West Premier league, Camborne’s lengthy injury list finally caught up with them as they were mercilessly exposed by league leaders Bournemouth 65-7.

The game was wrapped up for the visitors by half-time, the only good thing to take away from the game was replacement Phil Hinchley’s try converted by Dave Mankee.

A week’s rest to help the injury crises couldn’t have come too soon.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Launceston return to the top of the table following their 33-21 win at Polson Bridge against Teignmouth and Okehampton’s loss at Newent.

Brandon Rowley, Ryan Westren, Martin Kneebone (2) and Shaun Crawford all crossed for tries with Glenn Coles kicking four conversions.

St. Ives bounced back from their defeat last week to Launceston with a fine 34-30 win at Lydney. Despite being slightly depleted in numbers with just two players on the bench, the Hakes put in a tremendous performance with tries from Sam Bartle, Tom Nicholas (2) and Tug Wilson with Dan Magee kicking the rest of the points.

In London 1 South, London Cornish slipped to a narrow 12-9 defeat at home to Camberley. Skipper George Kimmins kicked their three penalties.

In Tribute Western Counties West, the big game was at Tregorrick Park as St. Austell entertained Truro. The Saints ran out winners by 31-7.

Ben Chenoweth, George Tregilgas, Rob Jeffs, Chris Ashwin scored tries plus the referee awarded a penalty try for St. Austell. Ashwin also kicked two conversions.

For Truro, Luke Tidball crossed with Davy adding the extras.

Falmouth drew 22 – all with Crediton at the Recreation Ground. Matt Horton, Jon Baglow, Mike Austin and Callum Perry scored tries for the Eagles with Austin adding a conversion.

Wadebridge Camels travelled to leaders Sidmouth but came away empty-handed losing 39-20.

Owen Wilson, Matt Ballard and Charlie Cotton scored tries for the Camels with Danny Thomas kicking a penalty and conversion.

Saltash lost for the sixth time this time at home to Wellington 26-6, Kieran Down with both penalties early in the game for a 6-0 lead.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn continue their march up the table with a powerful 73-14 win against Lanner.  Chris Hellier bagged a brace of tries with Kirky Oldfield, Ross Hancock, Viv Wilmot, Grant Randlesome, John Followell, Ben Trevaskis, George Jones and Paul Sabberton all crossing. Tomas Townsend kicked nine conversions.

Bude had a good win at home to Honiton 38-24. Angus Hodges (2), Kyle Speare, Olly Mounce, Matt Williams scored tries with a penalty-try thrown in for good measure. Olly Denford banged over three conversions.

Pirates Amateurs slipped to defeat at the Mennaye against Torquay Athletic 24-15. John Tyler and Charlie Goldsworthy scored tries for the home side with Steve Evans kicking a conversion and a penalty.

The battle of the Lions went the way of Liskeard-Looe who defeated Hayle 32-5.

This weekend coming there are no league fixtures below National League 2 South, apart from Lanner v Honiton in the Cornwall & Devon League as it’s the Cornwall Cup 1st round.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Stadium for Cornwall – update

 

As the two long time partners in the Stadium for Cornwall project we would like to update all interested parties on the current situation.

Primarily the progress on the site development is on track with the recently completed site investigation revealing no surprises and in fact the ground conditions are better than expected so there will be no extra foundation works such as piling to support the west stand. Obviously, that means budgeted costs for earthworks below ground will not be exceeded.

In the meantime, we have interviewed potential local consultants to undertake the final construction design and contractual drawings for Civil works, M& E design as well as quantity surveying consultants. Appointments will follow shortly.

We hope to have all key tender documents including contract drawings and Bills of Quantities ready by December when we will go out to tender to approved pre – qualified local contractors.

The final legalities in connection with the land handover are at a very advanced stage and we are looking to have ownership of the site from the original developer by the end of October.

The private sector finances are in place from the two key partners (Cornish Pirates/ Truro & Penwith College) who can confirm that £6 million is available going forward.

Originally this was due to be £4 million (£2 million each) but over the last few weeks there has been doubt raised about the other £2 million coming through Helical to Truro City FC and onto the stadium.

Consequently, the original two partners have made arrangements to increase their contribution by at least £2 million to cover any possible shortfall arising from delays/ non-performance of Helical in assisting TCFC with their promised contribution. We will obviously accommodate TCFC to play at the Stadium when it is completed.

Should the money actually come through then that will be very helpful, but the project success is not dependent on this money at any stage. This is important as we need to keep to the programme of works.

In addition the contribution from the Government is due to be confirmed in the budget and we are liaising with the powers that be and supplying all information required by them.

In summary, therefore, we are fully on track to get the stadium funded and built as per programme by April 2020.

 

THE STADIUM PARTNERS (Cornish Pirates and Truro & Penwith College)

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornwall RFU states it’s concerns on the future of county rugby

 

 

What is the future of County Representative Rugby?

As of the last week of September 2018 there were still no signs of fixtures and dates forthcoming from RFU competition managers despite several assurances they are on the way. This has been rectified in the first week of October.

Cornwall Rugby Football Union Management Board is most concerned about the management by the RFU towards the Bill Beaumont, Jason Leonard and Gill Burns County Championship seasons for players not in the professional game.

The lack of communication with Counties, that have placed great trust in the RFU, has not been reciprocated to the point where CRFU Management Board, clubs and players are uncertain of the future of the Championship and whether they can commit to the annual planning and organising that is required to remain in the top tier of Senior XV and U20 rugby and aspirations of playing in the top tier of the women’s game.

Locally there is concern that the apparent disregard by the RFU towards the County game is indicative that the traditional County Season is of little or no worth to the RFU and is therefore to be allowed to become redundant and lost to the traditions of our game.

Perhaps it is the RFU’s indifference to the amateur game, that appears to be the case, which is affecting the number of adult players and youth players that remain active within the game and the aspirations of players to play at Twickenham or represent their county is diminishing.

Eddie Jones at a recent Q&A evening at Twickenham was of the opinion that the ‘grassroots’ participation in our country is the best in the world. Clearly the legacy of the present RFU regime may not be able to make that claim in years to come unless the County Representative structure is maintained or boosted to retain the level of participation and interest that has been traditional.

In the week when the future of U15 and U16 County Representative Rugby has been put in doubt, as a very comprehensive document clearly pointed out that Developing Player Program (DPP) rugby is considered a more secure route for the RFU and professional academies to develop players. It appears more apparent that the abandonment of structured county competition and development rugby for amateur players beyond their clubs is inevitable.

To this end it is high time that the RFU presents a coherent response to the counties about future plans for this level of the game. Having been one of the counties considered to be fortunate to keep the three highly appreciated Rugby Development Officers there are signs that we have not been completely cut adrift. But what is their future if we are not to provide an aspirational and development structure for our players?

As the first month of the season draws to a close it is hoped that in October a positive response from RFU competition managers would be most helpful as would a positive response from the RFU about the future of the County game.

The CRFU Management Board has always been committed to the Championships and will continue to do so developing players who have the aspiration and desire to play for their county and proudly wear the black and gold.

Cornwall representative rugby u16 and u15 season  

Planning for the present u16 and u15 Cornish players is underway following the success of last season’s Cornwall representative youth rugby.

Fixtures against Devon, Somerset, Bristol and Dorset and Wilts provide opportunities for the best young players in our county to develop their skills and test themselves against the best in the South West.

During January through to March there are County training sessions and team organisation sessions on Friday nights followed by games on Sundays. Players aspiring to play for Cornwall and wear the ‘black and gold’ are invited along to the training sessions. Schools, clubs and Developing Player Program sessions identify players for selection. Last year there were plenty of players identified at county standard so that Cornwall were able to select sixty boys and field three teams at each age group on match days to travel to superb venues to show the strength of Cornish youth rugby.

The CRFU Management Board is committed to the future of youth rugby in Cornwall. Dave Saunter, Chair of Youth Rugby, is often proud of the players achievements. He states, ‘For some boys this is the pinnacle of their young rugby playing development. For other boys this is the launch of their rugby journey as many Cornish players have gone on and are established at Premier, Championship or National League level.’ He further added, ‘whatever level a player achieves the most important factor is that the local players enjoy their game and stay in the game and are proud to represent their county.’

‘Playing for Cornwall is an honour and selection at 15 or 16 years old is a marvellous moment for players, their families and their club and school’, says CRFU Chairman, Denis Preece. ‘It is a tradition that must continue as our young players go on to play for Cornwall u17s and u18s with many going on to play for the u20s and the Senior XV’.

‘Player identification is ongoing’, says Cornwall DPP Manager Richard Siveter.  ‘The first training session for u16s is Friday 4th January and for u15s is Friday 1st March. Players, Schools and Clubs who feel they may have been overlooked should contact me as we do not wish to miss any developing young player’.

The outlook for Cornwall and it’s development of young rugby players continues to look good.

 

 

Posted in Bill's Blog


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