Cornwall make eight changes for crunch game

Photo: Tom Sandercock one of four Launceston players in the Cornwall squad on Sunday

Cornwall Under 20s travel to play Hampshire this Sunday knowing nothing less than a win will do to keep them in this season’s competition.

It will be a tough task against a Hampshire side that has won both opening games, but one the Cornish lads will relish.

CRFU President Peter James said “This will be another test for these young guys; having won one and lost one it is all  to play for. Having watched them at Redruth and Camborne I know they have the spirit and ability to put in a good performance and get a result!”

For Cornwall and Hampshire it is all to play for on the day along with Gloucestershire in the other match, results will determine the quarter finalists from the three teams.

Cornwall have once again shuffled the pack for this game with no less than eight changes to the starting XV from the Gloucestershire game.

There is a completely new front row with St. Ives’ James Bishop at loose-head teaming up with hooker Luis Powell and tight-head Jack Hodge both from Redruth and with National League experience.

Dan Reed comes in to partner Hugo Culverhouse in the second row with another Camel Harry Smith coming into the back row.

In the backs fit again Fraser Honey comes in at fly half whilst there are recalls for both Ethan Tyler (wing) and Toby Robinson full-back.

Coach Mike Rawlings said. “The result against Gloucestershire was disappointing, they out scrummaged us and conditions on the day led to a forward orientated game and they rightly took advantage. On the day they deserved the win and will take the fight to Berkshire to try to claim a quarter-final spot.”

Cornwall Captain Will Gilder said. “The guys were disappointed to lose against Gloucestershire but on the day they were the better team and played to their strengths. We have had two further training sessions and look forward to what will be a hard trip up to Overton to face Hampshire in our final pool game of the season.

“Having the conditions in our favour in the first half and with the score only 9 – 12, meant the final 40 minutes was always going to be a tough ask. However, to lose the second half by only the 6 points, showed true guts and determination from the guys.”

Team manager Chris Lea said. “It’s real shame after the first game of the season, but they are still in with a chance, but it is a must win game. The vagaries of U20 rugby mean 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 and join them next season.”




1)     JAMES BISHOP             St IVES RFC

2)     LUIS POWELL                REDRUTH RFC

3)    JACK HODGE                    REDRUTH RFC


5)    DAN REED                         WADEBRIDGE CAMELS RFC



8)     MAX DUGGAN                 St AUSTELL RFC

9)     NOAH NASH                    BRIXHAM RFC


11)   CAVAN BOYER                St AUSTELL RFC

12)   MATT BLEE                    CAMBORNE RFC


14)   ETHAN TYLER               TRURO RFC



16)   MATT HEALY                 PENRYN RFC









23)     HECTOR BRIGHT            St AUSTELL RFC

24)     CALLUM BOYCE             St AUSTELL RFC


26)     KIERON VINSON             PENRYN RFC

Coaches – Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins, Matt Shepherd

Team Manager – Chris Lea

Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates crash out of B & I Cup, but London Cornish clinch title

There was huge disappointment for the Cornish Pirates on Friday night when they lost their quarter-final tie in this season’s British & Irish Cup to Jersey Reds at rue des Landes 36-20.

A late flurry from the visitors when they scored a couple of tries saved some blushes on a night to forget.

Despite having lock Brett Beukeboom back from international duty with Canada, the Pirates lost flanker Alex Cheesman early in the game with a suspected dislocated and broken thumb.

Despite a couple of early Will Cargill penalties the Pirates found themselves trailing 21-6 at half-time and it got worse soon after the re-start. With time running out and trailing 36-6 the Cornish side struck back with late tries from skipper Tom Duncan and prop Paul Andrew both converted by Laurence May, but it was far too little too late.

Coach Gavin Cattle rued his side’s performance. “It was far below what we have achieved this season, our kicking game was poor as was our kick execution, we were second best at scrum time also. Hats off to Jersey who deserved the win on the night.”

In National League 2 South on Saturday, Redruth defeated Clifton at the Recreation Ground 26-7.

A dour first half saw the Reds lead 7-0 at the break thanks to a pick and go try from skipper Kyle Marriott converted by fly-half Joe Elderkin.

In the second half Elderkin finished off a fine move for the Red’s second try with late scores coming from Dean Bonds and the excellent Jack Oulton, Elderkin added a further two conversions.

In National 3SW, Camborne fought back at Bournemouth from 27-5 to draw 33 all.

Trailing 17-0 the Cherry and Whites got on the board thanks to an unconverted try from Jack Simmons. Bournemouth stretched away again before Town struck back with tries from Rhodri McAtee and Jon Drew both converted by Rhys Brownfield. Bournemouth added two further penalties before further converted tries from Drew and Sam Bartle tied the scores.

Camborne’s three points from the game keep them in third place, two pints behind second placed Dings Crusaders.

At the other end of the table Launceston lost 20-15 at Bracknell and now find themselves eight points behind Lydney and safety.

There was a welcome and timely return from injury for Fraser Honey who kicked a conversion and penalty, Greg Loydall and Jordan Duke with the tries for the All Blacks.

In Tribute Western Counties West, defeat for Truro at relegation haunted Crediton 20-16. Jack Tidball scored Truro’s try converted by Ashley Hosking who also kicked three penalties. With five games to play Truro could still nick a play-off place if other results go their way.

St. Ives completed the double over Wadebridge Camels winning 20-15 at Alexandra Road. Jacob Ninnes, Paul Nicholas and Lewis Thomas scored tries for the Hakes with Jordan Gott kicking a conversion and a penalty.

For the Camels Mike Rawlings and Jack Scott scored tries with James Grubb adding a penalty and a conversion.

St. Austell went down to likely champions Exeter University 38-14. Toby Robinson and Peter Rowe scored tries for the Saints both bettered by Liam Freeman.

Bude got a vital win in their battle at the bottom of the table against fellow relegation candidates Wellington 22-15. Adam Black, James Comber and Matt Trewin scored tries with Dan Pearce kicking a penalty and two conversions.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish won 41-27 at Old Tonbridgians, a result that sees them crowned champions and promotion to London 1 South next season (level 6). James La Broy (3), Tom Jeffery (2), Jake Slade and Matt Hakes scored the exiles tries with George Kimmins adding three conversions.

Celebrations were marred by an injury to centre Dave Funston early in the second half who had to be hospitalised but thankfully appears to be on the mend. We wish him well.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth clinched promotion without playing as Tamar Saracens couldn’t raise a side. The league title should be clinched at home to Tavistock on March 25th.

Saltash kept the pressure on Paignton for the second promotion place with a 38-17 win at Bodmin, who have slipped into the relegation berth following this latest defeat.

Ryan Rayner (2), Ryan Cruickshanks, Steve Hillman, Shaun Crawford and Lewis Wells all crossed for tries for the Ashes with Harrison Reburn kicking four conversions.

For Bodmin Paul Carter, Cody Armstrong and Harry Harland scored tries with Jamie Taylor adding a conversion.

Penryn lost at Paignton 35-7 with Matt Horton scoring their only try which he converted.

Lanner enjoyed another resounding win seeing off Pirates Amateurs at St. Day 43-3.

The Falcons scored seven tries through Dave Hewett (3), Jordan Hood (2), Robbie Kessell and Nick Prout who also added a conversion and two penalties.

Dan Magee kicked a penalty for the Amateurs.

In Tribute Cornwall 1, Hayle took a big step towards the title and an immediate return to the Cornwall & Devon League next season with a 33-0 win over Newquay Hornets.

Liskeard-Looe moved above Hornets into second place following their 36-7 win at Lux Park against St. Agnes.

Veor are within striking distance in fourth place after their 27-7 win at home to Roseland.

Helston beat Camborne School of Mines 24-0 at Penryn.

The Students are in action this Wednesday evening when they travel to leaders Hayle a game brought forward due to the forthcoming Easter holidays.

Sadly only one game was played in Tribute Cornwall 2 when leaders Lankelly-Fowey won at Stithians 19-7. The game was cut short due to an injury to a Stithians player after 63 minutes. We wish him well.

Both Illogan Park and St. Just were awarded walkovers against Redruth Albany and Perranporth respectively; however Perran travelled to St. Just and played a friendly game.

Congratulations to Jack Nowell as England retained the Calcutta Cup and the RBS 6 Nations Championship following their 61-21 against Scotland at Twickenham.

They now look to complete back-to-back Grand Slams and Triple Crowns in Dublin on Saturday.

England Under 20s will seek to complete their own Grand Slam against Ireland at Donnybrook with Cornish Pirates dual registered player Josh Caulfield in the squad.



Posted in Bill's Blog

Pirates must re-group for Friday night cup tie

There was no St. Piran’s Day win for the Cornish Pirates in their Greene King Championship fixture against Jersey Reds on Sunday at a windswept Mennaye.

The Islanders took the spoils 7-5 with the few points scored all coming during the second half.

Pirates had first use of the wind, and to be fair didn’t appear to make best use of it.

Jersey got a converted try before Kyle Moyle pounced on confusion in the Jersey twenty-two following Max Bodilly’s speculative kick, sadly Will Cargill’s effort sailed past the right hand upright at the Newlyn end.

Coach Alan Paver was disappointed his side couldn’t have made more of their possession. “It was difficult for both sides but credit to Jersey for handling it better. We couldn’t keep possession, we kicked poorly from hand, our lineout didn’t function. That period of pressure we had near half-time on their line and then the referee pings us at scrum time was hard to take. We’d driven them back twice and then it goes down, the referee saw something so there we are. It was the right decision from the lads we were the dominant scrum building momentum.

Paver expects Friday’s Cup game to be just as physical. “We will prepare for Friday night it’s going to be another huge challenge for us, two sides locking horns, set-piece will be key, we will keep that wheel turning and hope we can do enough to get the win over there.”

On Saturday, Redruth made the long trip to Canterbury worthwhile as they ran out winners in their National League 2 South game 29-18. Tommy Phillips, Jack Oulton (2), Matt Gidlow and Joel Matavesi all crossed for tries with Joe Elderkin adding two conversions on his debut. The win lifts the Reds back up to fourth place with six games to play.

In National 3 SW, Camborne slipped to only their second home defeat of the season as leaders Old Redcliffians virtually sealed promotion with a 23-12 win.

Matt Blee and Jack Simmons scored tries for the Cherry and Whites with Rhys Brownfield adding a conversion in the swirling wind.

Town slipped to third following this defeat just a point behind Dings Crusaders and still with a shout of a play-off place.

At the other end of the table Launceston battled to another vital win 8-7 against visitors Bournemouth. Brandon Rowley, on his club debut, scored the All Blacks try with Martin Kneebone kicking the vital penalty. Launceston have closed the gap on Lydney to just four points. They have all to play for.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro defeated St. Ives 15-10 at St. Clements Hill. Ollie Seagrove, Mark Carlyon and Jack Hazelton all scored unconverted tries for the city side, whilst for the Hakes Jamie Prisk crossed for a try converted by Jordan Gott who also kicked a penalty.

Wadebridge Camels won a try-fest against Bude 41-31 in the North Cornwall derby.

Camels out scored Bude seven tries to five with Rhys Bright getting two for Wadebridge.

St. Austell got a welcome win 24-12 against Devonport Services at home. Cornwall Under 20 star Max Duggan with two more tries to add to his impressive haul this season. Hugh Noot scored the other try all converted by Liam Freeman who also nudged a penalty over for good measure.

Almost there are London Cornish following their latest win in London 2 SW. The exiles won 19-10 at Effingham & Leatherhead. Matt Hakes scored their only try brilliantly converted in the conditions by George Kimmins, who also landed four penalties. A bonus point win against Old Tonbridgians next Saturday will see them clinch the league and promotion to London 1 South next season.

The same can be said for Falmouth in the Tribute Cornwall & Devon league. A 32-22 win against second placed Saltash on the artificial pitch at Keyham, the only Cornish derby played in Devon, puts the Eagles a massive 18 points clear with five games to play, and with their next game at home to relegated Tamar Saracens on Saturday another five points will see them crowned.

A brace of tries each from Tom Spiller and Tom Edmonds plus the trusty boot of Justyn Irons saw Falmouth to the win.

Saltash battled well scoring four tries through Will Morton, Ollie Mulberry, Tom Rixson and Phil Eatwell with Kieran Down adding a conversion. Saltash remain in second place four points ahead of Paignton, who have a game in hand, and who they visit on the last day of the season!

Lanner sid the double over Penryn when they won 22-10 at the Memorial Ground. Nick Prout (2), Dan Job and Jordan Hood scored for the Falcons with Prout adding a conversion. For the Borough Grant Randlesome got a try converted by Matt Horton who also added a penalty.

Pirates Amateurs edged Honiton 18-17 at the Mennaye thanks to a last-gasp Dan Magee penalty. Ryan Stanley and Steve Evans scored the Ams’ tries with Magee adding a conversion and an earlier penalty.

Bodmin slipped to another defeat 36-10at Plymstock. Jon Trevarthan added the conversion to a penalty-try and also a penalty for their points.

In Tribute Cornwall 1, Hayle won 15-8 at St. Agnes to move clear of Newquay Hornets who were defeated at home by Veor 13-7. Liskeard-Looe closed the gap on Hornets following their 22-3 win over bottom of the table Camborne School of Mines. Roseland beat Helston 19-7.

In Tribute Cornwall 2, St. Just defeated Redruth Albany 37-7. Illogan Park and Lankelly Fowey had walkovers against Camelford and Perranporth, although Perranporth played the game as a friendly.

Congratulations to Camborne Reserves who retained their Tribute Duchy League title following a 27-6 win at nearest challengers St. Austell.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornish Pirates maintain play-off challenge



Photo: London Cornish DoR Dickon Moon


Nicolas De Battista’s try scored in the dying moments of the game gave the Pirates a bonus point win 34-5 against Rotherham Titans. The win sees the Cornish side leap-frog Jersey in the championship table back into fifth place. The two sides will lock horns at the Mennaye on Sunday, St. Piran’s Day!

The Pirates’ other tries came from Tom Duncan, Tom Channon and man-of-the-match John Stevens.

Laurence May kicked three conversions and a couple of penalties, with Will Cargill adding the extras to De Battista’s late effort.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth finally caught up with their game-in-hand defeating Tamar Saracens 61-12. Dave Jones bagged four tries, Dan Hubble two, with Tom Simmons, Brad Cock and Tom Edmonds, skipper Justyn Irons kicked eight conversions.  The win puts Falmouth 14 points clear at the top of the table.

In Cornwall 1 Helston defeated leaders Newquay Hornets 29-8, whilst their nearest challengers Hayle were held 12 all by Liskeard-Looe. Veor defeated St. Agnes 27-17 and Roseland won 24-5 at Camborne School of Mines.

Newquay Hornets still head the table but only on points difference from Hayle, with Liskeard-Looe a further five points behind.

In Cornwall 2 Lankelly-Fowey moved to the top of the table following their 36-8 win at Trewergie against Redruth Albany. St Just defeated Camelford 24-12, Stithians had a walkover against Perranporth.

Congratulations to the Cornish sides who made progress in their National Cups last weekend. Truro won 14-7 at Chew Valley in the Intermediate Cup, thanks to tries from Jack & Luke Tidball both bettered by Ashley Hosking.

Truro’s reward is a trip to Swanage and Wareham in what is a quarter-final tie on March 18th.

London Cornish in the same competition easily defeated Harrow 63-20 to reach the last eight, they now face Charlton Park should they win then the winners of Truro’s tie await them in the semis.

In the Senior Vase, Saltash advanced to the last eight defeating Winscombe 32-20. Ashes tries came from Will Morton (2), Ryan Cruickshanks  and James Moriarty. Kieran Down kicked the other points.

Saltash will face Swindon Old Boys at home in the last eight again on Match 18th.

St. Austell Colts made it through to the last eight of the National Colts Cup after beating Thornbury Colts 26-8.

Cornwall Under 20s lost their second group game to Gloucestershire Under 20s 9-18 at Redruth on Sunday. St. Austell’s Cavan Boyer kicked all Cornwall’s points in the first half. The Gloucestershire pack dominated throughout in the heavy conditions.

Cornwall travel to Hampshire for their final group game on Sunday March 19th.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Gloucestershire out-muscle Cornwall up front



By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground Redruth.

Cornwall have it all to do in three weeks time against Hampshire following defeat in their second pool game of this season’s Championship.

The conditions suited the big heavy Gloucestershire pack which they revelled in. Sadly Cornwall had no answer to the powerful visiting scrum, they were mercilessly penalised by the referee, with the penalty count against them well into double figures, and more, by the end. It was a salutary lesson for the lads.

Naturally it was a result and performance that disappointed Cornwall coach Mike Rawlings. He said. “We were never going to win that game without any scrum or set-piece ball, we weren’t good enough today in a game and conditions that suited an upfront game and that obviously cost us dear.

“Credit to the boys, they never gave up trying and at the end they managed to pinch one against the head.

Rawlings acknowledges that it had been a steep learning curve. “Some of the lads learnt a lot today, a steep learning curve for them, hopefully they can take that lesson going forward and we can improve on that in our next game.

“We will regroup at training over the next couple of Sundays at Truro College and look to address the problems we had today.

“The focus now is away to Hampshire if we can get a win up there then we will progress to the quarter finals and that would be a great achievement for this young group this season.

There were aspects from Cornwall’s performance that pleased Rawlings. “I thought Cavan Boyer kicked his penalties very well in difficult conditions. Max Duggan at No.8 carried well he brings a lot of aggressiveness to his game, Cory Teague got through a lot of work and Declan Matthews in the centre tried very hard on a day that didn’t suit the backs.

Playing down the slope into the driving rain Gloucestershire dominated from the kick-off as Cornwall struggled at the set-piece; it was no surprise that the visitors went ahead after just 7 minutes when skipper Tyler Jerum powered over with an unconverted try.

A high ball into the twenty-two from centre Declan Matthews was not released by Gloucestershire’s full back Macaulay Dale leading to a penalty kicked by wing Cav Boyer.

Boyer was on the money with another kick just a couple of minutes later for Cornwall to put his side 6-5 up.


Cornwall were still under pressure at scrum time, eventually referee Max Weston’s patience wore out with Cornwall prop Adam Wright being yellow carded.

Gloucestershire maintained their domination scoring a second try from a catch and drive through winger Terence Barbarinsa, converted by centre Robbie Faulkner.

Cornwall No.8 Max Duggan was having another excellent game, he carried a lot of ball and looked dangerous going forward. A good break by fly-half Callum Boyce led to a third penalty success for Boyer and leave Cornwall trailing 9-12 at half-time.

If Cornwall hoped playing down the slope would bring a change of fortune it didn’t materialise as the rain and murk intensified during the second half. Two penalties from Faulkner closed the game out for the visitors.

Despite great vocal support from the contingent of Trelawny’s Army at the game, Cornwall couldn’t find a way through a very well-organised Gloucestershire defence.

Frustrations erupted a couple of times during the game when a couple of bouts of fisticuffs broke out, but the dye was cast well before the final whistle sounded.

Cornwall must now travel to unbeaten Hampshire for their final game in three weeks time. Hampshire defeated Berkshire 36-24 at Sonning in the other game played on Sunday.


Cornwall U.20s: R Edwards (Launceston), D Hubble (Falmouth), D Matthews (Redruth), M Blee (Camborne), C Boyer, C Boyce (both St. Austell), N Nash (Brixham); A Wright (Redruth), C Dewson (Launceston), K Vinson (Penryn), H Culverhouse, C Teague (both Wadebridge Camels), J Osborne (Launceston), W Gilder (Capt), M Duggan (both St. Austell).

Replacements: J Hodge (Redruth), A Vincent (Lankelly-Fowey), M Scott (Saltash), C Sayer (Camborne), B Andrews (Devonport Services), S Firth (Falmouth), H Jones (Unattached).

Cornwall scores: Pens, Boyer (3)

Yellow Card: Wright (20)

Gloucestershire U.20s: M Dale (Bristol Uni), T Babarinsa (Cinderford), R Smith (Cardiff Met), R Faulkner (Drybrook), F Murphy (Cleve), T Webb (Newent), S Boyland (Brighton Uni); C Lane (Lydney), J Williams (Gloucs Uni),  A Chalkin (Bristol Uni), W Greenway (Gloucs Uni), R Herbert (Stroud), B Mustoe, T Jerum (Capt) (both Cleve).

Replacements: J Hughes (O Patesians) C Lane (Lydney), F Crosby (Gloucs Uni), M Adams (Cinderford), L Locke (Longlevens), M Loader (Salisbury), F Sharp (Clifton), T Knight (Chosen Hill FP).

Gloucestershire scores: Tries Jerum, Babarinsa, Con, Faulkner, Pens, Faulkner (2)

Referee: Max Weston (Somerset RRS)

Crowd: 250



Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall make changes for Gloucestershire test

Photo: Cornwall u.20 in action against Gloucestershire last season


Cornwall Rugby Football Union  Under 20 County Championship campaign 2017 continues on Sunday 26 February with a home game at Redruth against Gloucestershire kick-off 2 pm.

Following the first game against Berkshire, Cornwall has held a further two training sessions at Truro College.

CRFU President Peter James said “This will be another test for these young guys; playing Gloucestershire is never an easy game.  Having watched the game at Camborne I was encouraged by the skill, commitment and overall team spirit within the camp. A good start but another hard game on Sunday against a side that has something to prove”

Cornwall face one further game in the pool stage, against Hampshire, who won their opening game away to Gloucestershire 12-10, on Sunday March 19 at Overton RFC Hampshire.

Coach Bryn Jenkin said “The result against Berkshire was pleasing; however there were some basic errors that we needed to work on. Although a cracking result for the squad we now have to get our feet firmly back on the ground for the game on Sunday.”

Cornwall have made six changes to the starting XV from the Berkshire game with four of those in the pack.

Kieron Vinson starts at tight-head, whilst Callum Dewson comes in at hooker. In the second row Hugo Culverhouse partners Cory Teague in a Wadebridge Camels’ boiler house.

In the back row Jack Osborne steps up from the bench n to partner Will Gilder and Max Duggan.

In the backs Falmouth’s Dan Hubble comes in on the wing, fresh from his five-try haul against Plymstock Albion Oaks last weekend, whilst Reuben Edwards is another who steps up from the bench staring at full-back.

On the bench four new players come in Jack Hodge, Aaron Vincent, Brandon Andrews and Matt Blee all come in to join Matt Scott and Cam Sayer who drop to the bench.

Backs Coach Matt Shepherd said. “We must learn from the last game against Berkshire we were not up to the mark in the first 15 minutes which could have put us on catch up all the game. Once the team gained the upper hand, they relaxed, scored some brilliant tries with great forwards and back interplays”

Cornwall earned a bonus point win against Berkshire coming out winners 64 – 3 at Camborne RFC. A good crowd of over 200 people were there to cheer on the team and we hope for similar support at Redruth on Sunday 26 February. Entry will be by purchase on the gate of a £5 programme with U16 entering for free.

Skipper Will Gilder added. “To be part of the last game and see the way the boys came together after a tough first ten minutes, gave a real show of our potential, but now we have to come back down to earth to go into the Gloucestershire game level headed and composed. They will be a tough outfit and will no doubt put us under pressure from the word go, therefore we need to play for the 80 minutes to hopefully get the result we want.”






1)   Adam Wright                   Redruth RFC

2)   Callum Dewson              Launceston RFC

3)   Kieron Vinson                 Penryn RFC

4)   Hugo Culverhouse         Wadebridge Camels RFC

5)   Cory Teague                   Wadebridge Camels RFC

6)   Jack Osborne                  Launceston RFC

7)   Will Gilder (Captain)       St Austell RFC

8)   Max Duggan                    St Austell RFC

9)   Noah Nash                       Brixham RFC

10) Callum Boyce                  St Austell RFC

11) Cavan Boyer                   St Austell RFC

12) Tom Sandercock          Launceston RFC

13) Declan Matthews            Redruth RFC

14) Dan Hubble                     Falmouth RFC

15) Reuben Edwards            Launceston RFC




16) Jack Hodge                     Redruth RFC

17) Aaron Vincent                 Lankelly Fowey RFC

18) Matt Scott                        Saltash RFC

19) Cam Sayer                       Camborne RFC

20) Brandon Andrews       Devonport Services RFC

21) Matt Blee                         Camborne RFC

22) Harvey Jones                  Unattached


Travelling Reserves:-


Dan Reed                               Matt Healey                            Harry Smith                          

Seb Firth                                Ethan Tyler                            Toby Robinson

Hector Bright                                    Connor Gilbert                     



Coaches – Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins, Matt Shepherd

Team Manager – Chris Lea


  • 1 Alex Chalklin University of Bristol RFC
  • 2 Jack Williams University of Gloucestershire RFC
  • 3 Jacob Hughes Old Patesians RFC
  • 4 Will Greenway Drybrook RFC
  • 5 George West University of Gloucestershire RFC
  • 6 Regan Herbert Stroud RFC
  • 7 Brandon Mustoe Cleve RFC
  • 8 Tyler Jerum Cleve RFC (Capt)
  • 9 Sam Boyland Brighton University RFC
  • 10 Tom Webb Newent RFC
  • 11 Finn Murphy Cleve RFC
  • 12 Robbie Faulkner Drybrook RFC
  • 13 Robbie Smith Cardiff Metropolitan University RFC
  • 14 Terence Babarinsa Cinderford RFC
  • 15 Macaulay Dale University of Bristol RFC
  • Replacements:
  • 16 Costner Lane Lydney RFC
  • 17 Frank Crosby University of Gloucestershire RFC
  • 18 Matthew Adams Cinderford RFC
  • 19 Lewis Locke Longlevens RFC
  • 20 Matt Loader Salisbury RFC
  • 21 Finn Sharp Clifton RFC
  • 22 Tom Knight Chosen Hill Former Pupils RFC
  • Travelling Reserves
  • Jack Lister Cirencester RFC
  • George Dowse University of Gloucestershire RFC
  • Jordan Taylor Cinderford RFC
Posted in Bill's Blog

RFU cost-cutting threatens to wreck County rugby

Photo: Sam Matavesi in action for Cornwall in 2016 Bill Beaumont Cup Final

Trelawny’s Army are indebted to Neale Harvey for allowing us to re-print his article that appeared in Sunday’s The Rugby Paper and which concerns us all.


Lancashire head coach Mark Nelson has slammed cost-cutting proposals that could see the England Counties team and the County Championship axed.

The Rugby Paper understands elements within the RFU hierarchy view county rugby as an unnecessary financial burden and that behind-closed-doors talks aimed at slashing the Union’s commitment to it have been taking place for months.

England Counties take on their Scottish counterparts at Moseley this Friday and while this summer’s proposed tour to Portugal and Spain is expected to go ahead, the scheduling of future tours and matches during the Six Nations remain shrouded in doubt.

With the long-term future of the historic County Championship also being debated, Nelson told The Rugby Paper: “Elements within the RFU would happily see County rugby go but in my view it’s a fundamental part of rugby below the professional game.

“County rugby is a different competition; it’s the only representative chance the majority of club players ever get. It gives those players an opportunity to represent their Counties at Twickenham and then to tour with the Counties’ national team.


Photo: Ben Hilton & Aaron Penberthy, just two of the many Cornish players to have represented England Counties

“It’s a massively important part of the English game and people who seek to undermine that or bring about its demise are being massively detrimental to the game. I know discussions are taking place but I don’t understand the arguments against it.”

Nelson fears money used to fund County rugby will be diverted into leagues.

He added: “Clubs are looking for more funding to go around the Championship, National One and National Two, so they’re looking to cull other areas of the game to service those needs, with the County Championship potentially a victim.

“But where do they see the game going? Do they see it just becoming about league rugby with no cups, no variety and a ceiling at the top of National One?

“County rugby is aspirational and on the 2004 tour to Canada we had Ben Foden, Shaun Perry, David Strettle and Matt Jess in our team, but if you do away with it you will be condemning potential top players like them to a diet of league rugby.”




Posted in Bill's Blog

County Championship in danger. Cornish Pirates great win in Yorkshire

County Championship joy in jeopardy


Unwelcome news in Sunday’s papers that the County Championship is once again facing an uncertain future. Both the Rugby Paper and the Sunday Independent carry an article by Neale Harvey that certain power-brokers in the RFU are again considering scrapping the competition, along with the various England Counties sides, senior, under 20 and under 18 as part of a cost-cutting exercise!

It seems strange that the RFU, the richest rugby union in the world, should deem it necessary to make cuts to grassroots rugby, it’s very lifeline. Quite rightly people will demand to know why this should even be up for discussion and to what projects they envisage putting extra resources from these savings to?

Developments at Twickenham will be followed closely, should they propose to go ahead with this ill-advised plan.

On the playing front it was a very successful afternoon in the Greene-King Championship for the Cornish Pirates as they won in some style 42-27 at Yorkshire Carnegie.

Coach Gavin Cattle described the win as “One of the highlights of the season.”

Hitherto, Yorkshire Carnegie had only lost one game this season but they were rocked by tries from Kyle Moyle, Tom Duncan (2), Alex Day, Brett Beukeboom and Jack Andrew, with Laurence May converting all six. The win leaves the Cornish Pirates in fifth place just two points behind Ealing with a game-in-hand.

In National League 2 South, Redruth slipped to defeat as a late penalty gave visitors Old Elthamians the spoils 20-17.

A result that puts paid to the Reds outside hopes of promotion for this season. Despite missing key players Kyle Marriott and Alex Ducker, Redruth gave a good account of themselves against the well-organised London outfit.

Pale Nonu and Jack Oulton scored tries for Redruth both converted by Brett Rule who also kicked a penalty. BJ Chapman had a big game for the Reds as did Shaun Buzza when he came on.

In National 3 SW, Camborne made it back-to-back wins for the first time in 2017 as they won 35-16 at Newton Abbot. Murray Westren opened the try scoring with further scores coming from Damien Cook, Josh Semmens and Taron Peacock. Rhys Brownfield kicked three conversions and three penalties. The win puts Town back into a play-off place ahead of their game in a fortnight’s time at home to leaders Old Redcliffians.

Launceston gave a good account of themselves against Old Reds in Bristol only going down 21-17.  Jordan Duke and Andy Knight scored tries with Martin Kneebone converting a penalty-try.

The result sees the Cornish All Blacks slip back to second from bottom as sides around them won.

In Western Counties West, Truro took the spoils in the Cornish derby at Bude 24-7. Truro’s tries cane from Josh Symons, Ben Teasdale (2) and Luke Trescothick with Ashley Hosking kicking a couple of conversions. For Bude Matt Williams scored a try converted by Dan Pearce. Sadly the game was marred with a red card to Truro prop Ethan Pattison.

St. Ives had a good win at home against Burnham-on-Sea 39-5. The Hakes scored seven tries through Pete Mabbot (2), Liam Jolly, Jacob Ninnes, Joe Parma, Ben Taylor and Martyn Lawrence. Grant Thirlby kicked a couple of conversions.

Wadebridge Camels had a good win up at Wellington winning 25-12. Camels scored twenty-two first half points through tries from Will Pengelly, Rhys Bright and Matt Ballard with Callum Wilson kicking two conversions and a penalty. In the second half Wilson added a further penalty.

St. Austell lost a promotion chasing Cullompton 19-11. Max Duggan scored the Saints only try with Liam Freeman and Cav Boyer kicking penalties.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish maintain their lead at the top of the table following a 41-14 win at Andover. Miles Rushworth scored three tries for the exiles with other scores coming from Matt Hakes, Tom Patton and Chris Kolapo-Ajala. George Kimmins added four conversions and a penalty.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, leaders Falmouth gained revenge against the only side to have defeated them this season, Plymstock. The Eagles scored nine tries in a 57-6 win with wing Dan Hubble notching five! Other scores came from Seb Firth, Tom Spiller, Matt Brewer and John Baglow with Justyn Irons adding six conversions.

Saltash remain in second place after winning 43-25 at Tavistock

Penryn lost at struggling Honiton 25-12. Grant Randlesome and Kirky Oldfield with their tries, Matt Horton kicked a conversion.

Pirates Amateurs were defeated 36-28 at Topsham, while Bodmin lost at home to Plymouth Argaum 38-12.

Lanner narrowly lost at St. Day to promotion chasing Paignton 20-17.

In Cornwall 1, Newquay Hornets and Hayle had big wins against a depleted School of Mines 89-7 and Veor 69-3. Liskeard-Looe defeated Helston 41-10 and St. Agnes ran riot against Roseland 50-0.

In Cornwall 2, Lankelly-Fowey beat leaders Illogan Park 34-16 to close the gap at the top to just three points. Perranporth won at home to Redruth Albany 57-12. Stithians had a walkover against Camelford.

Finally in this season’s Bottle Match, Camborne School of Mines relinquished the trophy they won back last season to Royal School of Mines 33-19.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Launceston’s survival bid gathers momentum

Plenty of smiles up at Polson Bridge on Saturday evening after Launceston’s 43-12 win against Newton Abbot. It was the Cornish All Blacks first bonus point win this season and a result which gives them a fighting chance to avoid a second successive relegation.

Try scores for Launceston were Marc Williams Fred Bulut, Tom Sandercock, Ryan Westren, Andy Knight, Rikki Bentham and Greg Thomas. Martin Kneebone added four conversions.

Also in National 3 SW, Camborne battled to a win against Bromsgrove 20-13. Cherry and Whites’ tries came from Sam Bartle, Rhodri McAtee (a corker of a try) and Malcolm Hearn, with Rhys Brownfield kicking a conversion and replacement Dave Mankee adding a late penalty.

A good debut from Jordan Rose for Town, also good to see Jon Drew back from suspension adding his experience to the front row.

In National League 2, Redruth couldn’t make it a perfect seven wins on the trot as they slipped to defeat at Cinderford 23-21. Matt Bowden scored two tries with Sam Parsons also crossing. Brett Rule converted all three scores.

Truro came out on top in a ding-dong Western Counties West Cornish derby at St. Clements Hill winning 25-17 against Wadebridge Camels. The lead changed several time before Truro made sure of the spoils with a fourth try.

Truro’s tries were scored by Luke Tidball (2), Ben Teasdale and Josh Symons with Ashley Hosking adding a conversion and a penalty, for the Camels Hugo Culverhouse and Matt Ballard (2) scored tries with Danny Thomas kicking a conversion.

St. Austell defeated Crediton at Tregorrick Parc 31-10 thanks to tries from Max Duggan, George Knowles, Ben Chenoweth, Cav Boyer and Shane Johns. Liam Freeman kicked three conversions for the Saints.

St. Ives won 22-8 at Tiverton. Tom Chandler, Pete Mabbut and Sean Stevens scored the Hakes’ tries with the referee also awarding them a penalty-try that Jordan Gott converted.

Bude lost 16-10 at Burnham-on-Sea.

Up in London 2 SW, London Cornish’s game against Portsmouth had to be abandoned after 64 minutes due to a serious injury to a Portsmouth player. The exiles were leading 29-0 at the time and must now wait to see if the result stands.

Falmouth Eagles continue to fly at the top of the Cornwall & Devon league following their 34-0 win at Plymouth Argaum. Falmouth scored five tries through Tom Spiller (2), Dan Hubble, Tom Tonkins and AJ Geach. Justyn Irons kicked the other points.

Penryn grabbed maximum points following their 43-0 win at home to Topsham. Borough fielded their new signings Kieron Vinson and Matt Healey both signed from Truro.

Borough’s tries were scored by Andy Seviour (3), Ben Birkett, Matt Horton, Grant Randlesome and Will Paine, with Horton kicking four conversions.

Pirates Amateurs defeated Bodmin 33-6 at the Mennaye. The Ams scored tries through Danny Toolan, Dan Magee, Chav Lonsdale and Joe Chadwick with Magee kicking the other points.

Lanner beat Withycombe 20-17 at St. Day thanks to tries from Robbie Kessell, Adam Harris and Gizzy Beesley plus a conversion and penalty from Nick Prout.

Saltash had a walkover against Tamar Saracens.

In Cornwall 1, it’s very much as you were, Newquay Hornets maintained their top spot with a comfortable win against St. Agens 34-5.

Hayle keep the pressure on Hornets following their 27-10 win at a gutsy Helston.

Camborne School of Mines travelled to their old ground to take on Veor but it was the new tenants who prevailed 13-12. The Students travel to London this week for the annual “Bottle Match” against Royal School of Mines on Saturday.

Liskeard-Looe had a big win at Roseland 40-8.

In Cornwall 2, Illogan Park remain undefeated following a close shave with Stithians 8-6. Lankelly-Fowey won 22-20 at St. Just and Perranporth defeated Camelford 40-14.

Good to see Jack Nowell have a good game with England in Cardiff on Saturday evening, whilst Cornish Pirates Josh Caulfield came on for England Under 20s during their win against the Welsh on Friday evening.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall Under 20’s impressive start

Photo: Cory Teague leaps high for Cornwall

Cornwall Under 20s put on a superb show of running rugby at Camborne on Sunday afternoon running in ten tries against Berkshire in their first County Championship pool game.

After a shaky opening Cornwall gradually got on top going ahead with a try from Toby Robinson. Further first half scores from Declan Matthews and Ethan Tyler along with a couple of conversions from Cavan Boyer gave Cornwall a 19-0 half-time lead.


Photo: Cornwall’s Cavan Boyer, chased by Berks Jacob John

In the second half Cornwall ran riot with further tries coming from skipper Will Gilder, Matthews, Boyer, Tyler (2), Harry Smith and Seb Firth. Boyer kicked a further three conversions and Tyler added two more.

Berkshire saved their blushes with a penalty from Jake Finlay, to leave the final score Cornwall 64-3 Berkshire!

It was a win and performance that delighted and pleased head coach Mike Rawlings. He said after the game. “I was so pleased to see the boys’ hard work over the past few weeks and months pay off today. I can remember only too well being on the wrong end of similar score-line a couple of years ago when Cornwall lost a semi-final to Yorkshire here at Camborne.

“I did think we were up against it early on as Berkshire dominated but the guys weathered the storm and that built confidence and the guys thought we can do this.

And Rawlings was full of praise for the whole squad. “They really showed their skills levels out there today, but there is still much to work on, our set-piece wasn’t up to scratch and Bryn Jenkins and I will look at that and work on it. Our fitness really told in the final quarter they fell away badly but we kept our energy levels up and finish strongly with that final try.

Cornwall’s next game is at Redruth on Sunday 26th February when they take on Gloucestershire, who lost their opening game at Lydney to Hampshire 12-10.



Also on Sunday the Cornish Pirates were in Championship action when they took on London Scottish at the Mennaye.

A late penalty-try award converted by Laurence May gave the Pirates a 25-24 win.

Pirates’ other tries came from Alex Cheesman and Toby May, with the rest of the points from Laurence May’s boot adding a further conversion and two penalties.

It’s a weekend off for Pirates this week before they travel to Yorkshire Carnegie on the 18th February.

On Saturday Redruth made it six wins on the bounce in National 2 South with a hard-fought 10-3 win against Bury St. Edmunds. Fortunately for the Reds they scored their points early on through catch-and-drives from Tommy Phillips and Shaun Buzza as conditions deteriorated rapidly and the pitch began very heavy.

The win keeps Redruth well placed prior to Saturday’s trip to Cinderford.

Head Coach Marek Churcher was happy with the win in such conditions. “Conditions were awful today so to get the win is all that matters. We started very well I thought our accuracy was spot on our tempo was good and I thought we might run away with the game, I think we are guilty of losing our concentration when we get ahead early on. Having said that it became very difficult after about fifteen minutes as the pitch cut up with all the rain we have had recently.”

Falmouth’s game at Tamar Saracens in the Cornwall & Devon League was postponed.

In Cornwall League 1, Newquay Hornets got an important win at Liskeard-Looe 18-5, whilst challengers Hayle had a resounding win at home against Roseland 70-5, Doug Arnull scoring three of the Lions’ eleven tries.

Helston won a tight game at Veor 27-24, Decarlo Trerise with two of their four tries. Camborne School of Mines got the better of St. Agnes 12-5, both the student’s tries scored by Tommy Lee

In Cornwall 2 there was only one game played, Illogan Park winning 55-10 at Perranporth. Redruth Albany had a walkover against Camelford whist the game at Stithians against St. Just was postponed.

Truro defeated Torquay Athletic 31-5 to get to the final of the SW Intermediate Cup. Ethan Tyler (2), Jack Hazelton and Darren Jacques scored Truro’s tries with Ashley Hoskin converting all four and adding a penalty.

Truro now face a trip to Chew Valley, on the outskirts of Bristol on Saturday 25th February.

Saltash defeated last season’s defeated National finalists Withycombe in the Senior Vase 24-14, the tie was played on the all-weather pitch across the Tamar at Keyham. Tries were scored by No. 8 Steve Hillman prop Adam Coutts flanker Lewis Wells and wing Will Morton with Kieran Down adding a couple of conversions.

Saltash are at home to North Somerset side Winscombe in the SW Senior Vase final again on the 25th February.

On Saturday Jack Nowell came off the bench to help England come from behind to defeat France 19-16 at Twickenham in the RBS 6 Nations. Well done Jack.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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