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Former Penryn & Cornwall player Roger Harris passes away

Photo- Roger Harris (left) with former Penryn & Cornwall team mate Graham Bate

Former Penryn hooker and captain, Roger Harris, who was part of the Cornwall side that played Lancashire in the 1969 County final at Redruth, has sadly passed away aged 76 following a short illness.

Harris played 62 times for Cornwall, a record for his position, he was part of a formidable front row with “Bonzo” Johns and “Stack” Stevens as his props, he was also an acknowledged goal-kicker with a torpedo kicking style, and kicked the first points for Cornwall in the 1969 final against Lancashire in front of some 23,000 spectators. Sadly despite leading 9-0 at half-time, Cornwall eventually lost 11-9.

Other stand out games for Cornwall included the three against Surrey in the semi-final stage in 1966-67, in the first replay at Richmond, following a 9-9 draw at Redruth in the first game, with seconds remaining, and Cornwall trailing, he snaffled the ball in his own twenty-two before passing to Richard Sharp who in turn fed winger Kenny Plummer for a try, allowing Roger Hosen to kick a touch-line conversion to level the scores at 14-14 and send the tie into a second replay at Redruth, but sadly Cornwall lost it 14-3.

He played for the combined Cornwall and Devon side against the three major southern hemisphere nations, and rated All Black Colin Meads as the hardest player he had ever played against.

He also captained a Cornwall and Devon side on a tour to Romania in the early seventies, which he told me was quite an eye-opener.

Other notable playing highlights included: playing for Cornwall against a French Select side in Clermont-Ferrand in 1969, a game that ended in an 11-all draw; twice touring South Wales on the Barbarians Easter Tour in 1969 & 70; and playing in the Mobbs Memorial Match in 1970 for the invitational side.

He was very unfortunate not to be capped by England, being a bench replacement on numerous occasions, notably in 1969 when England defeated South Africa at Twickenham 11-8, England’s first ever win against the Springboks.

Educated at Truro Cathedral School where he was encouraged with rugby by his headmaster Mr Mischler, he played as youngster with Truro before going to St. Luke’s College.

On the club front he played briefly for Plymouth Albion, but principally for the fine Penryn side of the 1960’s and early 70’s. He was part of the team that won the first CRFU Knock Out Cup in 67-68 season, when they defeated Redruth 5-0 in the final. He also captained the club in their RFU Knock Out Cup quarter-final defeat 28–4 at Penryn against a David Duckham-inspired Coventry in 1972, in front of a crowd of some 5,000. In a previous round, they had knocked out Exeter following a draw at the County Ground in Exeter, going through as the away side.

Photo- Harris to left of Bonzo Johns playing against Devon

After retiring from playing he became a regional selector in the England set up of the time at schools level and was also Chairman of Selectors for Cornwall during part of the 1984-85 season.

He coached at Penryn and also at Perranporth, where he lived.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornish Pirates book semi-final place in B&I Cup

Cornish Pirates 38 Doncaster Knights 19

By Phil Westren Cornish Pirates Media Officer

This win for the Cornish Pirates in the quarter-final of the British & Irish Cup was one to please – on two fronts.

Firstly, emerging winners after having lost their last five encounters against the Knights provided satisfaction, whilst more importantly the result has set up what will be a tough but tasty semi-final tie away to London Welsh next weekend.

The Cornish Pirates made a number of changes to their starting line-up from the one that ran out against Bristol Rugby the previous Sunday. Three were in the backs, where full-back Toby May, centre Tom Hendrickson, and wing Matt Evans returned to action. Marlen Walker, Rob Elloway and Alan Paver formed the front-row unit, Sam Simmonds and skipper Alex Cheesman the flanker pairing, and Jake Parker moved up a rank to partner Brett Beukeboom in the second-row.

With the Mennaye Field bathed in welcome sunshine, the Pirates also got off to a bright beginning, when centre Tom Riley, who was making his 101st appearance for the club, duly celebrated with the game’s opening try.

Confirming an excellent start to the game, the Pirates quickly doubled their tally. Space was created on the left, and in a flash wing Evans touched the ball down at the scoreboard corner.

As if finding their feet, the visiting side, with Cornishman Ollie Bryant selected at full-back, soon responded with a try of their own, scored by centre George Catchpole. Fly-half Declan Cusack added the extras.

The Pirates scrum was serving them well through the first period, and awarded penalties they were able to relieve any mounting pressure. Defensively they were also sound, and there would be no more scores the break.

Starting the second half well, 10-7 soon became 17-7, thanks to a converted try scored by No. 8 Tom Duncan.
Doncaster had their chances, but didn’t take them, and the Pirates were happy to make them pay thanks to their fourth try of the match. Hooker Rob Elloway was identified as the scorer and May, now finding his target, slotted the extras.

Clive Griffiths’ Doncaster pulled seven points back when their skipper Alex Shaw drove over the line for a converted try, but the Pirates were quick to reopen a 17 points gap. Lively scrum-half Stuart Townsend provided the initial impetus, and a fellow Devonian, flanker Sam Simmonds, ended a try-scorer. May kicked the conversion.

Shaw made it to the line once again for what was but a consolation score, but the Pirates determinedly had the last say when replacement centre Rheon James crossed for a converted try.

So, all eyes will now look towards Old Deer Park next weekend, for a match that should indeed have extra spice about it. Yes, the Pirates have beaten the Welsh three times already this season – twice in Cup pool games and once in the league – however the exiles side is in a rich vein of form of recent, and have won their last four games, including a surprise 45-39 points win away to Leinster on Saturday.

For the Pirates, to ultimately make it through to their second final, remembering that they were proudly the first ever winners of the British & Irish Cup in 2010, would be a considerable achievement, if it can be attained.

Cornish Pirates: 15 Toby May (Will Cargill 72), 14 Kyle Moyle, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Tom Hendrickson (Rheon James 71), 11 Matt Evans, 10 Laurence May, 9 Stuart Townsend (Alex Day 72); 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Rob Elloway (Tom Channon 62), 3 Alan Paver (Tyler Gendall 55), 4 Jake Parker (Marcus Garratt 77), 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Alex Cheesman (capt), 7 Sam Simmonds, 8 Tom Duncan (Joe Atkinson 62). Yellow card: Beukeboom.

Doncaster Knights: 15 Ollie Bryant, 14 Andy Bulumakau, 13 George Catchpole, 12 Bevon Armitage (Dave McIlwaine 61), 11 Tyson Lewis, 10 Dec Cusack, 9 Brad Field (Michael Heaney 61); 1 WillGriff John (Richard List 55), 2 Ted Stagg (Vili Veikoso 53), 3 Joe Sproston (Tiziano Pasquali h/t), 4 Joe Maksymiw (Matt Challinor 64), 5 Tyler Hotson, 6 Glen Young, 7 Will Owen (Michael Hills 55), 8 Alex Shaw (capt).
Scorers:- Cornish Pirates – tries: Riley, Evans, Duncan, Elloway, Simmonds, James; cons: Laurence May (4). Doncaster Knights – tries: Shaw (2), Catchpole; cons: Cusack (2).

In other quarter-final matches played, Jersey emerged 19-15 victors at Bedford and Yorkshire Carnegie won convincingly, 50-3, at home to Moseley. Yorkshire Carnegie will now play Jersey at home next weekend, to compete for a home tie against either London Welsh or the Cornish Pirates in the final.

Referee: Fergus Kirby (RFU).
St. Austell Brewery’s ‘Cornish Pirates’ Man-of-the-Match: Stuart Townsend.
Attendance: 1,136.

Director of Rugby Ian Davies to leave Cornish Pirates at end of season

Ian Davies will leave Cornish Pirates at the end of the current season to take up a new post as Director of Rugby at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham, Sussex.

Ian, who has been at Cornish Pirates for seven seasons, joined as Forwards Coach in 2009 under the leadership of Chris Stirling.

Under Chris’s stewardship the Pirates won the inaugural British & Irish Cup competition in 2010 (versus Munster), and also reached the Championship Play-Off Final in 2011.

After Chris returned to New Zealand in April, 2012, Ian assumed the role of Director of Rugby and led the Pirates to the Championship Play-Off Final at the end of that season. Also, during the last two seasons, he has developed both Gavin Cattle and Alan Paver as they transition from players to coaches

The delays to the Stadium 4 Cornwall project have created budget pressures for the Cornish Pirates, and as a consequence playing budgets have had to be reduced for next season. Priority to signing players has been the key focus and the budget restrictions have imposed some challenging options, which the Board and the coaches have been discussing. A consequence of these budget limitations is that Ian¹s time at the Pirates cannot continue beyond his current contract.

Ian Connell, Chairman of the Cornish Pirates commented: “The Cornish Pirates are hugely indebted to Ian Davies for his major contribution during the Chris Stirling years and for his even greater contribution as Director of Rugby.

“Developing and mentoring Gavin Cattle and Alan Paver as coaches will prove to be an enduring legacy, and although sad to see Ian leave we are happy that in Gavin and Alan we have two coaches who are able to assume the leadership of Cornish Pirates rugby.”

Mr. Connell added: “Everyone connected with the Cornish Pirates will wish Ian and his family every good wish as they relocate along the south coast to Sussex.”

Ian Davies has said that he is “Absolutely devastated to be leaving not only the Pirates but also Cornwall.”

He further commented: “I would like to thank Dicky Evans for firstly giving me the opportunity to be a professional rugby coach, and secondly for him then to entrust me be to be the Director of Rugby at the Pirates. Hopefully, during my time at the club I have, in some small way, repaid the faith he showed in my appointment.

“I am certain Gavin and Alan will continue to do the fantastic job they are currently doing for us, and I have assured them I am at the end of a telephone if they need a sounding board.”

Ian concluded: “It is very fortunate that I am able to move back into education, and it is a wonderful opportunity at Christ’s Hospital School which will also provide me with a new challenge.”

Posted in Bill's Blog

Vital Cornish win comes at a heavy price

Cornwall Under 20s defeated their Devon counterparts 44-29 at Camborne on Sunday afternoon to ensure their continued participation at this level for next season.

However, the win came with a heavy price when flanker Locryn Williams suffered a bad concussion, having just started playing after a similar injury last season. Following medical advice Williams has made the sad but understandable decision to call time on his rugby career at the age of 20!

Both sides came into this game with a raft of injuries, including Cornwall’s skipper Jack Simmons, and it was the depth of the Cornish squad that was to help determine the outcome. This bodes well for the next season as the younger members of the squad now know what is required at this level of the game.

Redruth’s Dan Rutter helped himself to a try hat trick as well as kicking four conversions and a penalty. He got the Cornwall side off to a good start with only four minutes on the clock. Rutter may well yet figure in the South West selectors minds when they meet. Other scores were accredited to fellow Red James MacFarlane (2) and Penryn’s Adam Hughes. Hughes has had an excellent Championship at No. 8 and has shown great skill and determination and is another good prospect.

However, the whole squad contributed to a good result which looked comfortable at 29-0 after 21 minutes. A nasty injury to the very lively Williams seemed to halt Cornwall’s strong defensive play as well as a keen desire to keep the scoreboard moving. Devon finished the half with further tries by Jack Bond and Tom Bottoms so at half time Cornwall led by 32-19.

As the second half got under way there were further scores for Devon that brought the score back to 37-29 and it needed the touchdown by Hughes to settle the score but the whole squad had to dig deep to see out the last minutes and a 44-29 score line.

Coaches Bryn Jenkins, Mike Rawlings and Ian Morgan were clearly relieved that the Cornish boys had acquitted themselves well in the final pool game and that the result ensures another season in the top flight of U20 rugby. Thirteen of the squad will now return to compete at this level next season while Luke Hattam, Tommy Phillips, Jack Simmons and Tommy Lee Southworth and others will move out of the age group knowing that they have ensured Cornwall continues to develop quality players in this age group and into the senior game.

Cornwall (Camborne unless stated): Stean, Tyler (St. Just), McFarlane (Redruth), Down (Saltash) Sandercock (Launceston), Rutter (Redruth), Jane (St. Austell); Southworth (Capt), Trewhella, Burley (Penryn), Brown, Hattam (Redruth), Moyle, Williams (Chinnor), Hughes (Penryn).

Replacements: A Smith (Redruth), Vincent (Lankelly-Fowey), Sayer, H Smith (Wadebridge Camels), Gilder (St. Austell), Illsley, Andrews (Saltash).

Cornwall U20 Players South West Trial
During the recent U20 County Championships games held throughout the South West (SW), selectors have been monitoring players to invite them to the SW trials which will be held at Keynsham RFC Bristol on Sunday 20 March.

The following have been invited to the trials to represent Cornwall:
Tommy Lee Southworth Camborne and Cornish Pirates PDF
Adam Hughes Penryn
Dan Rutter Redruth
Jack Simmons Camborne
Ben Stean Camborne & Plymouth Albion
Tommy Phillips Redruth and Cornish Pirates PDF invited but unable to train due to injury.
Locryn Williams Chinnor – Was selected but is unable to attend due to injury.
Following the trials, regional games will be held where the England Counties U20 Squad will be selected. Last year both Todd Prisk and Tommy Phillips gained England Counties U20 Caps representing Cornwall.

The CRFU congratulate all of the players on their selection.

Posted in Bill's Blog

England Counties make changes to face France Fédérale tonight

A busy weekend for England Counties head coach James Shanahan as he oversees his Counties side at Blackheath tonight before heading to Redruth tomorrow for his club Old Albanian’s re-arranged National League 2 encounter at the Rec.

Perhaps not surprisingly the two Old Albanian players involved start on the bench, whilst Redruth’s Tom Cowan-Dickie is in the starting XV at hooker! Conspiracy theories will abound in Hell fire corner!!!

Sadly the other Cornishman who was involved in the Scottish game, Plymouth Albion prop, Christian Judge, has been forced to withdraw due to injury with former Cornish Pirates, now at Cambridge Dan Seal being called up.

France Fédérale travel on the back of a 16-12 defeat at home, at Massy in the Paris suburbs, to Irish Clubs last month.

Two players from Breton side Vannes are involved in the French side, centre Kévin Burgaud and lock Etienne Delangle.


Player plus Club and Comites  affiliation
15. Maël Moinot (US Bressane & Lyonnais)
14. Djamel Ouchene (Libourne & Côte d’Argent)
13. Stéphane Bonvalot (Nevers & Bourgogne)
12. Kévin Burgaud (Vannes & Bretagne)
11. Pierre Laffitte (Avenir Valencien & Midi Pyrénées)
10. Stephane Guenin (Libourne & Côte d’Argent)
9. Paul Dubert (Capt), (US Tyrosse & Côte Basque Landes)
1. Jérôme Martinez (US Tyrosse & Côte Basque Landes)
2. Philippe Rodriguez (US Tyrosse & Côte Basque Landes)
3. Nicolas Kwarazfelia (Blagnac & Midi Pyrénées)
4. Etienne Delangle (Vannes & Bretagne)
5. Kevin Kahn (US Tyrosse & Côte Basque Landes)
6. Jonathan Giraud (US Bressane & Lyonnais)
7. Damien Costanzo (Périgueu &, Périgord Agenais)
8. Damien Gateau (Saint Jean d’Angel & Poitou Charentes)
Replacements :
16. Pierre Trassoudaine (Castane &t, Midi Pyrénées)
17. Thierry Berhabe (FC Oloron & Béarn)
18. Arnaud Etchegaray (Leucate & Languedoc)
19. Yann Dessis (Langon & Côte d’Argent)
20. Jean-Michel Tauzin (FC Oloron & Béarn)
21. Morgan Le Bourhis (US Tyrosse & Côte Basque Landes)
22. Etienne Quiniou (US Bressane & Lyonnais)
23. Thomas Anies (Céret & Pays Catalan)


England Counties XV Club and County
1 Andrew Brown Coventry and Derbyshire
2 Tom Cowan-Dickie Redruth and Cornwall
3 Dan Seal Cambridge and East Midlands
4 Joe Makin Hull Ionians and Yorkshire
5 Ian Kench Esher and Surrey
6 Keith Laughlin (captain) Blaydon and Northumberland
7 Harry Broadbent Rosslyn Park and Cheshire
8 Christopher Davies Richmond and Cheshire
9 Sam Stuart Richmond and Surrey
10 Joe Tarrant Bournemouth and Dorset
11 Leo Fielding Blackheath and Gloucestershire
12 Sebastian Rodwell London Irish Wild Geese and Gloucestershire
13 Markus Burchum Blackheath and Kent
14 James Stokes Cambridge and Eastern Counties
15 Mike Wilcox Cinderford and Gloucestershire
16 Matt Miles Old Albanians and Hertfordshire
17 Trevor Davison Blaydon and Durham
18 Matt Beelesey Wharfedale and Cheshire
19 Tom Baldin Blackheath and Kent
20 Tom Stradwick Blackheath and Kent
21 Brett Daynes Cambridge and East Midlands
22 Chris May Old Albanian and Hertfordshire
23 Spencer Sutherland Esher and Surrey
Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall under 20s forced into changes for Devon clash

Cornwall go into their final pool game against Devon in this season’s Under 20 County Championship knowing that only a win will do, reports Bill Hooper.

Sadly, neither side are in the running for the quarter-finals this season, having both featured last season, but with relegation having been brought in this year the loser of this game will be demoted to a lower level next season and neither county will relish that prospect.

The Camborne club has eight of its players in the squad which is bound to ensure keen interest in the game from the local support.

CRFU President Ken Plummer said, “This will be another test for these young guys; both Cornwall and Devon have lost their opening games and the loser of this game will be relegated. Having watched them at Redingensians and Cinderford I know they have the spirit and ability to put in a good performance and get a result!”

Cornwall have been forced into changes for this vital fixture, having lost both starting props from the game against Gloucestershire (Tommy Phillips and Curtis Reynolds) to injury.

“We have suffered greatly with injuries this season and unfortunately we lost both of last week’s starting props with Tommy Phillips picking up a hand injury and Curtis Reynolds picking up a shoulder injury,” remarked coach Mike Rawlings.

Camborne’s Tommy-Lee Southworth reverts to the loose-head side, whilst Penryn’s Ryan Burley starts at tight-head with another local lad Luke Trewhella getting a first call up at this level.

Elsewhere, there is a welcome return for Locryn Williams in the back row, excellent in the game at Berkshire, with Town’s Angus Brown moving up into the second row to partner Redruth’s Luke Hattam.

Photo – Dan Rutter being congratulated on scoring one of his two tries against Gloucestershire

Coach Bryn Jenkin said: “The result against Gloucestershire was disappointing, where we made some silly mistakes, missed a few tackles and they rightly took advantage. On the day they deserved the win and will fight it out with Berkshire as to who has the home quarter-final.”

Other changes are in the back-line with Dan Jane (St Austell) coming in at scrum-half, whilst Redruth’s Dan Rutter moves to fly-half in place of fellow Red James MacFarlane, who moves out to inside centre.

On the bench there is a call up for Camborne’s exciting young prospect Cameron Sayer, as there is for St. Austell’s back rower Will Gilder. It’s also good to see that Redruth’s Adam Smith has recovered from the illness that saw him laid up in hospital for a couple of days following the game at Cinderford.

The U20 team manager Chris Lea said: “It is real shame after reaching the semi-finals last season to be in a relegation battle this season. That is the vagaries of U20 rugby when we lose up to 50% of our squad every year through age qualification. There are a number of these guys who will be around next season and we will be looking at new talent who can come into the squad next season.”

SUNDAY 13 MARCH 2016 @ CAMBORNE RFC 2 pm kick-off




Coaches – Ian Morgan, Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins
Team Manager – Chris Lea

Devon squad: Billy Pinkus (Ivybridge), Damon Akerman (Ivybridge), Dom Mulberry (Saltash), Harry Rumens (Sidmouth), Haydon Down (Sidmouth), Jack Bond (Newton Abbot), Jack Rouse (Exeter University), Jim Massey (Albion), Joe Walker (Ivybridge), Joe Daley (Services), Jordan Watson (Brixham), Jordan Petherbridge (Barnstaple), Josh Mynett (Sidmouth), Luke Simmons (Launceston), Luke Stannard (Services), Matt Hanford (Marjons), Noah Nash (Okehampton/Albion), Richard Hull (Sidmouth), Sean Harrison (Ivybridge), Tom Bottoms (Newton Abbot), Tyler Busfield (Services), Will Mason (Plymouth University).  Travelling reserves: Sam Luke (Services), Hallam Chapman (Okehampton).

Posted in Bill's Blog

Redruth overcome Titans to jump to fourth

Photo – Tom Cowan-Dickie scored for the Reds against Taunton

St. Piran’s Day served up it’s very own rugby classic as Redruth powered to an impressive 38-3 win against Taunton Titans at the Recreation Ground.

The win saw the Reds leap-frog Taunton the National League 2 table and with a mouth-watering game this Saturday against Old Albanian again at the Rec the prospect of in the case of a win moving up to third! Heady heights indeed.

Redruth scored six tries through Kyle Marriott, Tom Cowan-Dickie, Matt Bowden, Pale Nonu, Luke Hattam and Chris Fuca with Brett Rule kicking four conversions.

Conversely, the Cornish All Blacks saw the prospect of a first league win this season snatched from their grasp at Southend as they slipped to a 19-13 defeat in the final moments.

The loss confirmed their relegation to National League 3 SW for next season.

Seb Hockridge scored the All Black’s try with Fraser Honey kicking the other points.

On Sunday in the Green King Championship the Cornish Pirates gave leaders Bristol a good run returning to Cornwall with a couple of points in 29-24 defeat. Tries were scored by Brett Beukeboom, Kyle Moyle, Craig Holland, and skipper for the day, Tom Duncan, Will Cargill slotting a couple of conversions.

This Sunday the Cornish Pirates entertain Doncaster Knights in the quarter-final of the British and Irish Cup kick-off 3pm on the Mennaye.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Camborne remain on course following their 31-13 win at home against Drybrook. Damien Cook crashed over for a hat-trick of scores with Alex Ducker and James Goldsworthy also crossing for tries. Rhys Brownfield added three conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West, a fine win for Truro at home to Torquay Athletic 40-7. Luke Tidball (2), Harvey Bell (2), Luke Trescothick and Alex Sutheridge all scored tries with Ashley Hosking kicking five conversions.

Penryn are off the bottom after their gutsy 28-24 win at Devonport Services. Phil Hinchley (2), George Jones, on his return from a long injury, and Danny Booth scored the tries with Matt Horton kicking a couple of penalties and a conversion.

Wadebridge Camels slipped up at home against Sidmouth 15-20. Shaun Hawkey and Rich Treleaven scored tries with James Grubb kicking a penalty and conversion.

St. Austell also lost at home to play-off chasing Okehampton 10-22. Shane Johns and Cav Boyer scored tries for the Saints.

Saltash slipped to the bottom of the pile following their latest defeat at home to Crediton 13-22. Ryan Cruickshanks scored a try for the Ashes with Todd Croft adding the conversion and a couple of penalties.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish hopes of finishing top were dealt a blow with a 32-24 home defeat at the hands of London Exiles.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Bude took a big option towards the league title with a 27-8 win against second place St. Ives at Alexandra Road. Ollie Denford (2), James Comber and Adam Black scored tries for the North Cornwall side with Dan Pearce kicking the other points.

For the Hakes player-coach Paul Thirlby scored a try with brother Grant adding a penalty.

Withycombe are now level on points with St. Ives, but have two games in-hand.

Falmouth had a fruitless trip to Plymstock losing 27-0. Bodmin lost at home 9-12 to Plymouth Argaum. Josh Taylor landed three penalties for the home side.

Hayle went down at Paignton 27-3. Dan Lello with their sole penalty. Newquay Hornets were heavily defeated at Withycombe 64-5. Harry Pendreich with their only try.

The game between Pirates Amateurs and Honiton was postponed.

In Tribute Cornwall 1, Lanner’s stay at the top lasted just one week as they lost at Helston 16-13. Camborne School of Mines are back at the top following their 22-10 win against Perranporth.

Veor remain third following their 19-10 win at Wheal Gerry against Illogan Park. Liskeard-Looe overcame a valiant St. Agnes 30-24 at Enys Parc.

In Tribute Cornwall 2 Roseland defeated their nearest challengers St. Just 11-8 and look odds on to be crowned Champions.
Camelford defeated Redruth Albany at Trewergie 38-5 and Sthithans won 27-7 at Lankelly-Fowey.

News this week that former Cornwall star Martin Haag will be relinquishing his post at Nottingham to take up the reins with England Under 20s next season.

Cornwall Under 20s round off their program on Sunday against Devon at Camborne kick-off 2pm. Cornwall must win the game to avoid relegation that has been brought in this season.

Good luck to both Redruth’s Tom Cowan-Dickie and Plymouth Albion’s Christian Judge who are both involved with England Counties on Friday evening at Blackheath against France Fédérale. Counties will be defending the Jean-Claude Baqué Cup played for between the two sides.

Not forgetting Bill Keast with the England Under 20s against Wales and of course both Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan-Dickie in the squad to face Wales at Twickenham.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall’s hopes dashed in Gloucestershire defeat

Cornwall players Curtis Reynolds (1), Luke Hattam, Tommy Phillips, Adam Hughes (8) and Dan Rutter

Gloucestershire U20 36 – 14 Cornwall U20

Cornwall travelled to Cinderford RFC in the Forest of Dean for their second championship game of the season, despite a bright opening, Cornwall found their hosts too hot to handle especially with two yellow cards during the game.

Cornwall got off to a flying start with a try after 12 minutes when scrum half Dan Rutter dived over after some hard work by the forwards close to the Gloucestershire line. The try was converted by James MacFarlane.

Gloucestershire shaken by the early score came back into the game 4 minutes later with a driving maul and grounded the ball for an unconverted try.
Straight from the kick off Gloucestershire struck again when a missed tackle let them run through to score under the posts for a converted try.

Cornwall had to endure the first of two yellow cards when prop forward Tommy Phillips was sent to the sin bin. Gloucestershire took advantage of the situation and from a scrum close to the Cornish line drove over for another converted try. The half ended for Cornwall when an attempted kick was charged down and slick hands saw the ball thrown wide for Gloucestershire winger Reuben Goatley cross for the second of what was to be a hat trick of tries.

With a half time deficit of 24 – 7 Cornwall had a mountain to climb in the second half.

The second half Cornwall had the wind behind them and a closer game ensued. In the 53 minute another missed tackle by Cornwall saw Goatley go over for his hat trick, but again the conversion was missed. Cornwall suffered their second yellow of the day when flanker Angus Brown was given 10 minutes in the sin bin.

Gloucestershire again took full advantage when they scored their final try of the afternoon.

The Cornwall players never gave up, and a bit of individual magic saw Rutter break the line, twice chipping over the opposition catching the ball and scoring a brilliant consolation try which was converted to give Cornwall a consolation score.

Gloucestershire deserved there victory with a strong squad and well worked moves on the day. Gloucestershire and Berkshire progress through to the quarter-finals of the competition. Cornwall now has it all to do, with a group wooden spoon decider against local rivals Devon on Sunday 13 March at Camborne RFC with a 14:00 kick off, the Cornish lads will want to end on a high in their only home game of the season.
Cornwall: Stean, Thomas, Simmons (Capt), Down, Swan, MacFarlane, Rutter; Reynolds, Southworth. Phillips, Hattam, Inch, Brown, Moyle, Hughes.

Replacements: Smith, Burley, Vincent, Smith, Andrews, Sandercock, Tyler

Cornwall scores: Tries, Rutter (2), Conversions, MacFarlane (2)



Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates fluff lines in dress rehearsal

Let’s start with the league, on Sunday the Cornish Pirates had a dress rehearsal for their British & Irish Cup quarter-final tie with Doncaster Knights at the Mennaye on Sunday March 13th with the winners away to either London Welsh or Leinster.

Second placed Knights gave the home side food for thought with a 26-19 win to inflict a third straight defeat for the Cornish side.

Jack Arnott opened the scoring with an unconverted try but Knights struck back with a try and penalty for an 8-5 half-time advantage.

The visitors took control of the game with a converted try and a couple of penalties to lead 21-5.

Jack Innard’s try converted by Kieran Hallett gave the Pirates a sniff, but a further Knights’ try put them 26-12 ahead.

Pirates did manage to get a losing bonus point when Hallett converted Tyler Gendall’s late try.

That result leaves the Pirates in 9th spot in the Championship.

At Redruth on Saturday an excellent game with visitors Dorking saw the Reds win 46-20. Nielson Webber bagged a hat-trick of tries with other scores coming from Ben Priddey, Lewis Vinnicombe, Sam Parsons, Rob Coote and Brad Howe.

That result keeps the Reds in fifth place just two points behind Taunton who visit the Rec on St. Piran’s day.

The Cornish All Blacks ‘season of woe continues with another defeat at Polson to Canterbury 39-12. Richard Friend and Dave Parish scored tries with Chris Swash adding a conversion.

Relegation for Launceston is likely to be confirmed by next week end’s trip to Southend.

Only two games involved Cornish clubs in Tribute Western Counties West and both ended in defeat for local sides.

St. Austell picked up a losing bonus point at Cullompton from a 15-12 defeat. Tries for the Saints were scored by George Knowles and James Martin with Andy Ashwin adding a conversion.

At Penryn, visitors Torquay Athletic prevailed 27-11 in a feisty affair that saw Borough’s hooker Jordan Smith show a red card for punching.
Josh Chambers scored a try with Matt Horton kicking a couple of penalties, sadly the Borough’s days in this division look numbered as they still languish at the foot of the table.

In London 2 SW, a good five pointer for London Cornish as they defeated Warlingham 27-17. Tom Jeffery (2), Tim Homan (2) and Joe Donnelly scored tries with Josh Allison adding a conversion.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, there was a North Coast derby as bottom placed Newquay Hornets entertained leaders Bude. No surprises as the visitors ran out 61-17 winners.

Bude scored nine tries with three going to Kyle Speare and Dan Pearce converting eight scores.

St. Ives enjoyed a 35-10 win at Paignton with Peter Mabbott, Lewis Thomas, Cameron Bone, Jamie Prisk and Martyn Lawrence all crossing and Grant Thirlby converting the lot.

Falmouth drew at Plymouth Argaum 17 – all, Oli Church and Steve Instance with the tries both converted by Justyn Irons who also landed a penalty.

Pirates Amateurs won 31-10 at Tavistock. Steve Evans (2), Callum Osborne, Connor Bick and Rhodri McAtee all scored tries with Jimmy Tresize kicking the other points.

A welcome win for Hayle who won at struggling Exeter Saracens 35-20, thanks to tries from Harvey (2), Rashleigh and Benton with Dan Lello’s boot adding the rest of the points.

In Tribute Cornwall 1, Lanner move to the top of the table following their 21-17 defeat of previous leaders School of Mines. Liskeard-Looe defeated Veor at Lux Park 15-11 whilst Illogan Park got the better of Helston 23-12. Perranporth defeated near-neighbours St. Agnes 24-12.

In Tribute Cornwall 2, Roseland maintained their top spot with a 61-0 defeat of Lankelly-Fowey. St. Just had a walkover against Albany, Camelford got the better of Stithians 11-3.

In the Tribute Cornwall Cup, Camborne bidding for a fourth successive win, defeated Wadebridge Camels 24-5 in the first semi-final. Town’s tries were scored by Damien Cook, Dave Roberts and a penalty-try with Rhys Brownfield adding all three conversions and a penalty. The sole score for the Camels was Matt Ballard try.

Cornwall under 20’s slim hopes of making the National quarter-finals of this season’s County Championship were extinguished as they lost 36-14 to Gloucestershire at Cinderford on Sunday.

Their final pool game against Devon on March 13th at Camborne, who also lost for a second time on Sunday, will decide the group wooden spoon.

Both Christian Judge (Plymouth Albion) and Tom Cowan-Dickie (Redruth) featured for England Counties on Friday evening as they lost to Scottish Club International XV 57-27 at Netherdale.

Billy Keast (Redruth) was a bench replacement for England Under 20s in their defeat to Ireland 26-20 at Kingston park.

Moment of the week has to be Jack Nowell’s try-saving tackle for England at Twickenham on Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw, he scat un’ good n’ proper Cornish style!

Finally, and though I couldn’t be present, TASC held it’s annual dinner at the Rose-in-Vale Hotel in Mithian on Saturday night with our guests of honour being Ewart and Margaret White. Ewart as you will recall stepped down as County team secretary after 20 years at the end of last season.

Posted in Bill's Blog

England Counties make choices for Scots clash

England Counties have named their side to face Scottish Clubs at Netherdale tomorrow night kick-off 7:30 pm

Former Cornish All Black, now with Plymouth Albion, prop Christian Judge, a star from Cornwall’s County Championship win last season starts the game at tight-head prop.

Redruth’s Tom Cowan-Dickie is on the bench and looks likely to be involved at some point.

Photos – by Simon Bryant

Top Chris Judge

Bottom Tom Cowan-Dickie


Matt Long, team manager of England Counties XV, has confirmed the side to take on Scotland Club XV tomorrow in Galashiels.

The match day 23 is made up of players from 13 different clubs and 14 counties across the country. England will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s match which they won 37-3.

England Counties is the flagship team of the Community Game in England and offers players from National League One and below the opportunity to represent their country.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing this team play on Friday,” said Long. “It’s made up of quite a few new faces but we’ve been working for months to select the right players and have spent the time we’ve had with them getting them up to speed on how we want to play.”

The team have won their last six games having gone unbeaten in 2015 and will play five matches this season including a three match tour of Canada.

“It was a good match last year and we were really happy with the win,” added Long. “That result will have added fuel to their fire and i’m sure it’s going to be a very physical test for us.”

With so many new faces in the team, Long is looking to captain Keith Laughlin to lead the way. “Given many of the players haven’t met before they joined up with the squad, it’s crucial that senior guys like Keith show them how we do things and how we want to play.”

The match will kick off at 7:30pm tomorrow at Gala Rugby Club, Galashiels. You can keep up to date with the match by following @EnglandRugby on Twitter.

England Counties will play France Fédérale on Friday, 11 March at Blackheath RFC. Kick off is at 7:30pm.

England Counties XV Club and County
1 Andrew Brown Coventry and Derbyshire
2 Matthew Miles Old Albanians and Hertfordshire
3 Christian Judge Plymouth Albion and Cornwall
4 Robert Conquest Darlington Mowden Park and Hertfordshire
5 Ian Kench Esher and Surrey
6 Keith Laughlin (captain) Blaydon and Northumberland
7 Harry Bate Old Albanians and Hertfordshire
8 Christopher Davies Richmond and Cheshire
9 Sam Stuart Richmond and Surrey
10 Christopher Johnson Fylde and Lancashire
11 Leo Fielding Blackheath and Gloucestershire
12 Christopher May Old Albanians and Hertfordshire
13 Sebastian Rodwell London Irish Wild Geese and Gloucestershire
14 James Stokes Cambridge and Eastern Counties
15 Mike Wilcox Cinderford and Gloucestershire
16 Tom Cowan-Dickie Redruth and Cornwall
17 Ollie Mines Esher and Surrey
18 Trevor Davison Blaydon and Durham
19 Tom Stradwick Blackheath and Kent
20 Brett Daynes Cambridge and East Midlands
21 Jack Walsh Blackheath and Kent
22 Spencer Sutherland Esher and Surrey
23 Markus Burcham Blackheath and Kent

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall make changes for Gloucestershire trip



Photos- Cornwall Under 20s in action at Berkshire


Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship campaign 2016 continues on Sunday 28 February with another away trip against Gloucestershire.

Following the first game defeat away to last year’s beaten finalist Berkshire, the Cornwall team have had a further two training sessions.

CRFU President Ken Plummer said “This will be another test for these young guys; playing Gloucestershire in the forest of Dean is never an easy game. Having watched them at Redingensians I know they have the spirit and ability to put in a good performance and get a result!”

Cornwall face one further game in the pool stage, against local rivals Devon on Sunday March 13.

Coach Bryn Jenkin said – “The result against Berkshire was disappointing, however they are made up with a lot of University guys who have been able to play 4 warm up games. However on the day they deserved the win and showed why they reached the final last year.”

Cornwall‘s final pool stage game will at home against Devon on Sunday 13 March 2016, at Camborne RFC with a 14:00 kick off time.

Coach Mike Rawlings said; – “We must learn from the last game, Berkshire caught us cold and scored twice in the first 15 minutes which put us on catch up all the game. Once we got over that initial setback we matched them for the rest of the game eventually losing 19 – 7. We have the skills within this squad to put in another good performance at Cinderford and I know the guys will be up for the challenge.”
CRFU Chair Denis Preece said “The guys played with pride and passion in Berkshire to wear the famous Black and Gold Jersey. They came up a little bit short on the day but will be full of determination against Gloucestershire.”

Cornwall make five changes to their starting XV to face Gloucestershire this Sunday, two positional.

In the front row Tommy Lee Southworth moves to hooker with Curtis Reynolds coming in at loose-head. In the back row Locryn Williams is unavailable so Angus Brown (Camborne) steps up from the bench.

In the backs Redruth’s Dan Rutter moves from centre to scrum-half in place of Brandon Andrews who is on the bench.

Connor Swan comes in on the wing in place of Konnor Ewudzi, whilst Kieran Down from Saltash steps up from the bench to start at inside centre.

St. Just’s John Tyler comes in on the bench as backs cover.





Coaches – Ian Morgan, Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins
Team Manager – Chris Lea

Posted in Bill's Blog

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