Redruth took the spoils in this action packed game which could have swung Taunton’s way during a tense finale.
Redruth head coach Pale Nonu was delighted that his young side had shown great maturity. “That was a cracking game of rugby with two sides looking to play an expansive game. We had to defend like Trojans early on as they came at us down the slope, we did well to hold them to just the three points.
“Credit to the boys they played for each other and trusted the systems we put in place. In the second half we played some good rugby scoring some good tries so overall I was delighted with that performance.”
Prior to kick-off there was a minute’s silence in respect of club members who sadly passed away over the summer.
Taunton raced out of the blocks from the whistle putting pressure on Redruth and earning a penalty kicked by fly-half Sam Brown.
The home defence proved up to the task repelling the incessant Titans’ attacks. The siege was lifted with Redruth drawing level thanks to a Richie Kevern penalty.
Redruth had both skipper Matt Gidlow and Craig Williams yellow carded during the opening half hour managing to survive both sin-bins without conceding.
Redruth’s line out, so often an Achilles heel in past seasons was top-draw, with Ed Pascoe and Brad Howe providing some quality ball, to set up some great attacking mauls.
Connor Gilbert over the ball Photo: Dan Barbary
As half-time approached it was Taunton’s turn to lose a player to the bin, lock Milo Reynolds. Redruth turned up the pressure with a string of penalties kicked to the corner with Titans infringing once too often and referee Charles Gayther awarding the home side a penalty-try.
Redruth made a great start to the second half with an unconverted try in the Piggy lane corner scored by flying wing Dean Bonds.
They further increased their lead after centres Connor Gilbert and Jack Simmons put full-back Aaron Simmonds in for a try on his home debut, converted by Kevern giving the Reds what seemed an impressive lead.
Referee Gayther then trotted under the posts awarding Taunton the first of two penalty-tries in their favour awarded during the final ten minutes, setting up an anxious closing few minutes.
Aaron Simmonds adds a conversion – Photo: Dan Barbary
Crucially Redruth made the game safe when James Tucker intercepted to trot in under the posts with Simmonds having assumed kicking duties from the departed Kevern adding the extras.
A tense finally saw Ratu Vakalutukali go over for a his side’s third try but crucially Brown missed the conversion before Charles Gayther awarded Taunton a second penalty try at the death to leave them with two bonus points but happily the Reds with five and the Redruth crowd thrilled by the performance of their young side.
“Strictly” Sam Matavesi. Hooker has all the moves – Photo: Brian Tempest
Cornish Pirates 35 Coventry 10
Rightfully pleased to have won their 2018/19 Greene King IP Championship opener 31-24 at home against Doncaster Knights the previous weekend, the Cornish Pirates backed up that result with another victory at the Mennaye Field on Sunday, this time 35-10, reports Phil Westren from the Mennaye Field.
In opposition was a very strong Coventry side making a welcome return to the Championship following relegation at the end of the competition’s inaugural 2009-10 season.
The challenge posed by ‘Cov’ was clearly one the Pirates could not take lightly, noting that they had won their Championship opener 20-15 at home to Jersey Reds, and this following an impressive 55-14 pre-season win against Wasps ‘A’. Their squad was also one littered with gifted players, the range including International, Premiership and Championship performers. Former Pirates scrum-half favourite Tom Kessell featured, as did Tongan internationals David Halaifonua, Latu Makaaafi and Jack Ram, plus former ‘All Black’ Sam Tuitupou.
The Cornish Pirates starting XV showed just one change from the line-up that ran out against ‘Donny’, with Harry Strong selected on the left wing.
Making an early statement at scrum time, with four minutes on the clock fly-half Will Cargill duly posted the first points of the afternoon, which resulted from an almost inevitable penalty award to the Pirates.
The Midlanders were quick to respond, however, and following a rampaging run by flanker Ram a penalty of their own was the reward kicked by fly-half Will Maisey.
Here were two sides up for the challenge and keen for points, so an outcome of a try scored for the Pirates by No. 8 Tom Duncan and converted by Cargill was welcome.
Out of my way, Dunky on the charge – Photo: Brian Tempest
Again, the visitors strived to hit back, with Cornishman Kessell going close. The developing threat looked ‘real’, but the Pirates defended well and then managed to work their way productively up-field.
Cargill added his second successful penalty slot and then one more conversion just before the break. The extra two points proving the icing on the cake to a try scored by man-of-the-match Strong, which resulted from good approach work by Duncan and wing Robin Wedlake. It also meant that the Pirates held a more than satisfactory 20-3 points half-time lead.
To be fair to ‘Cov’, the score at the break wasn’t perhaps a true reflection of the game and they had also been disrupted by injuries, therefore another penalty kicked by Cargill on 50 minutes surely added to their woes. Perhaps, but it didn’t show, as Kessell, now playing out of position on the wing, scored a converted try at the scoreboard corner.
Emptying their bench, another score would bring Coventry back in contention, but it didn’t materialise. Indeed, it was the Pirates who for the second week running finished strongly, with the impressive Duncan bagging his second five points of the afternoon and hooker Sam Matavesi then displaying accustomed explosive power to burst over by Newlyn posts. Replacement fly-half added a conversion to the latter’s bonus-point-providing try and, but for some stoic defending near the very end, work for the afternoon was effectively done.
The crowd present had thoroughly enjoyed viewing match action in the sun, with there a definite buzz and good-feel factor about the Pirates at present – and for good reason!
Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Harry Strong (Matt Evans 72), 10 Will Cargill (Harvey Skinner 67), 9 Alex Day (Alex Schwarz 70); 1 Jack Andrew, 2 Sam Matavesi (Dan Frost 70), 3 Christian Judge (Tyler Gendall 67), 4 Toby Freeman (Danny Cutmore 64), 5 Brett Beukeboom (captain), 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 Matt Bolwell (John Stevens 64), 8 Tom Duncan.
Coventry: 15 David Halaifonua (Peter White 37), Junior Bulumakau, 13 Heath Stevens, (captain), 12 Tony Fenner, 11 James Stokes (Sam Tuitupou 18), 10 Will Maisey, 9 Tom Kessell; 1 James Gibbons (Luc Jeannot 67), 2 Phil Nilsen (Scott Tolmie 48), 3 Phil Boulton (Charlie Beech 48), Tom Jubb, 5 James Voss, 6 Adam Peters, 7 Jack Ram (Ben Nutley (46), 8 Ben Adams (Latu Makaafi 53).
The long awaited first weekend of league action saw some encouraging results for our Cornish clubs along with one or two disappointments.
The Cornish Pirates report is in the previous blog entry so straight on to National League 2 South and Redruth’s fine win at Dings Crusaders so often a graveyard for Cornish clubs.
Tries from scrum-half Jack Oulton, flanker Ben Fox and centre Nelly Webber laid the foundations as did the goal-kicking of Richie Kevern in the 25-17 win.
Next up for the Reds are Taunton who will arrive at the Rec full of confidence after their 62-24 win over Worthing.
Camborne travelled to Ivybridge for their opening game in the South West Premier with a depleted squad, despite a late rally they were left with just a losing bonus point from a 29-24 defeat,
The Cherry and Whites were awarded a penalty try, plus tries from Josh Semmens and Alex Ducker with Jake Champion kicking the other points.
In Tribute South West 1 West, Launceston made an excellent start with a 36-25 win at Lydney.
The Cornish All Blacks secured all five points on offer thanks to a brace of tries from skipper Lloyd Duke and further tries from Brandon Rowley, Adam Collings and Shaun Crawford. Glenn Coles kicked the rest of the points with a conversion and three penalties.
A good start at this level for St.Ives, who defeated Cullompton at Alexandra Road 41-14. Martyn Lawrence bagged a couple of tries as did Jamie Prisk with further tries coming from Joe Parma and Ben Taylor. Rhys Brownfield landed four conversions and a penalty.
London Cornish were pipped at Cobham in their opening London 1 South fixture 29-25. Two second half yellow cards proved costly. Cornish scored three tries through Rory Stanyard, Harry Somers and Dave Funston. George Kimmins kicked the rest of the points.
In Tribute Western Counties West, I watched an entertaining opening game of the season at St. Clements Hill where visitors Falmouth held out against a final onslaught from Truro to take the spoils 22-17.
Falmouth held firm in the opening stages when it looked like the bigger Truro pack would steamroller the Eagles.
Instead Matt Poole opened the scoring with a well-worked try converted by scrum-half Matt Austin.
Truro replied with a try from lock Sam Parker but Falmouth pulled further ahead when Austin finished off a good break from centre Tom Edmonds to score under the posts, the scrum-half adding the extras for 14-5 half-time lead.
Early in the second half full-back Matt Horton finished off another flowing move for an unconverted try.
Horton then dropped a goal and Falmouth looked hone and dry with less than ten minutes to play.
To their credit Truro fought back in time added on to score tries through No.8 Jack Tidball and wing Ieuan Boon with the first score converted by Ethan Tyler to secure a losing bonus point.
St. Austell got off to a winning start 15-6 against Paignton. Trailing 6-3 at the break with just Chris Ashwin’s penalty on the scoreboard.
Two tries in the second half from player coach Kyle Marriott and Ben Chenoweth plus an Ashwin conversion saw the Saints off to a winning start.
Wadebridge Camels were given a lesson by Crediton 43-20 at the Molesworth Field. Darren Livett scored a try on his league debut with Mike Rawlings getting a second. Danny Thomas landed both conversions and a couple of penalties.
Saltash were given a rude awaking to life back at this level as they went down 64-7 at Sidmouth, Ollie Mulberry with their sole try converted by Ryan Cruickshanks.
In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, an early shock for Penryn, many peoples’ tip for promotion this season as the Borough slipped to defeat at Plymstock Albion Oaks 25-20.
Penryn scored four tries through James Salisbury, Tony Pellow, John Followell and Chris Hellier to at least return home with a couple of points.
Bude got off to a good start with a 16-14 win at Tavistock. Ed Hillman-Cooke scored all their points with a try, conversion and three penalties.
Liskeard-Looe drew 12-all at fellow promoted side South Molton. The Lions scored two tries through Jordan Smith and Chris Chew with Ieuan Evans kicking a conversion.
Pirates Amateurs picked up a couple of points despite losing at Plymouth Argaum 29-24. Alfie Prosser (2), Ryan Stanley and Issac Blackbourn scored their tries with Blackbourn and Trev Dugdale each kicking a conversion.
Lanner lost 50-15 at Withycombe.
Not a happy day for Hayle as they slipped to a 99-0 defeat at Torquay Athletic.
The Cornwall 1 & 2 clubs were involved in the first round of qualifying for this season’s RFU Junior Vase.
Pre-season complete, the Cornish Pirates welcomed Doncaster Knights to the Mennaye Field on Sunday for their opening game in this season’s Greene King IPA Championship, reports Phil Westren from the Mennaye Field.
Matches between the Pirates and the Knights are often high-scoring and entertaining affairs, whilst they are also hard fought. This one certainly was, it a contest in the sun between two evenly matched teams but with the Pirates ultimately achieving the sought-after win.
Photo Brian Tempest: Sam Matavesi scored two of the Pirates’ tries
Lock Brett Beukeboom proudly skippered the home team, the side showing just one change in the starting line-up from the selection that recently faced Exeter Chiefs, with the inclusion of Brett’s fellow Canadian international Matt Evans named at ’11’
The Pirates looked purposeful in opening exchanges, however a sudden breakout of defence by the Knights ended with scrum-half Tom James scoring the game’s opening try. The effort at the Penzance posts was converted by his fly-half partner Charlie Foley.
It was hardly the start the Pirates were looking for, but they were at least quick to respond. Hooker Sam Matavesi first carried strongly, fly-half Will Cargill then took advantage of a gap on offer and maintaining momentum it was Matavesi who scored. Cargill added the extras.
Midway through the half the Knights scored again, their second try of the match touched down by full-back Cameron Cowell who was one of several in their squad with Newcastle Falcons connections. Centre Joel Matavesi, brother of Pirate Sam, was another.
Could the Pirates respond again? Yes, would be the answer, as following good approach work by midfield partners Callum Patterson and Rory Parata it was Matavesi who again made it over the line for a converted try.
Slack defensively at times, the Pirates leaked a third try on the half hour mark. Foley was the man to take advantage and run well before timing his pass perfectly to James who also scored his second converted try of the match.
To continue the scoring pattern thus far, the Pirates kept on script to level matters before the break, Parata identified as a try-scorer on his Championship debut.
Foley saw a penalty attempt bounce off a post early in the second period, however when pressing strongly as the half wore on, his Premiership referee namesake, Tom Foley, blew again to give him a second chance. It was one taken, for the scoreline to read 21-24.
Thankfully the Pirates hit back in the last quarter, with a mix of determination and perhaps fitness being vital factors. They took the lead for the first time in the match on 64 minutes when Tom Duncan scored a bonus point converted try, and after replacement flanker John Stevens helped attain territory with a clever kick to the right touchline, Cargill shortly after kicked a penalty – the last points of the match.
For the Pirates there will be areas to work on, of course there will be, but all in all the importance for this opener was to record, as previously mentioned, this sought-after ‘W’.
Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata (Harry Strong 78), 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Matt Evans, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day; 1 Christian Judge (Tyler Gendall 72), 2 Sam Matavesi (Dan Frost 60), 3 Jack Andrew, 4 Toby Freeman (Danny Cutmore 59), 5 Brett Beukeboom (captain), 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 Matt Bolwell (John Stevens 60), 8 Tom Duncan.
Replacements (not used): Alex Schwarz, Harvey Skinner.
Doncaster Knights: 15 Cameron Cowell, 14 Steve McColl, 14 Lloyd Hayes, 12 Joel Matavesi, 11 Tyson Lewis (Mat Clark 75), 10 Charlie Foley (Ruaridh Dawson 72), 9 Tom James; 1 Robin Hislop (Toby Williams 61), 2 Ben Hunter (Curtis Langdon 70), 3 Colin Quigley (Joe Sproston 60), 4 Matt Challinor (Tom Calladine 60), 5 Nick Civetta, 6 Morgan Eames, 7 Michael Hills (captain), 8 William Ryan.
On a most pleasant and atmospheric August evening the Cornish Pirates deservedly took the scalp of visiting Exeter Chiefs, reports Phil Westren from the Mennaye
Photo: Brian Tempest. Sam Matavesi scores one of his two tries
Rob Baxter’s Devon side arrived at the Mennaye Field with a mix of Premiership and international stars, and aspiring young talent. However, in opposition a well-prepared Pirates outfit were keen to make a mark and follow up their 44-7 win at Aberavon Wizards, which they did, with another impressive pre-season performance.
There were only four minutes on the clock when the Pirates registered their first try on the night. Scrum-half Alex Day and flanker Josh Caulfield led the advance and when the ball was spread right it was centre Callum Patterson who dived in at the clubhouse corner. A first try in Pirates colours for the former Ulsterman, he was later named man-of-the-match. Fly-half Will Cargill was unable to add the extras.
It was a dream start, but one soon to get even better when hooker Sam Matavesi scored by the Penzance posts. Cargill this time duly converted and on the quarter hour mark also landed a fine penalty from near 40 metres to give the Pirates an incredible 15-0 lead.
The Chiefs endeavoured to respond with Argentina international Santiago Cordero impressing on the wing, but for the moment the Pirates held firm thanks to a crunch of a tackle made by wing Robin Wedlake.
Midway through the first half the visitors rallied to get points on the board thanks to a score from No. 8 Tom Lawday. Dual-registered with the Pirates last season, his try at the Newlyn gate corner was converted by fly-half Joe Simmonds.
Were the Chiefs about to find their flow to impact more on the game? Well, if they were then the Pirates showed no signs of caving in and scored next when Matavesi displayed power once more for a converted try.
In the build to half-time Exeter managed though to respond, Lawday again a try-scorer following Cordero’s telling run and him then notching a hat-trick. This followed the Pirates losing full-back Kyle Moyle to the sin bin, with Simmonds’ third conversion making it 22-21 at the break.
For the second half, and with the floodlights coming into their own, the Pirates wore their new ‘Tribute’ purple away shirts. Catching the eye, replica versions will surely sell well.
As for important concentration just on the rugby, the Pirates continued to impress at the start of the second period and on 52 minutes extended their lead – and how! Pressing inside the Chiefs ‘22’ the ball found the hands of prop Christian Judge who cast eyes immediately on the line. His was then a sudden burst – with bulk, and in no mood to be stopped, his converted try opened up an eight points gap.
Both sides introduced replacements and Exeter’s hopes were occasionally raised through the continuing efforts of Cordero, his fellow wing James Short and the centre pairing of Michele Campagnaro and former ‘Pirate’ Tom Hendrickson, but all to no avail. There was also a lengthy break in play after replacement Sam Morley fell worryingly injured, leading to him being stretchered off the field.
Photo Brian Tempest: Happy coach Paves
In remaining time, the Pirates continued to hold tight, their defence impressive and keeping a clean sheet in the second half. Then, at the sound of international referee JP Doyle’s final whistle, celebrations for home supporters began – this a game one and all will take pride of place in the memory bank.
Speaking after the match, coach Alan Paver said:
“The contest provided a wonderful occasion with the balance of both teams about right and the game played in the right spirit.
“We were very thankful to Exeter for coming down to fulfil the fixture on such a special evening and the response from supporters was immense.
“As for our performance I thought it was strong and competitive and to come out on the right side of the score was the cherry on the top. But, to be honest, it was more about the occasion with everyone having pulled together to make it an enjoyable evening. The win was nice, yes it was special, but it wasn’t the main focus.”
Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Harry Strong, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day; 1 Christian Judge, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Jack Andrew, 4 Toby Freeman, 5 Brett Beukeboom (capt), 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 Matt Bolwell, 8 Tom Duncan.
Replacements: Billy Keast, Dan Frost, Tyler Gendall, Nodar Cheishvili, Danny Cutmore, John Stevens, James McRae, Maliq Holden, Matt Evans, Harvey Skinner, AJ Cant, Jake Ashby.
Yellow card: Moyle
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Sal M’Boge, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 James Short,10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Stuart Townsend; 1 Moray Low, 2 Elvis Taione, 3 Jack Owlett, 4 Toby Salmon, 5 Wilhelm Van Der Sluys, 6 Richard Capstick, 7 James Freeman (capt), 8 Tom Lawday.
Replacements: James Kenny, Jack Innard, Alfie Petch, Rus Tuima, Sam Morley, Joe Elderkin.
Cornish Pirates’ St. Austell Brewery Man-of-the-Match: Callum Patterson
REDRUTH 50 – 38 BEDDAU
By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground.
Redruth continued their build up to their National League 2 South season with an eight try win over Welsh Championship side Beddau coached by former Wales, Cornish Pirates and Mounts Bay fly-half Lee Jarvis.
Photo: Aaron Simmonds an exciting new face at Redruth this season
It was just the sort of test head coach Pale Nonu was looking for to build on the encouraging result at Exmouth the previous week.
With the pitch looking in great nick and a sprinkling of new faces in the Redruth side, spectators were keen to run the rule over the squad ahead of that important first league game at Dings Crusaders on 1st September.
Having weathered the initial Beddau assault Redruth made a great start with an opening try scored by skipper Richard Brown, converted by Richie Kevern with just 5 minutes on the clock.
Beddau scored an unconverted try through full back Tom Preece before flanker Mark Grubb grabbed Redruth’s second try after several pick and goes, with Kevern again on the money with the extras. Sadly Kevern was forced from the fray shortly after following a heavy knock.
Centre Jack Simmons caught the eye in the first half and was rewarded with an interception try converted by fly-half replacement James Tucker.
Beddau scored their second try before half-time thanks to a well-placed cross kick dotted down by wing Christian Bird to make it 21-10 at the break.
Playing down the slope Redruth made a quick start to the second half scoring tries through new-signing, wing Shea Cornish and prop Jack Hodge, with the later converted by Ashley Hosking as the rolling subs kicked in.
New signing Jovin Harper, pressed into service at lock in place of Ben Fox who was ill, put in a big shift, as did other newbies Aaron Simmonds, formerly of Penryn, at full-back, Luke Flack, at centre during the second half, Aden Brassington in the back row and former Camborne player Luke Barnes at hooker
Beddau pulled back a score from Luke Jones before young Tucker went over in Hell fire corner following a fine flowing backs move.
The see-saw nature continued as the Welsh side scored their fourth try and Jones his second.
Photo Simon Bryant Iktisphoto – Aden Brassington
Centre Connor Gilbert showed a good turn of speed to break the cover and score try number seven under the posts allowing Hosking to add the extras.
Beddau scored either side of Redruth’s final try with scores from Owain Cotter and Bird with his second, again scored by Cornish, who finished a flowing move superbly with aplomb, to bring up the fifty points for the Reds.
Another encouraging result for the Reds, despite missing a few key players, notably in the forwards. Plenty of work to do and no doubt defensive patterns will be looked at this week in training ahead of St. Austell next Saturday.
Redruth: A Simmonds, D Bonds, J Simmons, N Webber, M Bowden, R Kevern, J Oulton; J Hodge, R Brown (Capt), C Wiliams, L Hattam, J Harper, M Gidlow, M Grubb, B Howe.
Replacements: L Barnes E Salt, V man, A Brassington, Ash Hosking, J Tucker, Adam Hosking, C Gilbert, L Flack, S Cornish
On the Thursday night Penryn lost a tight game at the Memorial Ground 10-12 to St. Ives
On Saturday Wadebridge Camels defeated Bude 57-0. Camels have picked up former Wild Geese player Darren Livett who has moved to North Cornwall. Camborne, lacking a good few first choice players, lost at home to Taunton Titans by 43-12.
Launceston travelled to Barnstaple and lost to the home side by 43-7. Falmouth played 5 X 20 mins games against Canton (Cardiff) winning 2.
Photo Brian Tempest: Brett Beukeboom new club captain
The Cornish Pirates annual ‘Meet the Players’ event, held at the Mennaye Field on Tuesday, once again proved popular, reports Phil Westren. Also, during the evening, the name of Cornish Pirates’ Canadian international lock forward Brett Beukeboom was announced as club captain for the coming season.
PA announcer Phil Westren welcomed all present and following a brief but competitive training game against the Pirates Amateurs the Cornish Pirates squad then lined up in front of the main grandstand where ten new faces were introduced. They comprised signings Jake Ashby, Nodar Cheishvili, Danny Cutmore, Maliq Holden, Rory Parata, Callum Patterson, Jordan Payne, Javier Rojas Alvarez, Alex Schwarz, and Robin Wedlake. Added to this group, seven players to be dual-registered with Exeter Chiefs were also announced. They were Josh Caulfield, Jake Clemson, Luke Flack, Billy Keast, James McRae, Harvey Skinner, and Harry Strong.
Photo Brian Tempest: Cornish Pirates in friendly action against Pirates Amateurs
On behalf of the coaches Alan Paver then addressed the crowd, firstly thanking the Pirates Amateurs and wishing them a good season and next speaking about the Cornish Pirates. He mentioned that new signings are bedding in well, plus spoke of hopes for the season ahead, where an aim will be to have a “foot on the pedal right from the start” and “to go one better than last season” – the Pirates finished fourth.
As everyone then gathered in the clubhouse to mingle and meet informally, the tone of the evening was very much positive, with recent good news about the stadium also providing an obvious boost.
London Cornish RFC is delighted to confirm the following coaching team for season 2018-19:
HEAD COACH – CORNE DU RAND
Corne has enjoyed a fine coaching career, encompassing spells at both Ealing RFC and London Scottish RFC in the Championship, from whom he joins LCRFC. He is an RFU Level 3 Qualified Coach who specialises in developing players skills, and takes control with immediate effect. Corne comments “I am delighted to have been offered this opportunity to work with such a unique club. I am hugely impressed by the strong ethos that the club has maintained and the ambitions within the club to see what is achievable without moving away from what makes the club unique. I am looking forward to working with the coaching and management team assembled by Dickon, all the players, along with the new recruits, as well as meeting all everyone involved with the club – there is plenty to do in limited time and it’s an exciting opportunity to develop the club further.”
ASSISTANT COACH – DAN LEO 3 World Cups, 39 caps for Samoa, a Heineken Cup, Premiership and most importantly a London 2 South-West Winner, Dan returns after a season with Bishops Stortford in National 1 because London 1 South is a gap in his rugby coaching CV! He had a massive impact both on and off the pitch in his previous spell here and, as he is moving back south for family reasons, is expecting to be able to bring the same innovative approach to coaching this time around! Dan adds “After a successful 2016-17 season at LCRFC when we went unbeaten, it’s great to be returning to a club I know well. The club is strongly accustomed to winning and I look forward to the challenge of working with Corne and Paul in establishing Cornish as a top 4 side in London 1 South, and really kicking on as one of the best amateur clubs in England.”
2s COACH – PAUL SPIVEY Paul joins after a 13 year semi-pro career with the likes of Hull Ionians, Moseley, London Scottish, Ealing and Rosslyn Park, from whom he moves to us. He played for 6 seasons in the Championship, and though he has coached at youth level, is starting out on his adult coaching journey. He has already observed pre season training and will be a great addition to the team.
DoR Dickon Moon adds “I am sure you will agree with me that this represents a very exciting coaching team with which to work, and all are joining because the 1 night a week training, low travel element of a Level 6 club fits neatly around their other commitments. I am still on the hunt for a Backs Coach, probably seeking their first coaching role, but we have enough cover with the experience we have above if we are not successful in landing one. I also hope that the calibre of this coaching team will more players keen to develop their games join LCRFC, and Cornish lads moving up here or at other clubs in the area come home to Cornish!”
The Cornish Pirates are in buoyant mood ahead of the 2018/19 season, and for good reason, reports Phil Westren from the Mennaye.
For the team and its supporters there is much to look forward to as they approach a new campaign with an already gifted squad boosted still further by the arrival of quality new signings.
August will be busy with, following a ‘Meet the Players’ night scheduled for Tuesday 7th August, three pre-season fixtures lined up. Included is the one much anticipated home encounter against Exeter Chiefs, to be played on Friday 17th August (ko 7.30pm).
As for the Greene King IPA Championship, the Cornish Pirates get underway with two home games. First up, on Sunday 2nd September, will be Doncaster Knights, whilst former old rivals Coventry – ambitious and returning to the level as last season’s Champions of National One – visit on the 9th September. Both matches kick-off at 2.30pm.
Having finished an impressive 4th in the Greene King IPA Championship last season, with their strengthened squad the Cornish Pirates will be keen to perform well and get their league season off to an encouraging start. There is also a new Championship Cup competition that replaces the British & Irish Cup.
Considering the above, and not forgetting the planned Stadium for Cornwall – ‘Sportva Kernow’ – during next season and beyond there clearly is much to whet the sporting appetite in Cornwall.
Commenting first on pre-season training, Cornish Pirates’ coach Alan Paver has said:
“We have had to battle with the extreme weather but it has gone very well, helped by having decent numbers right from the start. It is also felt we are much further on than where we were last year and considerably further forward than we were two years ago.”
“With the squad bolstered and the guys coming in nice and early, everyone has bedded in and integrated well. Our very good signings will give us more scope when inevitable injuries hit, and we also feel that the new arrivals will give value both on the pitch and as good men off it. Already, once again, a good team spirit has developed.”
“For the immediate future and moving forward these are exciting times. The stadium is now on the horizon and will be a great facility for the county and our squad reflect that ambition.
“As for the forthcoming campaign, we understand the rigours of a tough league, with nothing a ‘given’. Everyone is ambitious, however with our excellent support we will look to hit the ground running and make a push to try and finish at least as high as last season.
“There will always be tricky waters to at times negotiate, but we will navigate through them and make sure that we continue to get stronger. The club and Dicky Evans have provided us with a foundation to do that and our eye is very much on the future and gaining momentum.”
Also looking to the future with a mix of confidence and excitement, the club’s COO, Robin James, has commented:
”It’s an exciting time to be part of the Cornish Pirates, on and off the field, seeing all the players and coaches’ meticulous preparation into pre-season training has been inspiring to observe and this effort will not go without its rewards.
“We have also had excellent engagement with all our sponsors and we thank them for their continued support and loyalty, without them we wouldn’t have a team on the pitch.
Photo by Brian Tempest. Robin James Chief Operating Officer
Speaking with reference to the Stadium for Cornwall, Robin said:
“It has been very encouraging to see all the progress we have made with the new stadium.
“Tim Wood our stadium project manager is working well with all parties and with the site investigation due to start shortly we are looking for significant progress on the project. Once the site investigation is complete, Arup the civil works consultants can finalise the earthworks design and cut and fill requirements for the foundations.
“Our sincere thanks are expressed to all involved for progressing matters, with the business plan submitted on time to the Government and with ongoing meetings with Cornwall County Council and all the various stakeholders dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.
“Complex projects like this take time and never move as fast as everyone would like, but I have no doubt we are on track for there is a commitment and determination from all concerned to get this over the line as quickly as we can.”
Photo: John Blackburn at front of the lineout for Penryn against London Welsh 1973
John Blackburn, who sadly passed away this week aged 79, was in his heyday one of the most renowned lock forwards playing in Cornwall during the sixties and early seventies, forming a a second row partnership with Colin “Knocker” Kneebone
He looked the part of “Cheyenne”, a nickname taken from the cowboy TV character of the time Cheyenne Bodie with his long hair and headband and hands like shovels. He played in a mighty Penryn side that dominated south west rugby during that period and featured in Penryn’s great run in the National Knock Out Cup, notably against Coventry and London Welsh against whom he captained the Borough.
Exeter were dispatched on that run to the last eight in 1972 before Penryn lost to a David Duckham inspired Coventry 28-4 at a muddy Memorial Ground, whilst the following year London Welsh, boasting several British Lions from 1971 won 19-6 at the same stage. Both games were played to a capacity gate of some 5,000.
John also featured in some prestigious games at Penryn notably against the 1971 British Lions, Public School Wanderers International XV and a memorable win against the famed Harlequins.
John played 20 times for Cornwall, making his debut in a friendly game against Oxfordshire at Falmouth, which Cornwall won 22-5. His County Championship debut came at Redruth in October 1969 against Gloucestershire in a game lost 9-12.
He did feature in both games played against the French that season, the 11- all draw in Clermont Ferrand against a French Selection and the narrow 13-14 defeat to France B at Redruth.
Former Penryn No.8 Tim Nicholls said of his former team-mate “John was a physically powerful force and gave his all for Penryn over many seasons, including as captain. A tough, uncompromising figure on the field, and a true character off it, John was always supported by his wife Pat and our thoughts and most sincere condolences to her and the family at this time. The word legend can truly be used for “Cheyenne”. His friends at the Borough and elsewhere will raise a glass in his memory at this sad time. ‘
John’s funeral will be held at St. Mylor Church (Mylor Dockyard) on Friday 27th July @ 3:30 p.m.
Everybody connected with Trelawny’s Army are saddened to learn of the passing of our great friend and valued committee member Ewart White who sadly passed away yesterday following a short illness.
Ewart was rightly regarded as a stalwart of Cornish rugby, he was county team secretary for over twenty years, also a valued team secretary at Camborne RFC for even longer.
He, with others, helped enormously foster links between TASC and the Cornwall RFU, calling us “Cornwall’s 16th man”.
Ewart’s phone was at times the red-hottest in Cornwall as he phoned players to tell them they had been selected to play rugby for Cornwall. What a joy that must have been to both parties.
The high esteem that he was held in by the players he came to know is illustrated by the many comments on social media over the past few hours expressing their sadness but also huge respect they held for him as a man and friend.
His words of encouragement to young players playing for Cornwall were ones that were never forgotten. He looked after “his boys”.
Ewart was a gentleman, a Camborne man and a Cornishman. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Trelawny’s Army wishes to express it’s deepest and most sincerest condolences to Margaret and the rest of the family at this sad time.
Please be advised Ewart’s funeral will take place on Friday 29th June at 11 am at Camborne Wesley Church, Chapel Street, TR14 8EG.