Sam & Locryn top the vote

TRELAWNY’S ARMY MEMBERS ELECT THEIR PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

WINNER OF THE BILL OSBORNE MEMORIAL SHIELD

Cornwall’s triumph at Twickenham in retaining the Bill Beaumont Cup ensured huge interest from the membership in choosing this season’s player of the year. There were no shortage of candidates in the running for the Cornwall Senior Player of the Year award but in the end voting was pretty well unanimous for our winner, Camborne’s Fijian international flanker SAM MATAVESI.


Photo Simon Bryant: Sam on the charge at Twickenham against Cheshire

Sam the second of three rugby playing brothers, is a Camborne man through and through. His form last season helped Camborne on their promotion charge before he returned to Plymouth Albion. He is now back with Camborne as they embark on their first season of National League rugby for nineteen years.

He scored five tries in last season’s County campaign, but it was his all-round play that continually caught the eye in Cornwall’s four games

The TONY MEAD MEMORIAL SHIELD for the CORNWALL U.20 PLAYER goes to LOCRYN WILLIAMS another who played in the back row.

Locryn came up through the ranks at Redruth and Truro School. A member of the fine Cornwall 18 group side that went through the season undefeated 2013 and saw him win an England Schools & Counties cap.


Photo Simon Bryant: Locryn in action against Gloucestershire U.20

He was part of the Cornish Pirates Development program before heading to New Zealand to spend time there.

Sadly concussion injuries have blighted Locryn’s career, he returned from such an injury to play in Cornwall’s Under 20 campaign last season, sadly reoccurrence of concussion against Devon meant he had to take medical advice to quit the game.

It is understood he was at the time in the frame for England Counties Under 20 selection.

Locryn continues to pursue other sports notably climbing and judo at a very high level.

Sadly neither player could be present at the awards evening. Matavesi will be presented with his award at the conclusion of Camborne’s home game with Launceston on Saturday.

Locryn, who was attending the National Citizens Service Graduation Awards for 16/17 year olds – for which he has been one of the leaders – in the Hall for Cornwall on the same night had his Under 20 award presented to him on stage by Pirate FM’s Neil Caddy.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Launceston rediscover that winning feeling at long last


Photo James Judge:  Launceston final whistle

Where to start this week with all the excitement of the past few days?

It has to be Launceston, as they finally got the win they having been looking for since Jimmy Tucker took over as head coach.

The All Blacks defeated Salisbury 16-11 for their first win in over 18 months.

Understandably there were rapturous scenes after the final whistle as the dark cloud was lifted from Polson Bridge.

Fraser Honey steadied the nerves with a couple of penalties and a drop-goal before Martin Kneebone scored the important try that Honey converted.

Launceston had to defend like mad in the closing stages but held out for a famous win.

Also in National 3 SW, Camborne produced a fantastic performance to win 41-24 up at leaders Ivybridge.

The Cherry and Whites got off to a great start with tries from Jack Simmons and Sam Matavesi both converted by Dave Mankee who also slotted a penalty for a 17-0 lead. Ben Kemp got try number three before Joel Matavesi secured the bonus point try both scores again bettered by Mankee.

Sam Matavesi got his second try of the game in the second half which Mankee again converted as he did a second penalty in a faultless kicking display.

So this Saturday it’s Camborne vs. Launceston, a game that will also serve as a Tribute Cornwall Super Cup tie.

I took in a couple of games this weekend, first at Redruth in National League 2 South where the Reds got home just against a useful Redingensians 10-8.

Shaun Buzza scored the Reds only try from a powerful drive with James Huxtable adding the conversion and a penalty, a game that was watched by the new Kiwi directors at the Cornish Pirates, Colin Groves and Dallas Fisher.

That brings me to Sunday and the Championship game between the Cornish Pirates and London Welsh.

A scappy first half saw the Pirates’ line out go AWOL and a slender 3-0 advantage to the home side, thanks to Will Cargill’s boot.

Half-time saw new board members Paul Durkin and Messrs Groves and Fisher introduced to the Mennaye crowd.

The second half was a better affair with Cargill adding another couple of penalties and Laurence May converting skipper Tom Duncan’s try. It ended 16-10 to keep the Pirates’ unbeaten record intact.

You can see much more about the re-structuring at the Pirates in previous blog entries.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro bounced back from last week’s defeat at home to St. Austell to win handsomely at Tiverton 32-14.

Adam and Ashley Hosking got on the try sheet for Truro as did Jack Houghton and Josh Symons with Ashley Hosking adding three conversions and a couple of penalties.

Wadebridge Camels staged another comeback this time at St. Austell. Trailing 16-3 the Camels gave Saints the hump winning 17-16.

Tries from Cav Boyer and Ben Chenoweth together with a couple of Boyer penalties accounted for the Saints’ points.

Danny Thomas and Mike Rawlings scored tries for Wadebridge with Thomas converting both and adding a penalty.

Bude struggled at Sidmouth losing 68-17 with Dan Pearce scoring all their points.

St. Ives picked up a losing bonus point at Torquay thanks to tries from Ben Taylor and Steve Kenward with Jordan Gott adding a conversion and a drop-goal in 22-15 loss.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish continued their winning ways with a 41-14 win at home to KCS Old Boys.

All the tries came via the backs with David Smith (2), Tom Jeffery, Craig Chatley, Matt Hakes and George Kimmins crossing the whitewash, Smith added three conversions with Philip Dale adding a fourth.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth won at Paignton 16-12 to remain top.

Owen Hambly scored the Eagles only try converted by Justyn Irons who also added three penalties.

Penryn are close on their heels following their 39-0 at home against Tavistock.

Borough ran in six tries from George Jones, Jordan Rose (2), Josh Chambers (2) and Colin Campbell with Matt Horton kicking the rest of the points.

This Saturday sees Penryn travel to Falmouth for an eagerly anticipated Fal derby.

Pirates Amateurs kept up the chase with a 50-0 win against Tamar Saracens, Steve Evans (2), Danny Toolan (2), Sam Coogan, Rhodri McAtee, Tony Matthews and Liam Lonsdale all scored with Dan Magee kicking five conversions.

Saltash won at Plymouth Argaum 17-7, Lewis Wells and Tom Rixon scored tries with Nick Blake converting both tries and a penalty.

Bodmin won at St. Day against Lanner 30-8.

In the Tribute Cornwall League Liskeard-Looe who beat Roseland 31-24 and Hayle who defeated Perranporth 67-0 continue to lead the way. See all the results in the Cornish Rugby results page.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornish Pirates secure new investment and exciting new future

The Cornish Pirates are set to sign an international deal that will trigger immediate investment in the club and lead to a potential tie-up with one of New Zealand’s top rugby organisations.

Former club owner Dicky Evans and fellow Pirates shareholder Martin Hudson, together with New Zealand-based Cornish businessman Colin Groves and the investment company Tamahere Limited, are working closely together to re-capitalise the club. Colin grew up in Truro and is a former English Schools and Colts rugby international.


Photo: A beaming Dicky Evans returns to Pirates board

The initial phase of the agreement will provide the Pirates with investment, advice and support for commercial and sponsorship arrangements, business planning, Stadium for Cornwall design and management, and the introduction of further potential investors.

The second phase of the agreement, which has yet to be concluded, would be a potential high performance partnership with the Chiefs Super Rugby Club and Waikato Rugby in New Zealand.

The New Zealand connections are led by two rugby businessmen, Dallas Fisher, Chairman and shareholder of the Chiefs and Colin, Chairman of Waikato Rugby Union.

 


Photo: Dallas Fisher Chairman of Chiefs in New Zealand

Dallas is a former partner at the international accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand and has many other New Zealand company ownerships and directorships, including his role as Managing Director of Montana Catering, the largest privately owned catering business in New Zealand. In the 1999-2001 period Dallas was a Trustee and CEO of the Trust that developed Waikato Stadium into a new 25,000 capacity rugby and events stadium. Dallas is also an independent Director of Ngai Tahu Tainui Go-Bus holdings Ltd.


Photo: Colin Groves, roots in Truro, now Chairman of Waikato RU.

Colin Groves grew up in Truro, played rugby for Cornwall at all levels, and was a Vice President for 12 years. He has spent most of the past 23 years as Director of Mergers and Acquisitions at Tetra Laval, one of the world’s largest private companies and makers of the renowned Tetra Pak. He chairs or advises a diverse range of companies spanning IT, Agri-Tech and equity investment.

Dallas and Colin are colleagues in Oriens Capital, a Private Equity company focused on rural New Zealand, based in the Bay of Plenty and the Waikato. Colin is Chairman and Dallas is a member of the Investment Committee.

Between them they will bring business acumen in terms of raising investment and stadium development, catering and conferencing expertise within a stadium environment, all allied to a top-class rugby franchise.

The re-capitalisation of the club will pave the way for a proposed £1.5 million share issue to put it on a more secure financial footing in the medium term, prior to an eventual move to the Stadium for Cornwall in Truro, with the Pirates and Truro & Penwith College as tenants.

Dallas Fisher will advise on Stadium design from a commercial perspective, to aid in building a catering, functions and conferencing business at the Stadium and to build a sustainable commercial and rugby business plan to take the Pirates forward.

The proposed joint venture between the various parties, which was approved by Pirates shareholders at a general meeting held on Thursday 22 September, will see a revamped board that will include Colin Groves, Dicky Evans, Martin Hudson and current board member Graham Stone.


Photo: Martin Haag, Pirates, St. Ives and Cornwall legend

Also joining the board will be: Martin Haag, former Pirates, England and Bath player, and more recently head coach for England’s Under 20 championship-winning team; Martin Tucker, a director at  Truro and Penwith College and key partner in the Stadium for Cornwall project; and former Ernst & Young partner Paul Durkin from Newlyn.

Current board members Colin Hill, Leslie Eastlake and Chairman Ian Connell have stepped down.

Ian Connell, who wrote to all Pirates shareholders urging them to back the deal, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for the Pirates to enter into an exciting world-class partnership with new financial and commercial backing. I am delighted that shareholders have approved this excellent package.”

The new chairman of the Cornish Pirates will be elected by the new Board at its first meeting. The club has appointed former A&P Falmouth Chief Executive and Vice Chair of Cornwall College Group Peter Child as interim Chief Executive, while a permanent appointee is sought in the next six months.

Dicky Evans said: “When first contacted by Colin Groves he was looking for fish, specifically to set up an Omega-3 production facility. It is amazing to think that from small acorns (or in this case Newlyn fish) such a long distance deal could come to fruition.

“I personally would like to thank Pirates General Manager Tom Magill and Colin for starting this initiative. We are a long way from nowhere in Cornwall, but Cornish people such as Colin never forget their roots. We have strong similarities to the people of Waikato province, the home of the Maori people, particularly the often-neglected family ethic of looking after one another – something that is enshrined in Maori tradition. The same applies to the Cornish Pirates, our shareholders and myself. It is good to know there are kindred spirits out there prepared to go to the ends of the earth (including meetings in Dubai) to see top-class rugby in Cornwall.

“It is for this reason Martin Hudson and I are prepared to re-introduce investment in the Pirates as we can now see light at the end of the long tunnel. This deal will bring vast experience into the club through a global partnership that addresses immediate financial issues and paves the way for future investment and expertise to help us realise our Premiership ambitions – all in a controlled, financially sustainable environment.”

Colin Groves said: “I would like to pay tribute to Ian Connell and the board for their agreement in helping to facilitate this deal at a time when the club has struggled to balance the books. This heralds a new chapter for the Cornish Pirates and for rugby in both Cornwall and the Waikato, and I am delighted shareholders have approved it.”

Chiefs’ Chairman Dallas Fisher said: “The priority is to build the Club’s finances in the short term and attract further investment, and then look at creating a Stadium for Cornwall that operates sustainably with the Pirates and the College as the main tenants. Focusing on business partnerships and the game experience for fans will be a key element going forward.

“But what really excites me is when we get to discussing the rugby partnership. The Chiefs already have partnerships in Hong Kong and Japan providing rugby IP (intellectual property) designed to lift rugby performance for those organisations. The full nature of any potential high performance partnership is still under discussion and we look forward to a successful conclusion.”

Truro and Penwith College Director Martin Tucker said: “Truro and Penwith College is excited by the opportunities that this new performance partnership with the Cornish Pirates can bring, in adding strength to the delivery of the Stadium for Cornwall and importantly in forging greater links between our students and the world of professional and vocational sport. In partnership with the Cornish Pirates, the College remains fully committed to the Stadium for Cornwall and is looking forward to working with the new board, and other key partners, in bringing the project to fruition.”

Interim Pirates Chief executive Peter Child said: “By forging this international alliance we can learn a lot from each other and lay the foundations for Premiership rugby in Cornwall. The link with Truro & Penwith College is tremendously important for nurturing and developing young players, not only on the field, but also vocationally and professionally.”

New board member Martin Haag added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the fertile rugby talents and passions of Cornwall to develop a sustainable high performing team – unbelievable.”

Gavin Cattle, who co-coaches the Pirates with Alan Paver, said: “It is difficult to describe how exciting this all is for everyone. We spent time with the Super Team, the Hurricanes, in Wellington in May. Rugby in New Zealand is at a totally different level, it is a way of life and like a religion over there.”

The proposed rugby partnership will be subject to future approval by the respective board of Waikato Rugby and the Chiefs.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Cornish Pirates set to sign important tie-up with Waikato


The Cornish Pirates are set to sign an international deal that will trigger immediate investment in the club and lead to a potential tie-up with one of New Zealand’s top rugby organisations.

See rest of article in the link

Posted in Bill's Blog


Life on the road suits the Pirates


Photo by Simon Bryant: Tom Duncan against Nottingham

The Cornish Pirates made it two wins away from fortress Mennaye in their Championship game at Nottingham on Sunday, in an impressive 35-19 bonus point win.

Stuart Townsend, Dan Lee, Tom Duncan and Alex O’Meara crossed for the Pirates’ four tries with Will Cargill and Laurence May adding the rest of the points with the boot.

The win puts the Pirates third in the table ahead of next Sunday’s clash at the Mennaye against London Welsh, when the Pirates will hope to keep their good early season form intact.

On Saturday Redruth travelled to Chinnor for the first away game of the season and despite a battling performance came away with a 21-5 defeat, flanker Shaun Buzza with their only try.

In National 3 SW, Camborne put in a storming performance to defeat visitors Hornets 41-17.

Town scored six tries through Taff Roko (2), Kevin Mankee, Dave Roberts, Rhys Brownfield and Josh Semmens with Mankee slotting four conversions and a penalty.

Further disappointment for Launceston as they suffered a third defeat at home to Ivybridge 15-29.

The All Blacks scored tries through Tom Sandercock and Fraser Honey who also added a penalty and conversion.

In Tribute Western Counties West, St. Austell won an eventful derby at Truro 16-11.

Truro lost prop Ethan Patterson early on to a red card following brawl that also saw team-mate Ashley Riches and Saints Peter Rowe yellow carded.

Andy Ashwin and Ashley Hosking traded penalties before Alex Sutheridge scored a try for Truro. Ashwin and Hosking again traded penalties before half-time.

Liam Freeman kicked a penalty for saints before the pressure told on Truro and Max Duggan scored a try that Freeman converted to seal the win.

Wadebridge Camels defeated visitors Sidmouth 38-7. Camels scored five tries through Jacob Johns, Mike Rawlings, Dom Hawkey, Adam Blackmore and Ian Boyling. James Grubb converted the lot plus kicked a penalty.

St. Ives almost pulled off a great win against Exeter University but were denied at the end 10-11.

Jamie Prisk got their try with Jordan Gott adding the conversion and a penalty.

Bude lost for the second week running this time at home to Torquay Athletic 28-10, Charlie Watton scored a try with Dan Pearce adding a conversion and a penalty.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish ran riot at Warlingham winning 65-0! Cornish ran in eleven tries with David Smith, David Funston, Mark Osei-TuTu and Matt Hakes all getting a brace each with James Le Broy, Richard Stephens and Tom Jeffery also crossing. Smith added five conversions.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon league, Falmouth lead the way following their 41-10 against newly promoted Lanner. Tries for the Eagles came via Justyn Irons (2), Oli Church, Cameron Bullock, David Jones and Nick Caine with Irons kicking four conversions and a penalty.

For Lanner Levi Webster scored a try converted by Adam Harris who also kicked a penalty.

Penryn are up to second following their 27-5 win at Tamar Saracens. Borough’s scores came from George Jones, Sam Hitchens, Andrew Seviour and Colin Campbell with Nathan Strick kicking the rest of the points.

Saltash defeated Pirates Amateurs 32-26. Ashes scored four tries through Lewys Wells, Ryan Cruikshanks,  Ryan Rayner and Phil Eatwell with Nick Blake kicking the other points.

For the Ams, Steve Evans and Tony Matthews scored tries with Dan McGee adding both conversions and four penalties.

Bodmin had a good 30-13 win over Honiton.

Liskeard-Looe lead the way in Tribute Cornwall league following their 72-0 win at St. Just. Hayle are a point behind following their 18-5 win against Camborne School of Mines at Penryn.

Newquay Hornets have cleared their ten league point deficit from the start of the season following their 35-15 win against Veor on their new ground the old School of Mines ground at Camborne.

Check the results page for the other results.

Congratulations to Penzance’s Deborah Fleming who has been awarded a 10 month contract by the RFU to play on the World 7s circuit with England Women.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Signings show exiles’ intent

Which Cornwall RFU affiliated club has signed a Heineken Cup and Premiership winner for the new season? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, London 2 SW side London Cornish!

Cornish, who currently play at the same level as Cornish clubs in Tribute Western Counties West, but who have plans to go further up the leagues, pulled off the coup by signing former Samoan International flanker and World Cup player Dan Leo.


Photo: Dan Leo in action for Cornish against Twickenham

Leo, who apart from Wasps, with whom he got his European and Premiership winners medals in 2007, has also played for London Irish and London Welsh as well as Queensland Reds plus Top 14 sides Perpignan and Bordeaux-Bègles, whilst with Samoa he has gained 39 caps.

He recently founded Pacific Rugby Players Welfare and works for the PRA in their Cultural Diversity Program within the Premiership to assist players from the Pacific Islands settling in the UK and Europe.

Understandably, Director of Rugby of Rugby Dickon Moon is delighted to have landed such a marquee signing: “I am delighted to have managed to get Dan to sign for us this season. He’s is going to bring huge experience to our squad.”

Leo is not the only big name signing that Moon has landed this summer: former Northampton Saints and England 7s player David Smith has also signed for London Cornish, as the club hopes to go one better than the past two seasons and finally clinch promotion to London 1 South.

“Losing in play-offs in the past two seasons has been deeply frustrating for everyone at the club. This season we want to avoid all that and win the league outright to earn promotion and hopefully with the squad we are assembling we will be able to achieve that aim.”


Photo: Dickon Moon seeks to go one better this season

Pre-season has certainly gone well with Barking, Ealing Amateurs and Hammersmith & Fulham all defeated. Not that long ago, Barking were in the same league as Redruth and the Cornish All Blacks!

Despite the high profile signings Moon is keen to retain the local link and is equally delighted that many from Cornwall heading to London turn to the exiles for their rugby.

“We seem to pick up many from North Cornwall and this year it’s no different as former Bude lock James LeBroy has joined. We’ve also picked up a couple of backs  from Exeter University, George Kimmins and Miles Rushworth, whilst former Bath Academy hooker Jake Slade has signed for us along with former Old Redcliffian Rich Stephens, David Funston, a centre from the Derry club and Ed Price from the Civil Service.

Off the field London Cornish have also been busy with improvements made at their Richardson Evans Memorial Ground pitch, a new post-match functions area at Roehampton Cricket Club and the use of much improved training facilities at Rosslyn Park.

In their opening game of the season London Cornish got off to a winning start, defeating Twickenham 19-14.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Pirates settle for draw under the Mennaye sun


Photo Mark Collett, action from Penryn v Saltash with Borough’s Adam Hughes driving forward.

A very busy weekend for me covering both the Redruth and Cornish Pirates’ games for the local press, both were excellent games although the more satisfying from a spectator’s point of view will have been the 31 all draw between the Pirates and Ealing on Sunday.

It was a full-on game played in glorious sunshine. Ealing had the better of the early exchanges as the Pirates fell foul of referee Christophe Ridley far too often in the first forty.

A Mark Bright-inspired Ealing scored three excellent first half tries to lead 21-7, with the Pirates sole reply coming from winger Matt Evans with a try converted by fly-half Will Cargill.

Ealing’s player-coach Ben Ward nudged the visitors further ahead early in the second half before the Pirates’ bench brought some greater energy to the fray. Tom Duncan and Kyle Moyle scored tries both converted by Cargill to tie the scores at 24-24. Ealing got their noses ahead again with a converted try but the Pirates pegged them back thanks to Stuart Townsend’s quick thinking from a tap and go, with Cargill again on the money with the extras.

A draw was probably a fair result in the end, whilst those from Redruth will have been happy to see former players Bright and Aaron Penberthy in action for Ealing.

In National League 2 South Redruth made it two wins on the trot with a 48-12 win against newly promoted Barnstaple. Jack Oulton, Tommy Phillips, Sam Parsons, Nielson Webber and a penalty-try award plus three conversions and a penalty from James Huxtable saw the Reds go in 34-0 with the game won at half-time.

Second half Barnstaple salvaged some pride with a couple of tries, but Alex Ducker came on to score a couple himself, both converted by Huxtable.

The Reds hit the road for the first time this season on Saturday to face Chinnor with a few familiar faces waiting to greet them!

In National 3 SW, Camborne also made it two wins from two with an impressive 22-16 win at Dings Crusaders. Dave Mankee scored all his side’s points with a try, conversion and five penalties.

The only blemish was lock Damien Cook’s red card for retaliation, but to win at Dings is a fine marker and will make the rest of the division take note!

Launceston succumbed to a second defeat, this time at Hornets 31-17, Lloyd Duke, Fred Bulut and Martin Kneebone scoring the Cornish All Blacks’ tries.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro also made it two wins with a fine 26-24 win at Sidmouth. Ieuen Bone, Jake Champion, Daryl Riches and Jack Symons all scored tries, with Ashley Hosking adding three conversions.

Wadebridge Camels came from behind to win a thrilling encounter 32-26 at Torquay.

Trailing 20-3, Camels fought back with Dan Thomas, Matt Ballard, Adam Blackmore and Dom Hawkey scoring tries and James Grubb kicking three conversions and two penalties.

St. Austell also had to battle from behind to claim their first win of the season 29-24 against Burnham. Tries were scored by James Martin (2), Miles Davey and Sam Rhodes, Andy Ashwin kicked the other points.

St. Ives put up a good show at Devonport Services before losing 29-23. Jamie Prisk and James Wright scored tries for the Hakes, with Jordan Gott converting both scores and kicking three penalties.

A weakened Bude proved no match for Exeter University going down 83-5! James Comber with their consolation try.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish, despite missing a few regulars, defeated Twickenham 19-14. Former Wasps and London Welsh player and Samoan International Dan Leo made his debut for the club.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth made it back-to-back wins with a fine 34-15 win at Honiton. Tom Edmonds, Justyn Irons (2), former Red, Owen Hambly and Nick Carne scored tries with Irons adding three conversions and a penalty.

Pirates Amateurs remain unbeaten following their 45-17 win against Plymstock at the Mennaye. Rhodri McAtee (2), Chadwick (2), James and Barrett scored tries for the Amateurs, with Magee kicking three conversions and three penalties.

Penryn won the Cornish derby at the Memorial Ground against Saltash 35-24. Borough’s tries were scored by Ross Hancock, Adam Hughes (pictured), Josh Chambers and Sam Hitchens with Matt Horton adding three conversions and three penalties.

For the Ashes, Ollie Mulberry (2), Will Morton and Joe Ronayne scored tries with Kieran Down and Ryan Cruickshanks each adding a conversion.

Lanner lost for the second game running this time 35-19 at home to Tavistock.

Dave Hewett scored their only try with Nick Prout kicking the other points.

Bodmin lost their opening game at Topsham 25- 8.

The Cornwall League results can be viewed in the Cornish results page. Hats off to St. Agnes who won the surfers derby 19-8 against Perranporth!

Cornwall U.18s got their season off to a winning start defeating Plymouth College 27-19.

Posted in Bill's Blog


League season is up and running


Photo : Ian Morgan happy with Camborne’s start

The league season got under way for most of our clubs last Saturday and the weather was typical Cornish rugby weather!

In the Championship, the Cornish Pirates got their season off to a great start with a win on the road at Bedford Blues 26-17.

Fly-half Will Cargill had a 100% record with the boot kicking four penalties and adding the conversions to Matt Evans and Tom Duncan’s tries.

Pirates will be looking to back up their opening day win at the Mennaye next Sunday when Ealing Trailfinders make the trip down to the far sou’west. Former Red Mark Bright has joined Ealing this summer and he always seems to raise his game when back in the Duchy!

In National League 2 South, Redruth withstood a ferocious late surge by Henley Hawks to hold out for a 23-18 win.

Quite where referee Calum Howard found almost fifteen minutes of time added on was a mystery to all in the ground.

Head coach Marek Churcher was delighted with his side’s performance. Tommy Phillips, Brett Rule and Ashley Lawton scored the tries with James Huxtable kicking the rest of the points.

The Reds are at home again this Saturday with newly promoted Barnstaple making the trip down from North Devon.

In National League 3 South west, there were mixed results for our two sides. Camborne, playing their first game back in the National league for 19 years, got their season off to a great start with a 30-14 win at home against Cleve.

The excellent Jack Simmons scored two tries with Dave Roberts getting a third. Dave Mankee back from his sojourn across the Red river banged over all three conversions and three penalties to boot.

Not such a good start for Launceston as they lost at Polson 21-16 to Dings Crusaders, despite the visitors playing most of the game with fourteen men as hooker Paul Fincken was red carded for punching!

Andy Knight and Tom Sandercock scored tries for the All Blacks with Fraser Honey and Ben Hawke adding a penalty each.

Launceston travel to Hornets on Saturday for what will be a very tough game.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro registered an opening day win 41-16 against Torquay Athletic.

Getting a good start to the season has eluded Truro of late but they made no mistake scoring six tries through Toby Armstrong (2), Jake Champion (2), Ashley Riches and Ethan Pattison. Ashley Hosking banged over four conversions and a penalty.

Bude defeated Devonport Services 22-19 thanks to a late Dan Pearce penalty.

Elsewhere it was defeats for our sides. St. Austell, despite a brave battle went down 25-19 at Tiverton. Shane Johns, Cav Boyer and Max Duggan with the Saint’s tries with Liam Freeman landing a couple of conversions.

Wadebridge Camels lost at home 5-10 to Exeter University, player-coach Mike Rawlings with their sole points.

St. Ives also lost at home against Cullompton 10-23, Jordan Gott and Josh Palmer scored tries for the Hakes.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League. There was a good win for Falmouth 15-0 against Topsham, Matt Brewer and Ashley Searle scored the Eagle’s tries with Justyn Irons adding a penalty and conversion.

Pirates Amateurs got off to a winning start 6-0 at Plymouth Argaum thanks to a penalty and drop-goal from Dan McGee.

Saltash lost at Moorlands 3-0 against Paignton.

Lanner also lost 3-0 at Tamar Saracens.

Penryn lost 15-12 at Plymstock. All their points coming from Matt Horton’s boot.

Bodmin’s game with Withycombe was re-arranged.

In Tribute Cornwall League both Hayle and Newquay Hornets made solid starts. The Hayle Lions defeated Illogan Park 53-3, whilst Hornets accounted for Stithians 62-0.

Liskeard-Looe defeated Perranporth 31-11, St. Agnes won at Roseland 8-3, St. Just defeated Redruth Albany 13-7, Lankelly-Fowey won at Camelford 41-7 and Veor beat Helston 15-5.

Camborne School of Mines begin their program next Saturday.

Posted in Bill's Blog


‘Stack’ Tribute Night

Tribute Night to Stack! – Reminder                

As previously mentioned, a special event is to take place at Penzance & Newlyn RFC’s ‘Westholme’ clubhouse on Friday 9th September (7.30pm for 8pm).

The event will form a ‘Tribute Night to Stack!’, centring on the man himself (Brian ‘Stack’ Stevens) and what he achieved as one of Cornwall’s greatest ever sportsmen, despite playing in an era when the far west of Cornwall was cut off from the rugby mainstream.

With Stack and his family present, the tribute event will welcome many other former Pirates, county players, officials and friends. Admission is free to all who wish to attend, partners are welcome, and a thoroughly enjoyable evening is envisaged – no doubt recalling so many fond memories

There will be a number of speeches, plus a varied range of associated memorabilia which will form an exhibition, including a display case which has Stack’s England cap, British Lions shirt, England shirt, plus the shirt that he exchanged in 1971 after the England versus Rest of the World centenary game.


Also, for those who may be interested, copies of former player Steve Tomlin’s latest title “Stack Stevens – Cornwall’s Rugby Legend” will be on sale.

Steve’s wonderfully written book, which he will happily sign, tells the incredible story of someone born in a remote area of Cornwall who found he had an exceptional talent for rugby. Besides playing over 500 games for the Pirates, and 83 times for Cornwall, Stack won 25 caps for England and he also played for the British Lions.

The book lists quotes from a number of rugby’s finest, including Gareth Edwards and Willie John McBride. It is also worth noting that monies from the book will go to Cornwall Air Ambulance.

For more information, please contact Phil Westren – telephone 07817 998879, or email phil.westren@cornish-pirates.com

Stack has suffered from a rare and serious neurological condition in recent years, and it is of enormous credit that he has displayed heroic stoicism and courage to battle against it.

Posted in Bill's Blog


Pre-order new book by Steve Tomlin on ‘Stack’ Stevens

TASC are pleased to be able to offer pre-orders for the latest book by Steve Tomlin, who in recent years has also published “Pirates, Pirates, the rise and rise of a Cornish rugby club” and “Cornish Pirates Legends.”

www.amberley-books.com
STACK STEVENS
CORNWALL’S RUGBY LEGEND

STEVE TOMLIN AND FOREWORD BY JOHN INVERDALE

This is the incredible story of Brian ‘Stack’ Stevens, born in a remote former mining area of Cornwall with no sporting background, yet found he had an exceptional talent for rugby. When still a teenager, he was playing against established international players but, with Penzance being cut off from the rugby mainstream, he would have very little recognition for a decade.

At twenty-eight, following some outstanding county matches for Cornwall, he was at last given an England trial. He won twenty-five full international caps for England over the next six years, including famous wins over the top southern hemisphere teams; he also scored the winning try against the All Blacks in Auckland and represented the British Lions in New Zealand.

He was under constant pressure from his father, who needed him at home on the farm, and this prevented him going on a second Lions tour. He temporarily signed for Harlequins to the dismay of his local club Penzance & Newlyn, and had to travel overnight to London for England training and Harlequins matches by hitching a lift on a broccoli lorry to Covent Garden and then back again afterwards.

Stack is still very much a favoured son throughout Cornwall, where the locals see him as ‘one of their own’. He continued to run the farm after his father died, and became an England selector when he finally stopped playing. In recent years he has suffered from a serious neurological condition but as ever he continues to battle against the odds. This book has been written with the full cooperation of Brian and his family by someone who played with him, and who remains a friend.

MARKETING, PUBLICITY, PRESS
Latest title from Amberley’s Sports range
Foreword and testimonial by John Inverdale
Review coverage in national sporting press, local press and radio
Covers playing career with England and British Lions and features anecdotes by former England and Lions players
Highlights the current debate around the dangers of head injuries in rugby.

THE AUTHOR
Steve Tomlin is a passionate Cornish rugby fan who has followed the Pirates since he was nine. He and his wife, Miquette, live close to their family and five grandchildren near Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, but still gets back to his beloved Cornwall as often as possible.

FOREWORD BY

John Inverdale is one of Britain’s leading sports broadcasters and journalists. Among others. he has presented coverage on the Olympic Games, Rugby World Cup and Wimbledon Championships.

STACK is the story of one of Cornwall’s Greatest sporting heroes Brian ‘Stack’ Stevens, who played for England and was called up for the famous Lions Tour of 1971 in New Zealand.

The book in paperback is some 168 pages and contains 50 illustrations.


HOW TO SECURE YOUR COPY

The book is due to be on sale during September and your copy can be reserved for £14.99 + £3.65 P & P by pre-ordering now from TASC Merchandise. Contact Marina by e-mail m.dudley052@btinternet.com or phone 01726 843822.

Posted in Bill's Blog


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