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Heroic Reds deny Taunton

Corwall County Championship Squad 26/02/14
Photo – Ben Hilton who has again been called up by England Counties

The Southwest derby between Redruth and Taunton was another cracking game. Despite the low score 8-5 to the Reds, it was a game packed with action and incident.

It really did look like the Reds would be up against when they reached half-time level at 5 all and Taunton with the slope and wind in their favour.

Heroic rear-guard action saw them weather the Taunton onslaught at the start of the second half. The whole match day squad were heroes to a man and they got their just rewards when Ashley Hosking picked what proved to be the winning penalty 1 minute from time.

You can read my report from the West Briton in the link.

Despite tries from Ryan Westren and Jamie Salter, Launceston lost at Chinnor 24-12.

Good news for All Blacks Ben Hilton who has once again been selected for England Counties in their upcoming fixtures against Scottish Clubs XV (new opponents this season) at Fylde and France Fédérale in Périgueux.

Read Bill Sobey’s report from Sunday’s WMN.

In Tribute South West 1 West 1, Camborne’s faint chance of making the play-off have virtually evaporated following their 20-18 defeat at home to Ivybridge.

Ivybridge ran in four unconverted tries with former Cornwall player Lewis Paterson amongst the scorers.

For the Cherry and Whites Dave Roberts and Taron Peacock scored tries with Dave Mankee kicking the other points.

Another home defeat, this time 10-9 to Drybrook, sees St. Austell slip periously close to the drop zone once again this season.

It was three Andy Ashwin penalties for the Saints as against two un-converted tries for the visitors.

In Western Counties West the derby went the way of Truro who defeated Penryn 12-8 at St. Clements. Matt Bankhead and Eggy Williams scored Truro tries with Williams also adding a conversion.

Tom Hoban scored a try for the Borough and James Salisbury kicked a penalty.

In form Wadebridge Camels chalked up another win defeating Sidmouth 22-6. Gary Gynn, Jack Oulton and James Grubb crossed for tries with Grubb bagging a conversion.

Camels travel to Penryn on Saturday for an eagerly awaited derby.

St. Ives slipped to loss fourteen as they went down at home to Teignmouth 26-0. The game was abandoned after 68 minutes due to the referee being injured. It’s is likely the result will stand with Teignmouth having bagged the bonus point.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish battled back from a half-time 17-19 deficit to defeat Warlingham 40-19.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon league it was top versus bottom and unsurprisingly top won 60-0! Saltash ran in ten tries with Ollie Mulberry bagging four.

Bude defeated Falmouth 22-13 at Bencoolen. Tries for Bude were scored by James Comber, Steve Yates and Bruce James with Olly Denford kicking two conversions and a penalty. Falmouth scored a try through Nick Carne with Justyn Irons kicking the conversion and two penalties.

Bodmin defeated visiting Hayle 22-13 at Clifden Park to boost their prospects of staying up. Lee Taylor (2), Mark Trevarthan and Cody Armstrong scored Bodmin’s tries.

Pirates Amateurs game against OPMs was called off.

In Tribute Cornwall 1 Camborne School of Mines wrapped up their league program with a 41-17 win over runners-up Veor.

Stithians re-arranged game with Newquay Hornets was again postponed due to a water-logged pitch and it’s hoped to play this Saturday.

The Tribute Cornwall Clubs Cup pool fixtures start on Saturday 14th February.

We await to see if Jack Nowell makes the England side for Friday night’s opening RBS 6 Nations game against Wales in Cardiff. We wish him well.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Superb Pirates halt Bristol run

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Photo- Cornish Pirates head coach Ian Davies was delighted with Bristol win

What else can I say. Two cracking games of live rugby watched over the weekend, although you wouldn’t think so from one of the score-lines.

Let’s start at the Mennaye. A game that ebbed and flowed with the Cornish Pirates defeating hitherto unbeaten Bristol 45-38 to cap a memorable weekend at the Pirates.

It was good to see Dicky Evans back for the first time since handing over the reins of the club. There was a weekend packed in his honour as the club gave him a well deserved “thank you” for all that he has done for the Cornish Pirates over the past couple of decades.

There had been a few mis-placed words pre-match from Bristol’s Director of Rugby Andy Robinson about the state of the pitch and the facilities at the Mennaye. In his words, “Get the points and get out of there!”

Bristol took the field sporting their red away strip which must have made their plethora of Welsh stars feel very much at home!

The Pirates took to the field to a huge cheer from the biggest crowd of the season at the Mennaye and from the word go the crowd got right behind the Cornish side.

Despite going ahead with an early drop-goal from full-back Matt Evans, the Pirates fell behind to a penalty-try which appeared to be awarded rather hastily by referee Garner.

The Pirates’ response was a try of beauty, a powerful driving maul that threatened to dump the Bristol pack on to their coach parked outside the gate for that quick getaway post match! Rob Elloway took the plaudits with Hallett adding the extras.

The Pirates were then guilty of missing a couple of first up tackles that allowed Bristol to score two good tries David Lemi and Jack Tovey with Matthew Morgan making three successful conversions for 21-10 lead.

Flanker Joe Atkinson then powered over from short-range for with Hallett adding the extras before the fly-half put in a well-judged chip over the Bristol defence for winger Craig Holland to score a sublime try in the scoreboard corner for a half-time lead of 22-21.

The Pirates then rocked Bristol with two quick-fire tries early in the second half as both Holland and then Elloway got their second tries the later after a tremendous run from the superb Atkinson took play almost to the Bristol line. Hallett banged over both conversions and the Mennaye was rocking at 36-21!

Bristol got a lifeline when No.8 Mitch Eadie barged over for an un-converted try, however Hallett kept the Bristol at arm’s length with a peanlty.

Up on the TV gantry, opposite the main grandstand, Robinson was pacing around with increasing anxiety etched on his face!

He calmed momentarily when referee Garner awarded Bristol a second penalty-try, however Hallett banged over a couple more long-range penalties to keep the Pirates two scores ahead.

With time fast running out and Robinson looking glummer by the second, Jack Tovey crossed for the second try in the clubhouse corner to ensure Bristol had the crumb of two points to take hastily back up the A.30.

The final whistle was greeted by a huge cheer from the large Mennaye crowd who went home happy and will surely be back for more in two weeks time!

You can read Ian Davies’ post-match comments from WMN in the link.

CORNISH PIRATES: M Evans, M Pope, T Hendrickson, A Dancer (R James 78), C Holland, K Hallett, T Kessell; K Davies (M Walker 59), (F Deformes 74), R Elloway (J Innard 72), J Ford-Robinson, W Graulich (C Davey 68), D Barry, C Morgan (Capt), J Atkinson, L McGlone.

Replacements (not used): T Lowry, B Hopkin.

Scores – Tries: Elloway (2), Atkinson, Holland (2), Conversions: Hallett (4), Penalties: Hallett (3), Drop-goal: Evans

BRISTOL: J Wallace (N Robinson 55), T Benvenuti (G Watkins 60), J Tovey, B Mosses, D Lemi, M Morgan, D Peel (Capt) (C Hampson), J O’Connell, R Lawrence (R McMillan 48), J Hall (G Cortes 48), I Evans (M Sorenson 48), B Glynn, M Mama, O Robinson (J Ovens 64), M Eadie.

Scores – Tries: Penalty (2), Lemi, Tovey (2), Eadie, Conversions – Morgan (4)

Refreee: Greg Garner (RFU)

Crowd: 2,390

Cornish Pirates man-of-the-match: Craig Holland

Posted in Bill's Blog


Rawlings confident Cornish lads can progress in Kent

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Photo – Ian Gordon TASC Hon.Sec presents practice balls to Cornwall coach Mike Rawlings (left) and Cornwall Team Sec. Chris Lea (right)

Having lost agonizingly to Devon with the final kick of the game, Cornwall will have to travel to Kent in the national under 20 quarter-final to played on Sunday 15th February.

It will be a tough ask for the Cornish lads with players such as skipper Todd Prisk and prop Tommy Phillips involved in a National League 2 South game on the Saturday at home against Worthing.

Straight after the final whistle coach Mike Rawlings confirmed the frustration felt by the Cornish boys on a result that they had let slip. He said, “The boys are feeling really fed up and they know that they have let themselves down, all they want to do now is get stuck into Kent and make amends.”

“We got off to a sluggish start and the intensity just wasn’t there. Second half we lifted our heads and started playing round the corner putting decoy runners in and hard pressing their defence and playing what was in front of us.”

“Some of our decision-making on the field was also questionable, when you have points on offer you really must take them in this sort of game.”

“We were also guilty of some indiscipline which really didn’t help our cause having five players sent to the bin is very disappointing from a coach’s point of view.”

“Having said that I felt that the boys dug in and showed great character to come back as they did especially during the early part of the second half and then again at the end when we thought we’d done enough to sneak the win.”

“With Todd and Tommy having played up at Canterbury for Redruth yesterday we knew we would have to manage them today, player welfare is paramount, perhaps we did lose a bit of intensity when they came off but all credit to the boys who came on.”

Turning his thought to Kent Rawlings continued, “I think we can go to Kent and get a result. We have got the calibre of player who can get us through. Hopefully we will have Locryn Williams and Jake Woodward back in the mix. We have a got a great crop of players. I was especially pleased with Sam Fox today who is comfortable on the ball and a good distributer, Rhys Brownfield too at centre these lads are now all playing senior rugby and it shows.”

“We shall be training each week in the lead up to the Kent game with perhaps a practice game thrown in to iron out a few things, we will travel in good heart.”

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornish continue to push towards top of the table

Match Report: London Cornish v Winchester: Saturday 24th January 2015

London Two South West by DoR Dickon Moon, photos by Ben Gilbey 

London Cornish leapfrogged Winchester to take back 2nd spot in London Two South West and close to within four points of leaders Tottonians. The 20-13 win completed the double over their title rivals, the victory underpinned by a dominant set piece display, finally wearing down the Hampshire visitors in an intense top of the table battle on a cold, breezy, but sunny winter’s day at the REMPF. The match was watched by a number of coaching teams from other clubs in the division, and by a number of the London RFU hierarchy.

lc v winchester away 2015 1 a
Photo – No 8. Mark Osei-Tutu breaks from the scrum

The Exiles went into the game bereft of loosehead prop Mike Bond, back ups Oli Low and Hamish Cuming, both first choice centres Craig Chatley and Luke Spells, and last seasons top try scorer Rich Skinnard. To compound the issue, Cornish lost Nigel Johnston in the warm up, forcing them to blood 22 year old centre Joe Donnelly, whilst at full back Josh Allison also made his starting debut for the first team. If that was not enough, ‘The Exiles’ also overcame the loss of talismanic no 8 Mark Osei-Tutu before half-time in this game.

The opening exchanges saw little difference between the two sides, as a series of attacking forays, and handling errors saw possession bobbing and weaving between the sides, as both attempted to steady any early game nerves. From the off it was clear that Cornish were dominant in the tight, and on 6 minutes an early shove saw due reward for this dominance, Allison striking perfectly down the middle of the pitch with a penalty from 35 metres to dissect the posts for 3-0. The stranglehold Tom Lloyd, Will Carew-Gibbs and Skip Dave Theobald had in the match was not lost on the watching visiting coaching teams, nor was the way ‘The Exiles’ attacked the visitors lineout and drove them back with rolling mauls.

Despite going behind, the visitors started the stronger, with the back division offering numerous attacking sorties, running great lines of pace and strength, and the ensuing pressure saw a Cornish forward commit a high tackle after 12 minutes. Winchester’s Connor Breen was handed a free kick at goal from the edge of the twenty-two, only for the scrum half to misjudge his effort on the wind. Two minutes later, Breen would ensure that the same mistake was not made twice, and struck from a similar distance and angle, to level the scores at 3-3.

With the clock approaching 20 minutes, and with Winchester having coughed up their opening 5 lineouts under pressure from the Cornish twin towers of Ben Ievers and Harry Somers, possession was handed to the Black and Gold. The hosts had so far struggled to get close to the opposition twenty two, thanks to strong defence, so the boot came to their rescue one more. Following a big hit on Somers from his opposite number, and an ensuing disagreement, a penalty awarded a chance for Allison to strike at goal from some distance, and the full back made it two kicks from two, to take the score to 6-3.

lc v winchester away 2015 2
Photo – lock Ben Ievers awaits the ball lineout time

Winchester responded as before with a number of exciting runs from the backs, and equally supported with pace and strength from their forwards, but home defences held firm, and despite getting into the 22 on a number of occasions, the visitors found the door firmly shut by fine scrambling defence, Matt Hakes making a particularly important steal on his 22 and joined in the work on the floor by back rows Andrew Eustace and Chris Anstey. The Exiles found similar frustrations at the other end of the field, but were rarely able to venture anywhere near Winchester’s twenty-two until the 35th minute. Driving Winchester back at a scrum, Cornish 9 Rob Healey spun the ball to wing Joe Skinnard, him rounding his man, and sprinting down the left flank to draw the full back and send Osei-Tutu crashing across the whitewash for the fifteenth time in as many games (see photos from game). Allison adding the extras to extend the lead to 13-3, Cornish having taken points from every occasion that had come their way and defended superbly. Osei-Tutu was injured in the act of scoring, and could take no further part, Truro born Ben Devonport on at 8, him an even greater physical specimen than the man he replaced!

Cornish tails were now firmly up and continued to scrap their way up the field. However, Sir soon called for the warmth of the dressing room, and the Exiles found themselves ten points to the good.

As play resumed following an intense first forty minutes, time would tell as to which of the two groups of gladiators would last the distance and prevail in an arena dominated by high swirling winds and a blinding winter sun, and it seemed that, at least up until the hour mark, the winner could not be called, as first one then the other side gained the momentum.

Again breaks of pace, but perhaps with not as much strength as in the first half, put the Black and Gold defence under pressure, with them conceding a penalty right in front of the own posts. Breen placed a straight forward kick between the uprights to reduce the deficit to seven points. 13-6 after 43 minutes.

Five minutes later, Allison had the chance to increase the lead from 30 metres, as a Winchester forward was pinged for going off his feet at the breakdown, but his well struck  effort into a stiffening breeze fell agonisingly short.

The visitors by now sniffed an opportunity to exert further pressure, and a change of tactics saw them make changes of personnel, kick for the corner and use the pack to drive back the Exiles’ defence, as it was becoming increasingly evident that their running game was struggling to bear fruit. By the 56th minute, the greengrocer finally delivered.

Having been under pressure with his throwing throughout, hooker Chris Searle threw quick and low to the front man. From there, numerous breaks and phases created a gap for Alex Lee to go over the line by the posts. Breen converted with ease to level the scores and put the game on a knife edge. Within a minute of the equalising score, Winchester had an opportunity to take the lead from 30 metres at the angle, but Breen fired his kick just wide of the left post.

However, act two of the half would see Cornish wrest back control, as the hosts combined crafted playmaking from fly half Phil Dale and his fellow backs, with an increased supply of ball created by forward dominance as Winchester tired from the relentless nature of a classic Cornish performance up front. This pressure began to tell in the concession of a series of penalties, as rolling mauls sapped energy and conceded field position. The Exiles grew in confidence and for the next fifteen minutes, pressure was applied with a diet of kicking for the right hand corner, line outs, driving runs and driving mauls. To a Cornishman, there is little more beautiful a sight than that of a driving maul at full steam and those watching could gorge on the tactic as the visitors set piece cracked. That they held on for so long is testament to Winchester’s defence, but on the 3 occasions they turned the ball over they failed to find touch with clearing kicks and found themselves right back where they came from. The referee’s patience snapped as a blatant attempt to collapse the maul 10 metres out was spotted, a yellow card given to the miscreant.  On 77 minutes, Winchester’s pack could hold no longer, and with another Cornish advantage after the visiting hooker tried the same tactic, Allison, Robin Heymann, Dale and Donnelly interchanged passes before finding Somers to crash the ball to 3 out and find his scrum half Healey, sniping as all good 9’s do, waltzing across the line with aplomb to place the ball under the posts. Allison made it four successful kicks from five to renew the seven point advantage at 20-13.

lc v winchester away 2015 3 a
Photo – Centre Matt Hakes looks for a break

Winchester made a late surge towards the home twenty-two, only for Cornish to hold firm once more, and with Sir awarding another penalty, the ball was placed into touch for the final whistle.

A delighted Director of Rugby, Dickon Moon, gave his thoughts after the game: “A fantastic result against a strong Winchester side, that had gone ten straight league wins since we beat them at their ground, and to complete the double over them is great. I was particularly pleased with the last twenty minutes, and with the fact that we have coped with making so many changes, forced on us through a combination of unavailability and injury. We suffered another in the warm up, which meant we had to change our centre partnership, and we gave debuts to two players in the backline today, Josh Allison, and Joe Donnelly, who both acquitted themselves very well.”

“A big result, but I think the race (for promotion) between us, Winchester and Tottonians will still go down to the end of the season. You cannot take an eye off any match in this division, so attention now turns to next week, when thankfully we will have a number of those missing today back in action.”

“We had to win today to ensure that it was still a three horse race for the title, and I think we have done exactly that.”

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornwall let slip advantage as Devon snatch late win

UNDER 20 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

By Bill Hooper at the Rutts Pitch Ivybridge

Matt Grieveson’s final penalty kick gave Devon a last-gasp win against Cornwall 31-29 and dashed Cornish hopes of a home quarter-final in this season’s Under 20 County Championship.

The result gives Devon a home quarter-final against Berkshire, whilst for Cornwall they will have to travel to the south of London to face Kent, both ties will be played on Sunday 15th February.

It’s a game that Cornwall will on reflection know they should have won, especially as they led 26-16 mid-way through the second half having scored four tries and looking the stronger side.

Sadly some questionable decision making and five yellow cards – three in the closing minutes –  in the game saw the momentum shift in Devon’s favour, whilst injury time saw the lead change hands on three occasions to set up the dramatic finale.

Despite a bright start by Cornwall it was Devon who opened the scoring with a penalty from Newton Abbot fly-half William Castleton.

Cornwall then suffered the first yellow card as fly-half Sam Fox was sin-binned for a late tackle.

Castleton repeated the dose twice more as Devon went 9-0 up by 17 minutes and Cornwall had prop Tommy Phillips yellow carded for a tip-tackle.

Cornwall needed a score and it came from a good forward drive near the Devon line with skipper Todd Prisk getting the un-converted try.

Devon struck back almost immediately when winger Correy Whane manged to wriggle out of a tackle to score under the posts, Castleton added the extras for an eleven point lead.

As half-time approached Cornwall got a vital score through flanker Adam Hughes, the first of his brace, which Rhys Brownfield converted to leave Devon 16-12 up at the turn.

Cornwall upped their game early in the second half as the scrum began to dominate the Devon pack. Devon prop Ashley Crouch was dispatched to the sin-bin allowing Cornwall to score to quick tries through the excellent Hughes and then thanks to centre Jack Simmons following good play from replacement back Ashley Taylor. Brownfield added both conversions and Cornwall appeared well on the way at 26-16.

Sadly, the wheels then fell off the Cornwall wagon, a kickable penalty was turned down for a scrum and that came to nowt!

Devon then got a sniff when flanker Jack Ferguson scored a try which Grieveson converted to trail by just three points.

Cornwall lost replacements Sam Furse and John Tyler to the bin in quick succession whilst Devon also had prop Will Cole sent to the increasingly busy cooler.

Scrum-half Kier Murphy took a quick tap penalty to dart over the Cornish line for Devon’s third try and a two point advantage on the scoreboard as the clock ticked past eighty minutes.

Devon were then penalised for obstruction allowing Brownfield to kick Cornwall back into the lead. Could they hold on?

However, the final twist saw Cornish flanker John Haines sin-binned for dissent presenting Grieveson with a last-gasp chance to sneak the win, which he duly delivered in the gathering gloom and drizzle of a Devon winter afternoon.

Devon 31 pts

Tries – Whane, Ferguson, Murphy; Cons: Castleton, Grieveson; Pens: Castleton (3), Grieveson.

Yellow cards: Crouch 45, Cole 74.

Cornwall 29 pts

Tries – Prisk, Hughes (2), Simmons; Cons: Brownfield (3); Pens: Brownfield.

Yellow Cards: Fox 9, Phillips 20, Tyler 73, Furse 74, Haines 80+7.

Devon: S Fellowes (Teignmouth), C Whane (Newton Abbot), D Squire (Brixham), B Massingham (Ivybridge), J Bond (capt), W Castleton (both Newton Abbot), K Murphy (Tavistock), A Crouch (Barnstaple), J Daley (Devonport S), W Cole (Newton Abbot), C Edbrooke (Sidmouth), B J McDonald (Old Reds), Rouse (Exmouth), J Ferguson (Kingsbridge), B Hawley (Exmouth).

Replacements: S Harrison (Exeter Saracens), M Allen (Kingsbridge), R Hull (Sidmouth), J Walker, M Grieveson (both Ivybridge), L Stannard , T W (both Devonport S).

Cornwall (Redruth unless stated): T Eley (Truro), L Thomas, J Simmons (Hartpury College), R Brownfield (Pirates Amateurs), T Sandercock (Cornish All Blacks), S Fox (Wadebridge Camels), D Rutter; T Phillips, J Martin (Truro), J Tyack (St Ives), T Prisk (capt), A Marsh (Truro), A Hughes (Penryn), J Haines (Cornish All Blacks), N Stanleick (Camborne).

Replacements: S Furse (Newquay Hornets), A Smith, T-L Southworth, T Pellow (Penryn), ATaylor (Cardiff Met), R Stevens (Hayle), J Tyler (Penzance & Newlyn Colts).

Referee: Charlie Gayther (Gloucestershire RRS).

Crowd: 250

TASC Cornwall man-of-the-match: Adam Hughes (Penryn) scored two tries and worked tirelessly in the backrow.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Nowell’s joy at England call

Jack Nowell England

Exeter Chiefs star Jack Nowell has spoken of his delight after he was today named in Stuart Lancaster’s 34-man England training squad ahead of the opening RBS Six Nations clash with Wales.

Having missed last summer’s tour to New Zealand due to knee surgery, Lancaster brought the talented Cornishman back into his training squad for the Autumn internationals against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia.

And although the 21-year-old trained for all four weeks with the Red Rose country at their Pennyhill Park base, he was unable to add to his tally of five international caps.

The first of those, however, came a year ago when the former Truro College youngster was handed his Six Nations debut against France in Paris.

Nowell went onto feature in all five of last season’s Six Nations fixtures for England, including in Italy where he bagged his maiden try for his country in their 52-11 victory in Rome.

Now fully firing following some detailed surgery on his troublesome knee, Nowell says he is fully focused on getting back amongst Lancaster’s grand plans, particularly with the Rugby World Cup looming large on the horizon as well.

“I’m very pleased to be back in the squad,” said Nowell. “But the thing I’m most pleased about is getting back from injury and the trust Stuart has put in me. As he said previously, we would all have to fight for our positions again and I’m ready for that.”

Frustrated at times by his eagerness to get back to Chiefs action, Nowell knows the cautious approach from the Exeter medical staff has in fact helped him rediscover his form, which has included a number of tries already this season.

“It’s been a long 12 months and I was itching to get back every day,” he explained. “At the same time, I’m thankful for the time and effort everybody had put into me in terms of my rehab. I’ve come back strong, I’m playing well and it’s nice to have two legs again on the field.

“Looking back I needed that time to rest, but the operation was a huge success and I’ve come back more confident and knowing that my knee is not sore anymore.”

Getting back into the England starting XV, though, will be no formality for Nowell. The form of Jonny May and Anthony Watson has been impressive both for club and country, but the Exeter man says he is determined to attack the cause with everything he has got.

“It’s a big step up for sure,” said Nowell. “Anthony Watson played very well in the Autumn, as did a few others, but I know Stuart will give us all a fair chance, so I just have to attack it as best I can.”

A year ago, Nowell was the so-called ‘New Kid on the Block’ ahead of the 2014 Six Nations campaign, but having experienced the thrills and spills of international rugby, the gifted Chief is more confident about what lies ahead.

He continued: “Yes, I’m more confident, but I don’t think things have changed too much. It will be the same as last year in a lot of ways, so I’m not going to change as a player or as a person. I’m in the squad, which is great, and I want a start position the same as everyone else. The big thing Stuart and the coaches will want us to do when we meet us is attack everything and fight for our positions, so that’s exactly what I will do.”

luke cowan-dickie

Whilst Nowell was selected in Lancaster’s senior squad, fellow Chiefs Luke Cowan-Dickie (pictured), Dave Ewers, Henry Slade and Thomas Waldrom have all been rewarded for their impressive displays this season with a place in the England Saxons squad, who will also meet next Monday in London ahead of their upcoming clash with the Irish Wolfhounds in Cork.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornwall squad to face Devon in group decider

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Photo – Centre Rhys Brownfield will again be looking for points against Devon

Cornwall travel to Ivybridge in good heart for Sunday’s pool decider in this season’s Under 20 County Championship against old rivals Devon at Ivybridge RFC kick-off 2:30 pm.

The winners of this game can look forward to a home quarter-final against either Hertfordshire or Berkshire on Sunday 15th February, whilst for the losers a long trip to Kent beckons on the same date.

Cornwall do have a one point advantage going into the game so a draw would also suffice for a home quarter-final.

As expected the squad has a familiar look with the majority of players who faced Gloucestershire retaining their places.

Speaking on behalf of the CRFU, President John Grindle said, “This is the second game in a tough west country pool. I want to thank the coaching team of Ian Morgan, Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins, team manager Chris Lea and the back room staff and medics for their work in preparing the team for this important game.”

Coach Ian Morgan is under no illusions as to what the Cornish lads will face. He said, “The squad has gelled into a tight group but know they face a tough cross the Tamar game against Devon.”

Coaches will be monitoring their phones on Saturday evening hoping that the players come through their league matches unscathed for Sunday’s showdown.

Fellow coach Mike Rawlings said, “We have had to make a few enforced changes to the team after losing both Locryn Williams and Jake Woodward through injury. This season we have managed to get a number of guys into the squad and therefore selecting replacements is not difficult although there will be one or two disappointed guys.”

CRFU Chair Denis Preece said, “The team had a superb result against Gloucestershire but know they cannot rest on their laurels as Devon will be a tremendous test for these players especially after they defeated Gloucestershire away from home!”

Cornwall Under 20 team manager Chris Lea said, “The squad this season is a real mix of guys some with National League experience others now making the break into senior rugby. What we are trying to build is a continuous stream of players who can represent Cornwall at this level. For some, this is their last season at this level, others have one and some two / three seasons ahead of them and should not be disappointed if they are not in the starting XV.”

Cornwall U.20: Tom Eley (Truro), Lewis Thomas (Redruth), Jack Simmons (Hartpury Coll), Rhys Brownfield (Pirates Ams), Tom Sandercock (Launceston), Sam Fox (Wadebridge Camels), Dan Rutter; Tommy Phillips (both Redruth), Joe Martin (Truro), Jay Tyack (St. Ives), Todd Prisk (Redruth, Capt), Dan Marsh (Truro), Adam Hughes (Penryn), John Haines (Launceston), Neil Stanleick (Camborne).

Replacements: Sam Furse (Newquay Hornets), Adam Smith , Tommy-Lee Southworth (both Redruth), Tony Pellow (Penryn), Ashley Taylor (St. Austell/Cardiff Met), Zac Noeda (Truro), John Tyler (Penzance & Newlyn Colts).

Travelling Reserves: Joe Bradford (Newquay Hornets), Kieran Down (Saltash), Russell Stevens (Hayle), Ryan Burley (Stithians).

STOP PRESS – Devon side announced

Devon Under 20’s vs Cornwall U20’s

15 Fellows, Sam Teignmouth
14 Whane, Corey Newton Abbott
13 Squire, Dean Brixham
12 Massingham, Billy Ivybridge
11 Bond, Jack (Capt) Newton Abbott
10 Castleton, William Newton Abbott
9 Murphy, Keir Tavistock
1 Crouch, Ashley Barnstaple
2 Daley, Joe Devonport Services
3 Cole, William (V Capt) Newton Abbott
4 Edbrooke, Christian Sidmouth
5 McDonald, Ben Old Reds
6 Rouse, Jack Exmouth
7 Fergusson, Jack Kingsbridge
8 Hawley, Ben Exmouth
16 Harrison, Sean Exeter Saracens
17 Allen, Matt Kingsbridge
18 Hull, Richard Sidmouth
19 Walker, Joe Ivybridge
20 Grievson, Matt Ivybridge
21 Stannard, Luke Devonport Services
22 Wheale, Tim Devonport Services

Posted in Bill's Blog


All Blacks run Hawks so close

7031372-largePhoto – Ben Priddey scored Redruth’s second try against Old Elthamians

It really did look like the upset of the season was on the cards at Dry Leas as Launceston raced to an 18-0 lead at the break thanks to tries from Jamie Salter and Matt Shepherd, who also kicked eight points.

The Hawks got their act together in the second half turning the game on it’s head to race into a 29-18 lead.

Launceston rallied thanks to a second try from Shepherd and one from full-back Billy Searle, who has certainly impressed this season to finally end up losing, again by a single point 29-28!

You can read Conrad Sutcliffe’s match report in the link.

Also in National League 2 South Redruth got the required win over Old Eltamians 22-10. The visitors were lively but found the Reds defence up to the task.

Despite trailing to an early penalty from OEs, Redruth struck back with a good try from scrum-half Greg Goodfellow converted by full-back Murray Westren who also landed a penalty to lead 10-3 at half-time.

The Redruth pack gradually wore down the visitors with flanker Ben Priddey being driven over in the Piggy Lane Corner for try number two. Westren couldn’t add the extras but was on-hand to convert fly-half Rhodri McAtee’s fine try following a trademark break from Goodfellow, which replacement prop Jess Tompsett did well to link with McAtee to create the try.

OEs had the final say when their impressive winger Renford Bennett cut in from his wing to score a converted try.

Bill Sobey’s WMN report in the link.

Friday night saw the Cornish Pirates travel to the Richmond Athletic Ground to take on London Scottish in the Championship. The Pirates gave a good account of themselves before finally succumbing 27-15, with former Redruth star Matt Bright once again on the score-sheet for the Scots exiles. Hooker Tom Channon bagged both tries for the Pirates with Kieran Hallett kicking a penalty and conversion.

Match report in the link.

In the Tribute South West 1 West league a mixed day for both Cornish clubs on the road. St. Austell did their survival prospects a power of good with a 46-9 win at bottom side Cullompton.

The Saints crossed for eight tries through Liam Freeman, Ben Chenoweth, Dan Pearce (2), Alex Welland (2) Hugh Noot and Callum Wilson.

Camborne had a day they will want to forget, a long coach trip with a breakdown en-route was not the ideal preparation for a game in the Forest of Dean and so it proved as they travelled home pointless from a 16-8 defeat at Drybrook. Dave Mankee kicked a first half penalty with full-back Alex Ducker getting an un-converted try on 60 minutes. That result leaves their play-off chance slim to say the least.

In Tribute Western Counties West, the Exeter University affair continues to rumble on and a final decision still seems to be weeks away.

Truro will be disappointed to only pick up a losing bonus point from their trip to Sidmouth 26-25. Tries were scored by Jake Seviour, Ashley Riches and Chizzy Gilbert with Seviour dropping a goal and Matt Cross adding a penalty and two conversions.

Wadebridge Camels continue to show improved form fighting back from a 15-0 deficit at Wellington to win 24-15. Gary Gynn (2), Dan Briskham and Matt Harvey scored the Camels’ tries with James Grubb kicking a couple of conversions. That’s six wins on the trot for the Camels.

Penryn beat Torquay Athletic 12-7 with James Willey and Andrew Seviour getting their tries with Jack Salisbury adding a conversion.

St. Ives lost at Kingsbridge 69-7 with Tom Chandler scoring their only try converted by Jacob Ninnes.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish shook off their cup disappointment from last week with a workman like 13-3 win at Portsmouth to stay third in the table. Both tries were scored by No.8 Mark Osei-Tutu with Luke Spells kicking a penalty.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Saltash stay top following their 19-7 win at Honiton. Tries were scored by Sean Crawford, Lewis Wells and Ben Tolan with Todd Crofts adding two conversions.

Hayle recorded a much-needed win at home to struggling South Molton 24-5. Tries for the Lions came via Alex Thornton, Ben Edwards and a brace from Doug Arnull, Scott Harvey added two conversions.

Falmouth ground out a 8-3 win over visiting Bodmin. Nick Carne scored the Eagles only try with Alex Sutheridge dropping a goal. Dan Pooley kicked a penalty for Bodmin.

Bude won at Exeter Saracens 24-19. Dave Gregory, Matt Williams, Charlie Wotton and Joe Wilson got the four tries in the bonus point win with Olly Denford kicking two conversions.

Liskeard-Looe’s game against Pirates Amateurs was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Congratulations to Newquay Hornets who secured the Tribute Cornwall League 1 title with a 34-8 win at home against nearest challengers Veor.

Camborne School of Mines are back up to third following their 53-38 win at Stithians.

Perranporth defeated Illogan Park 38-5 at Ponsmere Valley, whilst Helston won at Roseland 19-18.

In Tribute Cornwall League 2, St. Agnes and Lanner drew for the second time this season this time 16 all. Lanner having completed their league program, lead St. Agnes by five points. To pip Lanner, St. Agnes will need to win by 100 points in their final league game at Redruth Albany.

Camelford also completed their program losing 24-10 at St. Just but they are assured of finishing third.

Next weekend is catch up for most of the leagues with some national cup games as well.

Sunday sees Cornwall play Devon in the Under 20 County Championship at Ivybridge kick-off 2:30 pm.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornwall seek home tie

???????????????????????????????????????????Photo – Cornwall skipper Todd Prisk in action against Gloucestershire

CORNWALL Under 20s go into Sunday’s vital match against Devon knowing that a draw will be good enough to ensure a home quarter-final against either Berkshire or Hertfordshire.

Should they slip up at Ivybridge they would be obliged to travel to face Kent.

Cornwall do not intend to leave matters in others hands and will be playing for the win at Cross-in-Hand.

It’s a game that Cornwall captain Redruth’s Todd Prisk is looking forward to. He said, “This game has been a long time coming after our great win against Gloucestershire back in November, that was a massive result for us and made up in part for our disappointment in losing to them in the quarter-finals last season, but we know that the game against Devon is going to be a titanic struggle with a home quarter-final at stake.”

Prisk also said that the long gap between the two fixtures was not an issue. “I was a bit concerned initially but the boys have all being playing and when we have come together training has been excellent. We will have a final session a week before the game to polish up but the boys are chomping at the bit to get into Devon. Any game against Devon requires little motivation.”

With Wadebridge Camels flyer Jake Woodward unavailable having broken his scaphoid, Ashley Taylor (St. Austell) currently at Cardiff Met comes into the squad. Prisk is happy with the squad: “It will be very much the same squad that took on Gloucestershire with a couple of new backs after the Gloucestershire result I think the boys deserve a crack at Devon, we may also be able to add prop Tommy Phillips to the squad depending on how much he plays on the Saturday for Redruth at Canterbury.”

Prisk has no qualms that his squad are fully focused on the result required next Sunday: “The knowledge that we can afford to draw does play on you a bit but when you are playing Devon you want to win pure and simple. We beat them last year and want the same result again, we know they will be a huge challenge on their own turf but the prize for us is massive a quarter-final at home with our home support.”

Cornish support at Cross-in-Hand will be very much appreciated by the Cornish lads.

Match details:

Sunday 25th January Devon U.20 v Cornwall U.20 @ Ivybridge RFC kick-off 2:30 pm

Posted in Bill's Blog


Ten-try Town back on track

Camborne’s 60-14 win against Cullompton on Saturday nudged them closer to the play-off scrap in Tribute South West 1 West. Head coach Liam Chapple hopes that his side’s win will be the springboard for a good run that will propel them into the play-offs at the end of the season.

Key to that will be their form on the road and next Saturday they face a tough trip to Drybrook. It’s a game, despite it’s lengthy journey time, that Camborne need to win to build momentum.

You can read my report from the West Briton in the link.

A link to the Camborne RFC site showing Dave Roberts’ try.

St. Austell came a cropper at home to struggling Clevedon 23-7, a result that sees them slip uncomfortably close to the relegation battle once again. Saints scored a consolation try through Adam Kellow with Dan Pearce adding the conversion. Next week St. Austell have a vital game at Cullompton.

The Cornish Pirates can be well satisfied with bringing back a try-scoring bonus point from their trip to Worcester Warriors. There was never any danger of them winning the game at Sixways as the 62-26 score-line reflects but to score four tries and bring home a point is a big consolation.

You can read Nigel Walrond’s match report in the link plus Ian Davies’ reaction here.

The Cornish All Blacks are 2 pts ahead of rivals Redruth in the National League 2 table following their 18-8 win over Dings Crusaders at Polson Bridge.

Billy Searle scored the first try with prop Tim Mathias scoring a second, Matt Shepherd kicked the other points.

Read Suzanne Cleave’s report in the link.

Redruth found themselves 14-0 down at Clifton with barely 5 minutes on the clock. They fought back to only trail 20-12 at half-time thanks to tries from prop Tommy Phillips and hooker Richard Brown with full-back Ashley Hosking adding a conversion.

A penalty-try conversion and penalty from Hosking nudged the Reds into a 2 point lead, but Clifton came back to snatch the win and deny the Reds any points.

Read Ed Bawden’s report in the link.

Tribute Western Counties West has been thrown wide open with leader’s Exeter University facing a potential 50 point deduction for fielding ineligible players. There is likely to be an appeal and the matter is set to run. (see Conrad Sutcliffe’s column in Sunday’s Indy).

Second place Teignmouth are the likely benefactors, but Truro would again find themselves in with a play-off shout.

Truro had a good win at St. Clements Hill over Wellington 53-10. Tries were scored by Luke Tidball (2), Jack Tidball, Jake Champion, Ieuan Boon, Luke Trescothick and Matt Cross with “Eggy” Williams kicking 18 points.

Penryn didn’t fare too well at Teignmouth losing 62-10! Mile Creedan scored a try with James Salisbury adding the conversion and a penalty.

Tiverton kept the pressure on Truro with a 37-0 win at St. Ives.

Wadebridge Camels defeated Tavistock 46-14. Camels ‘tries were scored by Dan Briskham, Dom Hawkey (2), Matt Ballard, Gary Gynn (2) and Matt Tarby. James Grubb kicked the other points.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Saltash stay top following a 26-10 win over Hayle. Ryan Cruickshanks Will Morton, Sean Crawford and Steve Hillman scored the Ashes’ tries with Todd Crofts kicking three conversions.

For Hayle Damian Lynes converted a penalty try and kicked a penalty.

Bude lost at home to Crediton 17-7. Ollie Mounce with the try and Ollie Denford the conversion.

Good win for Pirates Amateurs against Honiton 36-22 at the Mennaye. Trev Dugdale scored a hat-trick of tries with Ashley Weston (2) and Danny Toolan also crossing. Rhys Brownfield kicked three conversions.

Liskeard-Looe conceded the points before kick-off as they travelled to Paignton with just 12 men. The friendly game played saw Paignton win 72-16.

Falmouth had a good win at South Molton 28-7. James Bishop, AJ Geach, Jon Baglow and Nick Carne scored the tries with Justyn Irons kicking all four conversions.

In the Intermediate Cup London SE section London Cornish sadly went out after extra time at Crowborough 19-16.

Both Tribute Cornwall 1 & 2 titles are likely to be settled next weekend as in both league 1st plays 2nd.

Newquay Hornets maintained their top spot with a 56-8 win at Illogan Park, whilst 2nd place Veor remain four points adrift after defeating Stithians 53-5.

School of Mines back from holiday defeated Roseland 43-15 with Perranporth winning 19-7 at Helston.

Saturday sees Newquay Hornets at home to Veor.

In Tribute Cornwall 2 St. Agnes had a walkover against Lankelly-Fowey.

Lanner defeated Redruth Albany 67-3.

Lanner travel to St. Agnes on Saturday both sides drew at Lanner earlier in the season.

Devon Under 20s won 11-10 at Gloucestershire yesterday to set up a group decider against Cornwall at Ivybridge on SUNDAY 25TH JANUARY kick-off 2:30 pm.

In Brittany Tom Parker’s Vannes side continue to lead their pool of Fédérale 1 (level 3 in France) following a 40-25 win over second placed Langon in front of 3,000 spectators (what the Cornish Pirates or any other club would give for crowds like that!).

Further evidence of the growing stature of Breton rugby three players from Vannes lock Etienne Delagne, scrum-half Clement Payan and  centre Kevin Burguad have recently been training with the France Fedrale squad for this season’s games against England Counties and Irish Clubs XV.

Posted in Bill's Blog


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