“Pirates’ legends” by Steve Tomlin – ideal for Christmas

Steve’s latest book “Cornish Pirates Legends” is being launched on 15 October (2015), and as you would expect it is an extremely well-researched tome on some of the greats of the club, not just from the current era but stretching all the way back to Barrie Bennetts from the famous Cornwall 1908 Championship winning side.

Kendall-Carpenter, “Ginger” Williams, Harvey Richards, Graham Paul, Peter Mitchell, “Stack” Stevens: the list of whose who at the Pirates from yesteryear goes on right up to the modern day heroes, Victor Olonga, Heino Senekal, Matt Jess, Rhodri McAtee, Gavin Cattle and the indomitable Paves, to name just a few.

Not just the players but the coaches too, Kevin Moseley, Jim McKay, Chris Stirling and Ian Davies.

I found the book compulsive easy to read, one that you had difficulty putting down, such it was interesting and compelling.

It’s certainly a book that any Cornish rugby enthusiast would love to be able to refer to off their book shelf.

Steve’s comments on the sleeve of the book:

“Cornwall has long been recognised as being one of the hotbeds of English rugby, enjoying a level of interest and support even outstripping that of football. Ten years ago, Penzance and Newlyn rebranded itself as the Cornish Pirates and now operates as the only truly professional sports team in the area. Despite its remote location and low population base it has nevertheless recently twice won national knock-out trophies and twice more reached play-off finals of the Rugby Championship – just one tier below the Premiership.

Ex-player Steve Tomlin’s latest book details the lives and playing careers of forty-six leading players and four senior coaches covering both the amateur and professional eras of the club. It is almost entirely based on a series of detailed interviews with the players themselves – or with their colleagues and families if they are no longer with us.

Many of those featured played at international level whilst others remained as heroes in their own backyard. It gives a fascinating and often hilarious insight into the lives, pressures, achievements and disappointments of rugby players of different generations and varying backgrounds.”

True Legends are featured, from ‘Stack’ Stevens to Alan Paver and Gavin Cattle, plus current favourites Laurie McGlone, Rob Elloway and Chris Morgan and many more. Coaches from Jim McKay to Chris Stirling are given equal treatment. A true history of special Pirates one and all.

A series of launch events and personal appearances by Steve are planned:

  • 15 October – FOCR City of London lunch with John Inverdale & Jason Leonard
  • 22 October – an evening in the ‘Westholme’ Clubhouse, Penzance (starts 7.30pm)
  • 23 October – Bustopher Jones in Truro host an evening’s celebration

Around these events, Steve will be undertaking a series of media appearances to promote the book.

Ideal as Christmas presents!

Attend one of the launch functions and buy a signed copy (£12.99 each) or place an order (£17.00, incl p&p) with Zoe Leray at zoe.leray@cornish-pirates.com

This is a great way to support the Pirates and another initiative to raise much needed funds for our future development as we continue our journey.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cup rugby fails to inspire crowds or players

Locally there was no league programme, with the first round of the Tribute Cornwall Cup scheduled to take place. There were four ties due to take place, but in the end only two were played.

Bude caused an upset winning 42-25 at higher league Truro in front of a sparse crowd, and a Truro side with players unavailable.

However, it proved to be a good game for the few souls present with the North Cornwall side scoring six tries, two from full-back Dan Pearce who also slotted all six conversions for a fine all-round display.

Harry Goodrun, Billy Roberts, Olly Denford and Luke Wilson also crossed the whitewash for Bude.

For a disappointed Truro, Rikki Brandham, Danny Dunstan and Dan Marsh scored tries, with “Eggy” Williams kicking a couple of penalties and two conversions.

St. Ives predictably won at Newquay Hornets 59-14, but Hornets were far from disgraced in their performance against a St. Ives side that will be pushing for promotion this season.

Penryn and Wadebridge Camels had walkovers due to Pirates Amateurs and Falmouth both having problems fielding a front row.

Holders Camborne, St. Austell and Hayle all had byes, whilst Saltash had previously defeated Bodmin in a tie played at the end of August. All are through to the next round, which will be played on 17 October.

The draw below will hopefully prove more of an attraction on the 17th:
Bude v Camborne
Penryn v St. Austell
St. Ives v Hayle
Wadebridge Camels v Saltash

On Sunday in the Greene King Championship the Cornish Pirates slipped to a fourth successive defeat, going down to Yorkshire Carnegie 13-26.

Despite fielding a young side, the Pirates more than held their own against the powerful Yorkshire side and gave the league leaders much to ponder.

Pirates’ sole try was scored by full-back Toby May with fly-half Will Cargill kicking the other points, a conversion and two penalties.

Pirates are home again next Sunday when they entertain London Scottish.

Not good news for either of our National League 2 sides, Redruth were well-beaten on the road at Bishop’s Stortford 47-15. Kyle Marriott and Peter Joyce got tries for the Reds, with Murray Westren kicking a penalty and conversion.

Another tough afternoon for the Cornish All Blacks as they slipped to a fifth big defeat 54-19 at home to Clifton.

Skipper Jamie Salter scored a try as did on-loan No.8 Tom Duncan and lock Ben Hilton, Rhys Brownfield adding a couple of conversions.

Good to see Tyler Gendall, on-loan from the Pirates, getting some game time as he looks to get back following his long lay-off through injury.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish made it back-to-back wins with a 35-3 victory at Warlingham. Tries for the exiles were scored by Craig Chatley (2), Rich Skinnard, Tom Ievers and Tom Upfield, fly-half Phil Dale kicking the rest of the points with two penalties and two conversions.

The rugby world cup continues despite England being dumped out of the competition 33-13 by Australia on Saturday night.

Hopefully Jack Nowell will at least get a run out against Uruguay next Saturday in the final pool game.

Fiji are also departing the competition and Josh Matavesi will hopefully come off the bench again in their final game, also against the busy Uruguayans.

The second game takes place at Sandy Park Exeter this week when Georgia play Namibia on Wednesday at 8:00 pm.

Congratulations to Veor who won 28-27 at Liskeard-Looe in the National Vase qualifier. They now play Tamar Saracens, who won at Totnes 21-13.

Next Saturday sees the Tribute Cornwall 1 & 2 leagues start, as well as the new Duchy league for reserve sides.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Shepherd & Phillips named Players of the Year

Trelawny’s Army members elect their Players of the Year

Report by Bill Hooper TASC Press Officer, Photos Simon Bryant Iktis photo

Winner of the Bill Osborne Memorial Shield

Cornwall’s triumph at Twickenham in winning the Bill Beaumont Cup ensured huge interest from the membership in choosing this season’s Player of the Year. There were no shortage of candidates in the running for the Cornwall Senior Player of the Year award, but in the end voting was pretty well unanimous for our winner, former Cornish All Black scrum-half Matt Shepherd, now with Graham Dawe’s Plymouth Albion.

Photo – Matt Shepherd after scoring his first try at Twickenham

Shepherd, a product of the St. Austell club, previously had a spell with Redruth at National League level before re-joining St. Austell, guiding them to promotion to South West 1 West, plus a second Cornwall Knock Out Cup final in 2014, where they lost to Camborne. He joined Launceston last season to improve his game and that led to his having a campaign to remember.

He picked up the Paul Bawden trophy as man-of-the-match in Cornwall’s Tamar Cup win against Devon, the first player to win that particular accolade twice.

He then help mastermind Cornwall’s assault on Twickenham, scoring four tries during the Championship, including two in the final and kicked a total of forty-two points.

Shepherd’s exploits last May saw him fully deserve his selection by England Counties for the tour to Romania.

The Tony Mead Memorial Shield for Cornwall U20 Player goes to loose-head prop forward Tommy Phillips, who spent last season at Redruth having joined the club from Truro College.

Photo – Tommy Phillips Cornwall Under 20 Player of the Year

Tommy is product of Helston RFC mini and juniors, and has previously been awarded the Mischler Cup as Cornwall U18 group player of the year.

Tommy’s progress with the Reds was truly outstanding last season and he was called up to the full county squad making his debut in the Tamar Cup and going on to be part of the County Championship squad.

One of the stars of the Cornwall Under 20 side that reached the National semi-final, that lost to eventual champions Yorkshire at Camborne, Tommy attended the Welbeck festival were he won selection for the England Counties Under 20 tour to Hungary last June.

The young prospect’s performances have seen him earn a Player Development Fund contract with the Cornish Pirates this season. He made his debut for the Pirates in the pre-season game against Camborne and also featured in the big win against Bath University at Torquay. He has been sent back on loan to Redruth to further his development.

Sadly, due to prior commitments, neither player will be available to receive their awards on the night.

Matt Shepherd’s father, Bernie, will receive the award on Matt’s behalf on Wednesday evening 30 September, at the St. Austell Brewery Visitor Centre, at the conclusion of the TASC A.G.M.

It is hoped to re-present the award to Matt at Plymouth Albion’s next home match, against Esher on Saturday 10 October.

Similarly, Tommy Phillips will be presented with his award following Redruth’s home game against Chinnor on the same Saturday.

Posted in Bill's Blog, Club News

Development game ends all square up the Brickfields

Plymouth Albion XV 10 – 10 Cornwall Development XV

Courtesy of Roger Watson, CRFU website

Photo: Jack Simmons (Camborne) who featured for the Development XV on Monday night

On Monday 28 September, in chilly conditions under the Brickfields floodlights, the crowd of a couple of hundred were treated to an entertaining game by the two development sides.

Cornwall were first off the mark courtesy of a well-taken try by skipper Brad Howe after nine minutes, Craig “Eggy” Williams’ conversion attempt going wide. The Warriors got back on even terms with an unconverted try by winger Ian Davidson, to make it five points each at the break.

Centre John Dawe gave Albion the lead after sixty-seven minutes but Cornwall’s open-side flanker, Mark Grubb, touched town seven minutes later. Both tries went unconverted.

Deep into stoppage time the Warriors had a chance to win the game, when referee Zerren Bell awarded them a penalty in front of the posts but Billy Searle’s kick bounced back off the upright and the well contested game ended in a draw.

Whilst the whole squad played their part, Truro winger Eugene Teaurak certainly caught the eye with some powerful runs and big tackles.

The coaching team will have another session with the squad before their next outing against a Cornish Pirates XV at The Mennaye on Friday 30 October.

Cornwall: Craig “Eggy” Williams, Jack Kessell, Jack Simmons, Duncan Tout, Eugene Teaurak, Richard Keverne, Taron Peacock; Jess Tompsett, Ben Taylor, Tommy Lee Southworth, Brad Howe (Capt.), Mark Vian, Jordan Rose,Mark Grubb, Mike Rawlings.

Replacements: Tommy Phillips, Billy Roberts, Ben Teasdale, Ben Kennedy, Andrius Zachovoras, Adam Collings.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Bude, Hakes and Amateurs all run up big derby scores

Photo – Paul Thirlby who has made a great start at St. Ives this season

Not the result the Cornish Pirates would have been hoping for on their travels to newly promoted Ealing in the RFU Championship. The 28-17 defeat being the third in four games leaving them in a clutch of sides on 6 points.

Laurie McGlone and Sam Arnott scored tries for the Pirates with Will Cargill kicking a penalty and conversion, his replacement Kieran Hallett adding the second conversion.

A last-gasp penalty-try denying the Cornish side any points from the game, very frustrating.

The Cornish Pirates will look to get the show back on the road next Sunday with the visit of leaders Yorkshire Carnegie!

Not a good day either for both our sides in National League 2 South. Redruth endured a frustrating afternoon losing at the Rec 27-25 to Cambridge.

Despite taking an early lead through an unconverted try from Kyle Marriott and an Ashley Hosking penalty, the Reds were under the cosh for long periods. Cambridge got back into it with a James Stokes penalty and then fell behind just after the first of three quick-fire yellow cards meted out by the referee. Brett Daynes took full advantage to score at the posts with Stokes adding the extras.

The just before half-time when down to 12 men, Lawrence Hutchinson scored an unconverted try for the visitors.

Ben Priddey scored a try for the Reds just after the break which Brett Rule converted to tie the scores.

Cambridge then took hold of the game with tries from replacement Jack Green and the reliable Stokes with the later adding a conversion.

It was then Cambridge’s turn to have a couple of players yellow carded and the Reds pulled back a couple on scores thanks to two tries from Matt Bowden to give them two bonus points at the final whistle.

For the Cornish All Blacks, a broken down coach didn’t help as they slipped to a fourth defeat this time at Worthing 46-5, Jon Dawe with their only try.

In Tribute South West 1 West, Teignmouth travelled to Camborne with just thirteen players and were made to pay as the Cherry and Whites ran in fourteen tries in an 82-14 win.

Sam Matavesi and Ben Stean grabbed hat-ticks, whilst Harvey Jones had a brace with other tries being scored by Richie Kevern, Sam Bartle, Taron Peacock, skipper Steve Kenward, Tony Whittle and Jack Simmons. Kevern kicking six conversions.

In Tribute Western Counties West, a good win by St. Austell at leaders Devonport Services 21-7. James Martin and Sam Rhodes scored tries whilst Andy Ashwin added eleven points with the boot.

Wadebridge Camels defeated Penryn at the Molesworth Field 37-22.

Despite trailing at one stage 22-11, Camels fought back for a bonus point win with tries from Joe Pretty, Dom Hawkey, Matt Ballard, Mike Rawlings and Lee Betts, with James Grubb kicking two penalties and Danny Thomas three conversions.

For the Borough, Jordan Smith, skipper Josh Chambers and Mitch Vague scored tries, with Rob Banks kicking the other points.

Saltash won at Truro 33-29. The Ashes scored tries through Will Morton (3) and Max Venables with Venables’ boot doing the rest of the damage.

In London 2 SW a win for our exiles 31-25 over Effingham & Leatherhead. Tries were scored by Harry Somers, Ben Devonport, Tom Jeffery and Philip Dale who also kicked eleven points.

In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Bude thrashed hitherto unbeaten Falmouth 71-0! Alex Rakhshani (2), Kyle Speare (4), Tim Green (2), Andy Yates, James Comber and Joe Wilson all crossed for tries with Dan Pearce adding eight conversions!

St. Ives enjoyed a big win over their “Bay” neighbours Hayle 69-6.

Jamie Prisk (3), Martyn Lawrence (3), Tom Chandler, Neil Corin, Louis Stevens, Sam Bristow and Lewis Thomas all crossed for the Hakes with Grant Thirlby adding seven conversions.

For Hayle, Damien Lynes kicked a couple of penalties.

Pirates Amateurs also had a big win at the Mennaye against Newquay Hornets 73-12.

Bodmin got their first win of the campaign with a 10-6 win at Clifden Park against Honiton. Hooker Peter Hamilton-Toohey with the all-important try converted by Ashley Taylor who also kicked a penalty.

Liskeard-Looe and Veor will contest the County Vase final to decide who progresses to the regional rounds after defeating Illogan Park and Stithians respectively.

Well done to Cornwall Under 18s who defeated Somerset at Tregorrick Park on Sunday 43-7, scoring seven tries. Their next game is at Okehampton on Sunday 11 October against Devon, kick-off 11:15 am.

Tonight (Monday 28 September), Cornwall Development XV will play a Plymouth Albion XV at Brickfields kick-off 7:15 pm.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Cornwall Development XV game at Plymouth Albion preview

CRFU Development Game

Photo – Mike Rawlings makes a welcome return to the Cornwall squad

Following last year’s successful introduction of a development squad, where 12 players went on to be involved in the full county squad, a training session was held on Monday night at St Austell RFC. A selection of players from around the county trained under the guidance of Cornwall coach Graham Dawe.

Cornwall development XV will play a Plymouth Albion development XV on Monday 28 September at the Brickfields, with a 19:30 kick off time.

CRFU Chair said: “This is an important part of players progressing from the under 20 level and, players from clubs who have the potential for pushing senior players for positions in the full county squad.”

Cornwall Coach Graham Dawe said: “We appreciate players have a pretty full on commitment with their own clubs. For them to attend and want to push themselves against guys from other clubs to get the nod and play for this squad is impressive. We also hope that the additional coaching will be taken back to their own club teams, and help their progress as well.”

A further development game will be played against a Cornish Pirates XV on Friday 30 October at the Mennaye, Penzance.

The Cornwall U20 trial takes place at Truro RFC on Sunday 27 September, commencing at 14:00. All clubs have been asked to nominate players who they think have the ability to progress and play at this level. Players must be under 20 on September 1 2015 to be eligible for consideration. Last year Cornwall reached the semi-final of the National cup, and two players, Todd Prisk and Tommy Phillips, gained selection for the England Counties U20 tour of Hungary.

Cornwall U20 team manager Chris Lea commented: “We have had a great deal of interest again this season but I am sure there are other guys out there who are eligible. Some clubs have not responded, where others have been very proactive. We don’t want them to miss out on being considered and it is not too late for clubs to nominate other players to hatch0348@btinternet.com in the first instance.”

The Cornwall U20 season kicks off in February, with fixtures still to be confirmed by the RFU.


1 Jess Tompsett St Ives
2 Ben Taylor St Ives
3 Jon Drew Redruth
4 Brad Howe (Capt) Redruth
5 Mark Vian St Austell
6 Jordan Rose Penryn
7 Adam Blackmore Wadebridge Camels
8 Mike Rawlings Wadebridge Camels
9 Jack Oulton Cornish All Blacks
10 Richard Keverne Camborne
11 Eugene Teaurak Truro
12 Duncan Tout St Austell
13 Jack Simmons Camborne
14 Jack Kessell Redruth
15 Ashley Hosking Redruth
16 Tommy Phillips Redruth
17 Ben Trevaskis Penryn
18 Billy Roberts St Austell
19 Ben Teasdale Truro
20 Ben Kennedy Truro
21 Taron Peacock Camborne
22 Tommy Lee Southworth  Camborne
23 Craig Williams Truro
24 Andruis Zachorovas  Camborne
25 Sean Buzza Redruth
Posted in Bill's Blog

Time runs out as Pirates mount a comeback

By Phil Westren, Cornish Pirates’ Media

Cornish Pirates 24   Rotherham Titans 26

Photo – Pirates hooker Rob Elloway played his 200th game for the club

This match provided a fascinating contest at the Mennaye Field, as the Pirates, who looked off par for much of the match, made an admirable recovery to almost sneak victory at the very end.

In front of the home crowd, Cornish Pirates’ hooker Rob Elloway deserved the honour of leading the team onto the field, for what was proudly his 200th appearance for the club.

The visiting Rotherham Titans have made the play-offs in the last two seasons, and they were always going to be formidable opponents, remembering too that it is as far back as November 2012, that the Pirates last tasted victory against their Yorkshire opponents.

Indeed, under the cosh in early exchanges, plus incurring the wrath of Premiership referee Luke Pearce, the Pirates went 6-0 down in the opening quarter. Visiting fly-half Will Goodwin posted the first points of the match with a successful penalty, which was then followed up by a long-range effort from centre Jordan Davies.

On this day, however, with conditions just perfect for running rugby, the scoring of tries was surely inevitable, and as the match progressed this did prove to be the case. However, for the first forty there would be one only, Jordan Davies following up his three points with five more as he dived over near the Newlyn posts. Goodwin’s conversion made it 13-0, which is how it stayed to the break.

Powerful ball carrying from the Titans had repeatedly forced the Pirates back, as did their kicking game, for whom scrum-half Dan White gave the ball plenty of air. The visitors deserved to be ahead, leaving the Pirates with very little to cheer about. They had simply given too many penalties away and also made more than their share of handling mistakes. Looking for a plus, it was the form of full-back Toby May, who once again displayed a mix of confidence and courage under the high ball.

Following club captain Chris Morgan having been injured in Jersey the previous weekend, stand-in skipper Alex Cheesman was no doubt bitterly disappointed with his side’s first half display. The second period would at least provide a chance for the Pirates to up their performance.

On the resumption of play, a successful penalty kick from fly-half Kieran Hallett at last got the Pirates on to the scoreboard, but all but from the restart Rotherham made it a 13 points gap once more thanks to Goodwin slotting his second penalty of the afternoon.

The Yorkshire outfit then extended their lead and sent alarm bells ringing with a converted try scored by centre Joe Barker, though with the Pirates making a number of changes and displaying extra purpose and energy, a hoped for comeback was soon under way.

Making a habit this season of getting over the whitewash, following a drive to the line Cheesman was identified as the try-scorer. It was an impressive third in just three games, to which replacement Will Cargill added the extras.

A further penalty score from Goodwin appeared to put the visitors back on track, but the Pirates were quick to confirm their rejuvenation when another eager replacement, flanker John Stevens, sniffed and took his chance to cross to the right of the Newlyn posts. With Cargill’s second conversion making it 17-26, interest levels were, at a stroke, ramped up.

That the Pirates had got back into this match was of considerable credit, as their fitness also came to the fore. They were surely in with a chance of securing a losing bonus point, and if time permitted perhaps even a win was now possible.

With a sudden try from centre Tom Riley, and another fine conversion by Cargill, there were just two points in it, but the Pirates had to ultimately settle for this narrow defeat.

Terrific near the end, having reacted to early disappointments, a level of encouragement will have been gained.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Toby May, 14 Kyle Moyle, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Rheon James, 11 Craig Holland (Jack Arnott 58), 10 Kieran Hallett (Will Cargill 52), 9 Alex Day (Mike Pope 52); 1 Jack Andrew (Adam Jamieson 78), 2 Rob Elloway (Tom Channon 58), 3 Adam Jamieson (Marlen Walker 58), 4 Laurie McGlone, 5 Marcus Garratt (Will Graulich 48), 6 Sam Simmonds, 7 Joe Atkinson (John Stevens 58), 8 Alex Cheesman (capt).

Rotherham Titans:   15 Sean Scanlon (capt), 14 Jack Hayes, 13 Jordan Davies, 12 Joe Barker (Andy Davies 64), 11 Curtis Wilson, 10 Will Goodwin (Will Owen 63), 9 Dan White; 1 Toby Williams (Robin Hislop 5), 2 Charlie Maddison (Darran Harris 55), 3 Mark Tampin (Lewis Thiede 68), 4 George Oram Tom Holmes (63), 5 Barney Maddison, 6 Max Argyle, 7 Ali Birch (Tom Calladine 63), 8 Tim Cree.


Cornish Pirates – tries: Cheesman, Stevens, Riley; cons: Cargill (3); pen: Hallett.

Rotherham Titans – tries: Jordan Davies, Barker; cons: Goodwin (2); pens: Goodwin (3), Jordan Davies.

Referee:   Luke Pearce (RFU)

Attendance:   1,274

Posted in Bill's Blog

RWC 2015 diary blog on my match travels

Well, I experienced RWC 2015 on Saturday night, taking in France’s win against Italy 32-10 at Twickenham.

A tremendous Latin atmosphere in the stadium that probably bemused the curious English supporters, most of whom where there to cheer Italy or at least Castrogiovanni.

There was brief chorus of ‘Swing Low’ that was quickly drummed out by a vociferous rendition of ‘La Marseillaise!’

However, Paris upon Thames it wasn’t, as no French band was in Twickenham to really crack up the atmosphere.

Just like the England-Fiji game, we had our own Referee-TMO howler, which is fast making the whole TMO thing a laughing stock.

No problem with the final decision as it was clear-cut that Nakaitaci lost the ball as he looked to ground it. What is it with Nakaitaci and the north try-line at Twickenham!!

What this shows is that the whole action must be played through to avoid the embarrassment we have seen with the referee having to go back after already awarding a try! Getting it right first time is a pre-requisite surely!

Sad to see Yoann Huget’s World Cup over as he received a cruciate knee ligament, whilst, for Italy, Andrea Massi ruptured his Achilles. Never nice to see any player injured, and I wish both well for a speedy recovery.

I drove up for the game and used the park and ride at Kempton Park racecourse. The cost is £20 for parking and bus to the ground.

The shuttles work pretty well dropping off and picking up at Rosebine Avenue on the A316. Make sure you know where the pick-up point is, as signage after the match to direct you there is pretty poor.

It’s quite a trek too at Kempton Park, as the cars are parked in the middle of the racecourse and you have to walk towards the main stands to pick up the buses near the railway station.

The lighting at night, when you return, wasn’t that good. The pathways are also slippery, so beware!

The road in and out of the racecourse is bumpy with a nasty drop near the gate to the main road.

So at the ground, they have copied the concept of the London Olympics with greeters etc. etc. All very pleasant and really eager to help!

You need deep pockets! A program is £10, or £12 for a program and a RWC magazine…….bargain!!!

You can get a plastic RWC 2015 glass for a £1 deposit which you get back if you want to return it after the game.

I didn’t buy any food or drink at the stadium, preferring to eat in town before hand.

The souvenirs are also expensive: a pin badge will set you back £6 whilst the must have baseball cap costs £17-50. I didn’t look at anything else, I didn’t dare!

There is quite a bit happening in the West Car Park pre-match for those that sort of thing, most packed into the bars watching the other games on the TV.

I await to see what the atmosphere and experience is on Wednesday night when I travel back to London for France v Romania in the Olympic stadium!

The result of the weekend, naturally that historic win for Japan against the Boks 34-32, what a result!

Final thought: a great fan of John Taylor, the former British Lion does a great job as stadium announcer at Twickenham, clear, concise and knowledgeable.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Impressive Kings dethrone Cornish

Report & Photo by Ben Gilby

Photo – The exiles rolling maul gets going

On a warm afternoon in Motspur Park, the hosts showed their intent from the start when driving Cornish back impressively from an early penalty – this was just the beginning of some good forward play from KCS, who had Harlequins hooker Joe Gray on the touchline as part of their coaching team.

‘The Exiles’, fielding six new faces in their starting line-up, came back into it when Luke Spells, returning to the squad for the first time since the end of March, linked up with Ben Ievers and Owen Bater, but possession was lost, and KCS made several metres before being awarded a penalty. Shortly afterwards, the home side gained the opening score when an excellent display of running rugby saw the ball recycled nine times in a move which their excellent centre George Taylor was particularly prominent ahead of the final grounding. Rory Jones added the extras as KCS went 7-0 up after 14 minutes.

Importantly, Cornish responded shortly afterwards as they won a penalty on the ‘Old Boys’ 22 metre line. Up stepped Spells for a vital three points which took him over the 500 point mark for the club. However, any hope that the visiting supporters may have had that this would see the start of a period of concerted Cornish pressure was soon dispelled as that man Taylor fed Edward Forshaw. The KCS winger went on an unstoppable, rampaging run to score a quite magnificent try. Rory Jones added the extras, and with 21 minutes played the home side’s lead was out to 14-3.

The Black and Golds hit back within minutes once more following a scrum; Mark Osei-Tutu played in Tom Baker who won a penalty when KCS failed to roll away. Spells’ kick from the middle was successful and the score was now 14-6 after 26 minutes.

Despite Cornish hitting the two penalties in quick succession after KCS scoring, there is absolutely no doubt that the hosts were enjoying far more possession and territory. They are a side renowned for brilliant backs play, but on this showing, it would appear they have a good set of forwards too, who were causing ‘The Exiles’ all sorts of problems, and a Cornish forward was dispatched to the sin-bin on 30 minutes. Shortly afterwards the home side won a penalty, and Jones made his third successful kick of the afternoon to extend his side’s lead to 17-6.

As the half entered its last five minutes of regular time, Cornish began to get a slight foothold in the game, on the back of a success of several penalties. From the last of which, Jackson Szabo kicked to touch and ‘The Exiles’ finally drove the home side back, added to this they were awarded a penalty and a KCS forward was sin-binned. The penalty was again kicked to touch and in an action replay of the previous action, the referee showed a yellow card to another home forward. Now playing against thirteen men, it was only a matter of time before Cornish finally breached the ‘Old Boys’ line, and great play from Chris Anstey put in Rich Skinnard for the try. Spells conversion attempt missed, and KCS’ lead had been hauled back to 17-11 at the break.

Not surprisingly, still with a two man advantage, it was Cornish who had much of opening exchanges in the second half. An early attack resulted in a five metre scrum, which set the foundation for a promising attack, but as a try looked certain, the ball was knocked on over the line. The pendulum was still in the black and gold favour, and with the home side under intense pressure, they were penalised for a forward pass behind their own try line. From the five metre scrum, the ball was played out to Rich Skinnard, who fed Jackson Szabo, and the pacy full-back ran in to score. Spells missed the conversion, but the KCS lead was now just a single point.

Back to their full compliment, KCS, whilst never quite at their level of the first half performance, began to trouble the visitors again. Crucially, the next score went their way as Rory Jones slotted over another penalty which was awarded after great link play between JJ Kilmartin and Edward Forshaw.

Cornish responded and launched another drive led by Tim Homan. The ball found its way out to debutant Andy Nicholls who was tackled into touch. The resulting line-out saw Owen Bater link with Mark Osei-Tutu who was stopped by a high tackle. Whilst the referee initially played advantage, he eventually came back and showed a yellow card for the tackle. The resulting penalty was kicked to touch and Tim Homan grabbed the ball and ran through to score. Spells’ conversion missed, but Cornish were now in front for the first time all afternoon 21-20.

With a quarter of an hour left an unlikely victory looked a possibility. But, to their credit, KCS came back. A succession of penalties piggy-backed them up the pitch, and, with three minutes to go, a quick tap was taken, and the ball passed to fly-half Will Slater who dived over. Rory Jones stepped up for his fifth successful kick out of five, and KCS Old Boys had recorded a deserved victory.

Posted in Bill's Blog

Success on the road for both Redruth & Camborne

Photo – Ben Priddey scored the Reds’ opening try

It was certainly an excellent weekend for the mining division sides as both the Cherry and Whites and the Reds got wins on the road.

Let’s start with Camborne and their first ever win at Avonmouth Old Boys 29-23 in Tribute South West 1 West.

Despite trailing 10-0, Town hit back with a try from flanker Jamie Goldsworthy with Ben Stean adding the extras.

Trailing 13-7 at the break, Camborne got a great start to the second half as No.8 Dave Roberts claimed a pushover try.

Sam Matavesi, again in rampant form, and no doubt inspired by his trip to Twickenham the previous evening, set up a try for young winger Harvey Jones.

The bonus-point try arrived via lock Ben Kemp’s powerful charge with Stean again adding the extras.

Roberts bagged his second try, Camborne’s fifth, and despite a late rally by the home side Camborne held on for a good win.

In National League 2 South a third win for the Reds on the trot 23-22 at newly promoted Bury St. Edmunds sees Redruth second in the league, just behind Taunton.

Redruth suffered a late scare when the home side missed with a long-range penalty attempt at the death.

Despite missing a few key players, and being forced to replace three players during the opening 25 minutes, the young reds stepped up to the mark big time.

Murray Westren opened the scoring with a penalty before Bury hit them with two tries to lead 12-3.

Ashley Hosking kicked a penalty with Bury replying in kind just after half-time.

Ben Priddey then scored the Reds first try with Brett Rule adding a second try shortly after. Both scores were converted by Hosking for 20-15 lead.

Hosking then added a second penalty for an eight point lead.

Redruth defended stoutly, but Bury grabbed a converted try to set up a tense finale with the Reds holding on at the final whistle.

In contrast the Cornish All Blacks suffered a third loss, going down at Polson to leaders Taunton 38-12.

There was a host of familiar faces in the Taunton line up with Struminski, Webb, Kingdom, Chapman and Hales all having worn the black shirt.

Jon Dawe and Eddie McGinley scored tries for the All Blacks with Chris Swash kicking a conversion.

In Tribute Western Counties West, Truro won the Cornish derby against Wadebridge Camels 27-21 at St. Clements Hill.

Luke Tidball, ‘Eggy’ Williams and Tom Evans were among the try-scorers, Alan Armstrong kicking the rest of the points.

For the Camels, Matt Ballard, Mark Grubb and Jack Scott scored tries all converted by James Grubb.

St. Austell got back to winning ways defeating Cullompton 21-14 at Tregorrick.

Tries were scored for the Saints by Konnor Ewudzi (2) and Andy Inch, all converted by Andy Ashwin.

Disappointment for Penryn as Torquay Athletic picked up their first win of the season 41-22 at home.

Borough’s tries were scored by Strick, Jordan Rose and Adam Hughes with Strick kicking a penalty and two conversions.

Devonport Services remain top following their 27-21 win at Moorlands against Saltash. Will Morton and Jason Carroll scored tries for the Ashes with Max Venables kicking three penalties and a conversion for a losing bonus point.

Up in London 2 SW, London Cornish lost their opening league fixture at KCS Old Boys 27-21.

In the Tribute Cornwall and Devon League, Falmouth made it three wins from three with a tight 25-24 win against previously unbeaten Plymouth Argaum.

It was the boot of Justyn Irons that did the damage with six penalties and the conversion of Raphael Baragwanath’s try.

Bude won the Cornish derby at Hayle 26-15 to remain unbeaten. Pick of Bude’s tries was their second, a forty metre break by Kyle Speare. Other scores came via Black, Tout and Wilson with Dan Pearce converting three.

For Hayle, Tony Matthews and Ashley White scored tries.

St. Ives made it three wins with a 39-24 triumph at Honiton. Tom Chandler (2), Jess Tompsett, Ben Jenkins and Lewis Thomas scored tries for the Hakes, with Grant Thirlby’s boot kicking two penalties and four conversions.

Newquay Hornets lost at Tavistock 16-11. Ed Pearce scored a try and Ian Morgan slotted a couple of penalties.

Pirates Amateurs ran riot at Exeter Saracens winning 67-17! Tries were scored by Steve Evans (2), James Barrett (3), Matt Stevens (2), Rob Cutler and Jack Lonsdale (2). Lonsdale also added a penalty and seven conversions.

Bodmin are finding their second season at this level tough losing for the third time, 39-15 at Paignton.

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