By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground, Camborne.
Cornwall put in a much improved performance defeating a useful Berkshire side by six tries to one to keep their hopes of making the last eight in this season’s Leonard Cup competition.
The Camborne pitch was heavy after all the rain in recent
weeks, but Cornwall made light of the difficult conditions.
Cheered on by members of Trelawny’s Army, skipper Aaron Simmonds opened the scoring after just 3 minutes with a well-struck penalty.
Truro flanker Tom Spiers gave a Berkshire forward an
almighty hand-off sending him sprawling in the Camborne mud to set the tone,
Spiers went on to have an outstanding game.
Cornwall continued to capitalise profiting from a
Berkshire error, St Austell centre Ben Plummer intercepting to slide in at the
corner for an unconverted try.
Saltash No.8 Jack Wickham made a strong break off the back of a scrum gaining good ground; he was another who made a good impression.
The continued Cornish pressure soon led to another try, good work from the St. Austell wings Fraser Nottle and Max Bullen combined to put lock Mawgan Osborne away, the Pirates Amateurs player ran hard towards the line before shipping a pass to hooker Mackenzie Oliver to score, Simmonds adding the extras.
A third try was not long in the offing, a kick through
saw Penryn’s lock Steele Barker gleefully take full advantage to score an
Towards half-time Berkshire got some territory making the most of a catch and drive to score through hooker Harry Wayne Branch, fly-half Jack Grapper kicked a good conversion to leave the score 20-7 to Cornwall at half-time.
Cornwall made another fast start with barely two minutes
of the second half played, the outstanding Spiers put away Barker for his
second try, the lock sliding in under the posts to give Simmonds a routine
Simmonds then kicked a second penalty to put the game well
and truly out of Berkshire’s reach.
Further scores came from Penryn’s Charlie Levick, from his own kick ahead to win the chase, then to cap his fine performance a deserved final try for Spiers under the sticks that Simmonds bettered.
Speaking after the game Cornwall coach Richie Kevern was delighted with the team’s performance. He said. “It was a good performance in tough conditions, we told them in no uncertain terms that if they lost today then that would be the end of the road for this season, they took it on board and put in a tremendous performance.
Kevern was delighted with the side’s sound defence and good discipline. “There were times when we had to defend and all credit to the lads they put in the hits, this week our discipline was good and that made a big difference.
Kevern also had words of praise for Tom Spiers. “He has
had two big games for us, his defence is top draw and when he has the ball in
hand he is a real handful to deal with, he has got a very bright future.”
Cornwall now travel to play Gloucestershire Under 20s in
their final pool game on Sunday 15th March at Dings Crusaders, with all
to play for.
Cornwall U20: Charlie Levick (Penryn), Fraser Nottle (St.
Austell), Aaron Simmonds (Redruth, Capt), Ben Plummer, Max Bullen, James Tucker
(all St. Austell), Ali Stacey (Redruth); James Lambourn (Pirates Ams), Mackenzie
Oliver (Redruth), Eliot Salt (Cardiff Met), Mawgan Osborne (Pirates Ams), Steele
Barker (Penryn), Toby Osborne (Pirates Ams), Tom Spiers (Truro), Jack Wickham
Replacements: Cameron Taylor (St. Austell), Mishka Fibbens
(Penryn), Callum Looker (Cardiff Met), Caden Brownfield (Hayle), Connor George
(Unattached), James Murray, Jordan Sidwell (both Redruth).
Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship team,
play their only home fixture in the pool stage of the 2020 Jason Leonard Cup.
The team host Berkshire at Camborne RFC with a 1330 kick off time on Sunday 23
February, and will be played on the main pitch.
Cornwall Under 20 coaches Richie Kevern and Tyler Gendall have made ten changes, three positional, to the side ahead of Sunday’s Jason Leonard Cup pool game against Berkshire at Camborne RFC.
Coach Rich Kevern said – “The first game against Devon has to be a
wakeup call for the players. We had lots of opportunities to win the game but
didn’t take them and allowed a strong Devon team to get back into the match.
Discipline is another area we have to improve and to ensure that we keep to our
The changes are; in the front row, James Lambourn comes in at loose-head
with Oliver Mackenzie at hooker.
In the second row Penryn’s Steele Barker partners Mawgan Osborne, whilst Toby Osborne goes from lock to blindside flanker.
Saltash player Jack Wickham comes in at No.8.
There is a change at half-back with James Tucker starting at fly-half,
with skipper Aaron Simmonds moving to the outside centre berth, St. Austell’s
Ben Plummer moves to inside centre and fellow Saint Fraser Nottle coming in at
Another Penryn player, Charlie Levick comes in at full-back.
The coaches are at present unable to confirm the complete line up on the replacements bench due to re-arranged league matches taking place on the Saturday, however they have named five forwards with three backs to be added.
Cornwall Captain Aaron Simmonds said; – “The guys were disappointed with
our performance against Devon. We had been prepared well by the coaches but let
ourselves down in a number of areas on the field which cost us dearly and
ultimately the result! This is our only home game and it would be great to get
the fantastic Cornish crowd to turnout and support us at Camborne on Sunday. ”
CRFU President John Sumnall said “We are pleased to be playing this game
at Camborne RFC and thank the club and its members for hosting us. Our first
game saw 13 young players representing the County at this level for the first
time and although the result in a tight game went against them, I am sure they
will be up to the challenge of this tough game against Berkshire. It is
fantastic to see so many different clubs represented, and we thank them and our
sponsors for their support to enable these fixtures to be played.”
Berkshire lost their opening game to Gloucestershire so both counties
will be looking for a win to kick-start their hopes of making the knockout
Cornwall‘s final pool game will be hosted by Dings RFC in Bristol on
Sunday 15 March where the opponents will be Gloucestershire.
The team manager Colin Hatch said; -“The President
rightly points out the number of new players that played in our last game,
however it is no different for any other county in this competition. A number
of these guys are playing rugby week in and week out for their clubs at all
levels of the game. We have emphasised the fact that this competition is short
and if we don’t perform then it is over for this season. I am sure that the
players will have learnt from the first game and will want to make amends in
this home game.”
Cornwall Team to play Berkshire
Tom Spiers (Vice Captain)
Backs bench and
travelling reserves from
Coaches – Rich Kevern
+ Tyler Gendall, assisted by Adam Kevern + Brad Howe
Gates open to the public at 1230, with entry for adults costing £5
including a programme. Young people under the age of 16 accompanied by an adult
get free entry.
Members from Trelawny’s Army were invited to this season’s Cornwall team get-together held at the Eden Project, reports Bill Hooper
There were some 150 players, family, CRFU officials and guests present, which also saw the launch of the 2020 playing shirt designed by O’Neills. Our current player of the year Tony Whittle is seen modelling the new shirt below.
At the conclusion of the formal part of the event members of Trelawny’s Army led the singing of “Cornwall, my home” and “Trelawny”.
Founder member of the Army was pictured proudly holding the Bill Beaumont Cup.
Thanks must be expressed to the CRFU for inviting us and to the Eden Project and St. Austell Brewery.
Cornwall got their
campaign off to a disappointing start with this defeat to Devon.
Sadly, Cornwall were the architects of their own demise with indiscipline costing them dear with two yellow cards in the space of 4 second half minutes.
Devon scored two
tries during the sin-binning making it a mountain to climb for the Cornish
youngsters, who to their credit responded with a couple of tries.
Cornwall had the better of the first half, enjoying good territorial advantage,
but crucially unable to turn it into scores.
Cornwall coach Richie Kevern was naturally disappointed at the final whistle. “Indiscipline cost us today, going down the thirteen men made it very difficult. We really didn’t make the most of our chances in the first half and that was equally frustrating. We will go away now and prepare for the Berkshire game at Camborne in four weeks time.”
There were positives for Cornwall Skipper Aaron Simmonds looked very accomplished at fly-half, Tom Spiers was a handful in the back row, both the Osborne brothers in the boiler house went well, Eliot Salt carried well, whilst Mishka Fibbens made a big impact off the bench.
Simmonds gave Cornwall the lead after 31 minutes with a penalty. This was cancelled out by Harry Ottaway for the hosts. The same player then nudged Devon ahead with his second penalty that was matched immediately by Simmonds to leave the scores tied 6- all at the break.
Ten minutes into the
second half was when it started to unravel for Cornwall. Open-side flanker Tom
Spiers was harshly carded for a ruck offence.
laying siege to the Cornwall line with eventually hooker Reece Bartlett forcing
his way over, Ottaway adding the conversion.
It was then that fellow back row Cameron Taylor was binned, Devon took full-advantage launching an unstoppable forward drive with No.8 Adam Northcott scoring, Ottaway’s conversion putting Devon 25-6 up.
With the clock
against Cornwall fresh legs came on, prop Mishka Fibbens made an instant impact
ploughing through the Devon defence to crash over, Simmonds on the money with
Cornwall gave it a good go creating a chance for Mawgan Osborne out wide, the lock danced along the touchline to squeeze in for an unconverted try.
Now trailing by just
seven points could Cornwall snatch a draw? They had chances but couldn’t take
them, instead Devon made the game safe as lock Ethan Pearce made good ground
evading some tired tackle before finding wing Devon Jewsbury who finished well
to score Devon’s bonus point try.
Cornwall U.20: Adam Long (Camborne), Guy Brooks (Penryn), Ben Plummer (St. Austell), Isaak Welsh (Truro), Max Bullen (St. Austell), Aaron Simmonds (Capt), Ali Stacey (both Redruth); Callum Looker (Cardiff Met), Rory Mead (Bude), Eliot Salt (Cardiff Met), Mawgan Osborne, Toby Osborne (both Pirates Ams), Cameron Taylor (St. Austell), Tom Spiers (Truro), Aden Brassington (Redruth).
Replacements: James Lambourn (Pirates Ams), Mishka Fibbens (Penryn), Jack Wickham, Devon Bennett-Murray (both Saltash), James Tucker (St. Austell), James Murray (Redruth), Fraser Nottle (St. Austell).
Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) Under 20 County Championship campaign 2020 gets underway, this Sunday 26th January, with their first fixture in the Jason Leonard Cup. The team travel to neighbours Devon for their first pool game of the competition. The game will be played at Ivybridge RFC.
CRFU President John Sumnall said “It is great to get this year’s campaign off
with a local tie against our neighbours Devon. We thank all our sponsors for
their support and assistance with this group of players in this important game
representing Cornwall. It is fantastic to see so many different clubs
represented, and we thank them for their support to enable these fixtures to be
The game kicks off at 14:00 at Ivybridge and will be played on the
Coach Rich Kevern said. “This will be a good test for this new set of
young players and the experienced guys remaining from last season. Although we
have had two warm up games we are in a different ball game now that the
Championship is underway. We had a tight game against Devon last season at St
Austell and we know the guys in green and white will be up for a tough game
again this season”
Cornwall has a new forwards coach this season with ex Cornwall U20, Championship and Premiership player Tyler Gendall who joins Rich Kevern. Rich’s brother Adam has also been assisting especially during his recovery from injury.
Cornwall Captain this season is Aaron Simmonds he said. “It is an honour
to be asked to captain the side for this season. I know the guys are up for a
tough campaign as always and have trained well in preparation for this game.
This is my second season with the 20’s and I know that it is a tough
competition and we will have to perform at our best in every game.”
Cornwall‘s second pool game will be home to Berkshire at Camborne RFC
with a 13:30 kick off on Sunday February 23. The final pool game will be hosted
by Dings RFC in Bristol on Sunday 15 March where the opponents will be
The CRFU Representative Rugby Chair Chris Lea said. “The vagaries of U20 rugby mean we can lose up to 50% of our squad every year through age qualification. This year we have lost even more and so we start to build again with a mixture of players transitioning from the U18’s, new players identified and nominated from clubs around the county. There are a number of these guys who will be around for the next 2 seasons and we are always on the lookout at new talent who can come into the squad and join them over the coming seasons.”
Cornwall Squad v Devon Sunday 26th January
Aaron Simmonds (Capt)
Coaches – Rich Kevern + Tyler Gendall, assisted by Adam Kevern
Medical cover – Neville Curnow + Graham Ashton
Kit – Paul Hurrell, Colin Hatch
JASON LEONARD CUP (Pool Fixtures)
Sunday 26th January 2020 DEVON V CORNWALL @ Ivybridge RFC kick-off 2 pm
Sunday 23rd February 2020 CORNWALL V BERKSHIRE @ Camborne RFC 1:30 pm
Sunday 15th March 2020 GLOUCESTERSHIRE V CORNWALL @ Dings Crusaders 2:30 pm
As we enter the second half of the season I would like to share some of my experiences and thoughts during my visits to the Cornwall Clubs and Rugby in Cornwall.
Of the eleven Clubs that I have visited so far, I have been
impressed by the commitment that their volunteers give not only to their Club
but also to rugby and their community by many different methods. The successful
hosting of sponsors at pre match meals and buffets at Bude, Camborne.
Launceston and St Austell not only cater for their followers but it also brings
in welcome finance and occasionally new people to the game and the Club.
Liskeard-Looe provide a very welcome hot drinks cabin adjacent to the pitch and
Saltash, on the day that I visited, were selling home made cakes and goodies to
help with a mini/junior tour. At Wadebridge, I was impressed by the number of
helpers on their two pitches and in the Club House, all volunteers. The number
of ex players attending the matches at Newquay Hornets and Penryn state much
about the continual commitment and value of these guys and hopefully their
current players will follow their example. Deep down in the far south west that
great community Club, St Just, had just purchased adjacent land to extend their
camping facilities during the summer with the intention of providing even more
facilities at their Club.
However, there are unknown benefits to be gained when visiting
Clubs and these outcomes include discussing their requirements to enable the
CRFU to help to meet, as far as possible, their needs. At Lanner training
lights have been arranged. Stithians had ten registered players and two
committee members at the beginning of the season and have recently completed
all their fixtures well done Stithians. May I remind
Clubs that they do not have to wait for a visit. Just ask!
A very pleasant evening was spent at a Cornwall Rugby Referee’s Soceity meeting when a discussion was held entitled “Rugby in Cornwall” and the referees chose to discuss not refereeing but their concern for the state of the game. These included the loss of players between 16 and 18, the introduction of “Game On” and the reasons for the deduction of league points. Most enlightening. Monthly visits are made to the Cornwall Rugby Sages when an update is given on CRFU matters before they enjoy their pasty, pint and singing. These are always well attended by some great past players and stalwarts of Cornish rugby and I thoroughly recommend them to you.
A special highlight was to be invited to the England Women
v. France Women at Exeter and not only observe a great win for England but the
magnificent spectacle of some 150 girls ferried from Cornwall by our CDCs and
others. The Ladies and Girls game is certainly growing in Cornwall from this
interest and I wish them every success.
May I wish you all a prosperous New Year and I look forward
to visiting more Clubs in the second half of the season.
Redruth deservedly regained the Rodda’s Milk Cup with a
decisive win against old rivals Camborne in front of a four figure Boxing Day
The Reds travelled down the road with a strong squad and had the luxury to include a few youngsters to give them a taste of this special occasion.
Town, roared on by their supporters opened the scoring
with a Rhys Brownfield penalty, the lead proved short-lived as Redruth piled on
Connor Gilbert made good ground before slipping the
scoring pass to Dean Bonds who dived in for the opening try.
Matt Shepherd, having missed the conversion made no
mistake with a penalty kick to extend the lead.
Redruth maintained their foot on the throttle as they
continued to pound the Camborne line with Jack Hodge, Chris Fuca and Gilbert
all going close before Bonds sneaked over for his second try.
A second Brownfield penalty gave some relief to Camborne but the relentless pressure from the Reds continued as their pack mauled their way to a further two tries, both scored by Aden Brassington, and bettered by Shepherd for a 27-6 lead at the break.
As the light faded badly in the second half Redruth
wrapped up their win scoring couple more tries through Jack Kessell and Ben
Priddey with Shepherd landing a conversion.
The final whistle brought huge cheers from the Redruth
supporters as they headed home to celebrate.
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