I am always fascinated when I wonder around Twickenham or any other major rugby ground as to whom you might bump into or see. Last Sunday was no exception at the England v France game, there are always plenty of charcters to have a chat to whether from this side of the Channel or the other. Plenty of former Internationals to wandering around or some working as was Austin Healey for his new show, he was interviewing Ben Kay. Not far away a posse of former French Internationals, Fabien Galthie and Vincent Moscato, himself a radio show host these days on Radio Monte-Carlo. I wonder if he bumped into his old foe Brian Moore during his visit!!! The commanding presence of former French captain Abdelatif Benazzi always happy to chat and shake a hand or two. Jeff Tordo and Philippe Benetton sat just in front of me during the game sat impassivly during the first half as France shipped 29 points, they had seen it all before and at the end of it as they shook English hands were told “Good game!” It’s a phrase that has stuck in French throats. So it is now a tradition that whenever a French side beats an English one “Good game” is the parting French comment, pay back time.

I suspect our Cornish lads Darren Jacques, Luke Collins and Josh Lord were on the receiving end of “Good Game” as France Federale beat England Counties 27-19 at Twickenham on Sunday evening. It was a good game between two evenly matched sides, however the French had in winger Bertrand Artero a goal kicker who punished English indiscretions with a 14-point haul from the boot. The Cornish trio competed well throughout and Luke Collins took his second half try really well after James Kellard’s initial break.

It was also good to see Phil Vickery pop out during the game and chat to some of the players. There was a moment during the main game on Sunday when England were pressing in the French 22, full back Bevon Armitage was caught up in the ruck and guess who was covering full back with no other English player within 50 yards….. Phil Vickery!!! It was a very good game.

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What a fantastic program of events laid on by the Cornish Pirates on Sunday with their first St Piran’s festival. There was something for everyone to enjoy and the club are to be congratulated on a marvellous PR job. The only thing missing was the result but in typical Cornish style, the weather played it’s part a real mad March blow spoilt the game as a spectacle.

If the players suffered in the conditions then you had to feel for the lovely ladies from Redruth Amateur Operatic Society, who gave a half-time dance performance in front of the grandstand, they must have felt frozen! So to the minis from Redruth and Truro U. 8’s who battled bravely against the elements.

Having lost a close encounter 6-5 to Bedford Blues who thus gained revenge for the Pirates win at Goldington Road earlier in the season, players and coach were clearly upset. Adryan Winnan looked very downcast after the game the disappointment clearly etched on his face. Brett Davey said that the result “hurt”, you sensed a berevement in the family, hopefully that will spur the boys on next Sunday when they entertain Esher. If John Inverdale looks in discomfort on the TV, then the news from Camborne could be the reason rather than another England flop!!!!

You can read my match report from Camborne here

Redruth survived the “bananna skin” at Cinderford winning 25-20 to keep their noses ahead in National League 2. Tries from lock Luke Collins, winger Lewis Vinnicombe and full-back Emyr Lewis set the Red’s on their way but crucially they couldn’t get that vital fourth try, so their lead at the top has been trimmed by another point and the Bees and Cambridge both got maximum points.

The Cornish All Blacks had a narrow win against a Blaydon side missing winger Andrew Fenby who turned out and scored for Newcastle Falcons on Sunday, (which should make the England Counties selection interesting this week ), 23-19, thanks to a couple of tries from Ryan Westren and Jon Fabian, Adam Staniforth’s boot added the other points.

Mount’s Bay survival took a telling blow at Blackheath as they crashed to the home side 55-21. Bay managed three tries from Dan Hawkes, Craig Goodfellow and Ben Hilton with Hawkes kicking all three conversions.

In the Tribute regional leagues a good win once more for the Hakes in South West 2 West as St. Ives won 23-7 at Yatton thanks to tries from Tom Outram and Louis Stevens and 13 points from the trusty boot of Karl Martin.

In Western Counties West, no doubt that the result of the day and one that made one or two eyebrows raise Camborne 55 – 0 Kingsbridge. Town scored eight tries through Rob Floyd (3), Sam Matavesi (2), Joe Parma, Dave Mankee and Laurie Manna, with Mankee kicking three conversions and three penalties.

Wadebridge Camels were held at Weston Hornets 11-11, a disappointing result for the Camels. Luke Davidson scored the Camels try with Josh Taylor kicking a couple of penalties.

Tiverton beat Newquay Hornets 18-13, early tries from Rob McIntyre and Rob Ley gave the hornets a flying start but Tivy came back to take the spoils.

Bude lost at Ivybridge 20-10 Ollie Rayner kicked a penalty and converted Olly Denford’s try.

in London 3 SW, London Cornish put in a storming second half performance to defeat visitors Bognor 34-14. Dickon Moon’s report is here.

Match of the day in the Cornwall and Devon League was atSt. Clements as Truro entertained leaders Penryn with the city club winning 23-7. Truro scored three tries through Ross Martin, Garth Dodson and Joe Williamson with Scott Martin kicking a conversion and penalty and brother Ross another penalty to complete the scoring. For the Borough Matt Biggins converted a penalty try.

Hayle had a good win over OPM’s 22-0 with tries from Cullam Osborne, Adam Redgrave and Leon Phoe, Paul Lello adding two conversions and a penalty.

Falmouth lost at the Rec to visiting Bideford 23-13. Steve Rowe got Falmouth’s try converted by Tom Spiller who also added a penalty, James Instance dropped a goal.

Steve Down kicked Saltash’s only points as they lost at Moorlands 48-3 to Okehampton.

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Wishing “One & All” a very happy St. Piran’s Day, flying of St. Piran’s flag, wearing of Cornwall rugby shirts, consumption of Cornish ale, partaking of Cornish Pasties, digestion of “thunder and lightening” and some heavee cake all obligatory!! PROPER JOB!

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It was always going to be a “David & Goliath” encounter, Mount’s Bay having already this season seen the pace and power of a National League 1 side in Esher, knew they were in for a tough afternoon down at the Mennaye. The final score of 7-66 will come as no surprise to those who have witnessed Nottingham this season at first hand. For the record Ben Hilton got Bay’s only try with Dan Hawkes kicking the conversion. Nottingham now face Leeds Carnegie in the semi-final of the EDF-Energy National Trophy. Well done Bay for getting this far the extra revenue will have been a godsend.

Congratulations to Liskeard & Looe for reaching the semi-finals of the EDF-Energy Junior Vase, they are now just one game away from a Twickenham appearence. The Lions 29-10 win over fellow Cornish side St. Austell sets up a home semi-final against Lowestoft & Yarmouth. Four tries for the homeside thanks to Phil Bennett, Ryan Morris, Andy Sheer and Baz Hocking, who also added three penalties. For St. Austell a late consolation score by Milo Bright converted by Paul Newnham who earlier kicked a penalty was scant comfort.

On Friday evening three Cornishmen were in the England Counties team that earned a 13-13 draw with AIB Irish Clubs at Leinster’s Donnybrook ground in Dublin. Redruth’s Darren Jacques and Luke Collins teamed up with last season’s Cornwall captain Josh Lord of the Cornish All Blacks. All three Cornishmen were in the starting XV. Well done lads you did Cornwall proud.

I felt sorry for poor old Phil Vickery on Saturday as that yellow card he received and the vilification in certain quarters of the press look likely to have scuppered his chances of leading the British & Irish Lions in South Africa this summer. He didn’t deserve that not for all he has done for the English in the past! Come on home to Cornwall m’ andsome you’re always welcome down ‘eere.

A few catch up league matches this wekend with the Cornish Pirates travelling up to Monk’s Lane to play the Newbury Blues, and another five points in the bag with a 39-10 win in National League 1. The Pirates scored five tries thanks to Bertrand “Allez France” Bedes, Jimmy Moore with a brace, Nicky Griffiths and Darren Dawiduik, Rhys Jones kicked four conversions and a couple of penalties.

In Tribute South West 2 West, St. Ives continued their fine form with a 35-15 win at Walcot to go level on points with 3rd placed Avonmouth. Tries for the Hakes by Rob Rowe, Tom Outram, Craig Williams and Ben Taylor with Karl Martin kicking three conversions and three penalties.

No joy for Camborne in their Western Counties West game at Ivybridge as they lost 25-0.

In London, our exiles club London Cornish beat Guernsey 31-10 in London 3 SW. Coach Dickon Moon’s report can be found in the link.

In the Cornwall & Devon league, Saltash lost 27-11 at Plymstock. Rob Wooldridge with a try and Nigel Owen two penalties scored the Ashes’ points.

In the Skinners Brewery Cornwall Cup, last season’s beaten finalists Bude made the last four again this season with a comfortable 55-10 win over Falmouth at the Recreation Ground.

On Sunday, Camborne after their league whitewash the previous day had more to smile about as they defeated Hayle 21-6 to also reach the last four of this season’s Cornwall Cup. Camborne will now face Bude in the semi-finals, whilst Truro will host St. Ives in the other. Ties will probably be played over the weekend of 21st March.

In the Skinners Brewery Cornwall Clubs Cup semi-final 1st leg played also on Sunday, Liskeard & Looe after their heroics of the previous day lost by a point at Lux Park 13-12 to Stithians.

Cornwall U.20’s got their County Championship campaign off to a losing start when they lost to Devon up at Barnstaple 26-10. Chris Morris (Cornish All Blacks) scored Cornwall’s try with with clubmate Josh Coles adding the conversion and a penalty. Cornwall next play in two weeks time when they take on reigning County Champions Gloucestershire up at Lydney. More details in the link.

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It’s been a pretty tough week for all involved with the Cornish Pirates as firstly head coach Mark Hewitt was dismissed following Sunday’s dismal exit from the National Trophy and then the players who are contracted for next season were told that they will be taking a substantial paycut! Brett Davey was given the role of acting head coach for the rest of the season, also notified that he would have to re-apply for his existing job next season. So it was with a mixture of interest and apprehension that the supporters awaited to see the reaction on the field last weekend at Moseley.

It started slowly up at Billesley Common as Moseley went 10-0 up early doors. However the Pirates dug deep and showed pride and guts as they turned the tide. Scrum-half Nicky Griffiths with a try-saving tackle to prevnet the homeside going even further ahead then went on to score a hat-trick of tries himself in a starring role on the day. Jimmy Moore on from the start converted all four tries including Paul Devlin’s and kicked three penalties as the Pirates came from behind to win 37-26. A moral boosting win for the Pirates as they look to finish off the season on the up.

In National League 2, Redruth as expected accounted for second from bottom side Southend 48-14 at the Recreation Ground. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Reds as it took them a while to settle into their rythem due to the stop-start nature of the game, which was delayed for 20 minutes during the first half as two Southend players collided, happily both have since recovered well. The scoring was led by Rob Thirlby approaching his best form once again who ran in a hat-trick of tries. Mark Bright gave another towering performance as he ran in two tries, with other scores comming from Peter Joyce, Lewis Vinnicombe and Owen Hambly.

Down at the Mennaye, the Cornish All Blacks got their revenge for their defeat at home earlier in the season at the hands of Mount’s Bay, with No.8 Sam Hocking powering over for the decisive score seven minutes into time added on for a 19-15 win. Glenn Remnant scored the first Launceston try with Mal Roberts (2) and Adam Staniforth kicking three penalties. For Bay Dan Hawkes kicked five penalties.

In the Tribute regional leagues; in South West 2 West, another good win for St. Ives who beat Brixham 34-10 with Julian Hosking, Kyle Armstrong, Richard Humphreys, Rudy Meredith and Hano Dirksen all crossing for tries. Karl Martin kicking three conversions and a penalty. The Hakes are fourth in the table.

In Western Counties West, Wadebridge Camels remain in fourth place after a 37-17 win at home to Tiverton. Dan Briskham ran in four tries for the Camels with Alisdair Maclennan scoring a fifth. Jake McCarroll added three conversion and acouple of penalties.

Newquay Hornets are just behind their near neighbours following a 31-10 win at the Sportscentre over bottom side Withycombe. Stuart Williams, Alex Woodley, Luke Mansfield and Jon Hyatt scored tries for the Hornets with Sam Cullen landing all four conversions and a penalty.

Camborne had no luck at leaders Cullompton who trounced the visitors 45-0.

Bude lost at Bencoolen 25-7 to visting Kingsbridge, Paul Williams with the try which Ollie Rayner converted.

In London 3 SW, London Cornish after a lay-off due to the bad weather in the South East found leaders Chichester too hot to handle as they lost 27-3.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, leaders Penryn ran in 14 tries as they defeated Saltash at the Memorial Ground 88-0. Chris Mann (3), Marek Churcher (2), Dan Booth, Taron Peacock, Charlie Ross, Dan Laity, Rob Trevaskis, Matt Biggins, Kevin Hughes and Syd Savvas all crossed for the Borough. Peacock (3) and Biggins (6) adding nine conversions.

Truro surprisingly slipped up in Somerset at Wellington 17-16, Truro scored tries through Rickki Brandon and Sean Rosevear, with Scott Martin adding two penalties.

Hayle lost at Okehampton 23-13, Adam Keverne with a try for the Lions, Shayne Poynton with a conversion and two penalties.

Falmouth got their first league win of the season at the Rec with a 20-19 win over Plymstock, thanks to a last-gasp penalty from Matt Horton. Horton kicked also kicked an earlier penalty and converted both of Steve Roe’s tries.

The 2009 Bottle Match played in London saw The Royal School of Mines beat Camborne School of Mines 14-10 to retain the “bottle”.

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The dream of the EDF-Energy National Trophy quarter-final tie between Mount’s Bay and the Cornish Pirates was shipwrecked good ‘n proper at Meadow Lane on Sunday afternoon as Nottingham dispatched a sadly lacklustre Cornish side by 39-8 to book their place at the Mennaye to face the Bay.

It was a performance that has been described by those that were there as “embarassing”, not a discription that will sit easy with either the Pirates’ supporters or management as the club looks to secure funding for next season’s “Championship”. The sad fact though is that the side this season are no better than a mid-table, all they have to play for now is PRIDE and to secure the best possible finish as a launch pad for next season and hopefully a more successful campaign.

For the good of Cornish rugby let us all hope that “the problems” that have clearly existed this season can be resolved and the club move forward, it is the least that the supporters deserve!

There will at least be an all-Cornish tie in the quarter-finals of the EDF-Energy Junior Vase as Liskeard and Looe overcame Essex side Campion at Lux Park 25-3 to set up the tie with St. Austell. Baz Hocking led the scoring with a couple of tries a conversion and a penalty, other points came from Bob Bettison and a conversion from Marcus Hill.

In National League 2, leaders Redruth left it very late to snatch victory from defeat at Westcombe Park. Trailing 13-10 well into injury time Redruth scored their third try of the afternoon from replacement winger Rob Thirlby to snatch a vital win. Emyr Lewis and Mark Bright scored the other Reds’ tries.

Mount’s Bay’s hopes of avoiding relegation took another blow as they lost at Giggleswick School to Wharfedale. With the Dalesmen securing all five points on offer the relegation trapdoor has opened a little wider. Ben Hilton scored a try for Bay with Dan Hawkes adding the conversion and three penalties.

In the Tribute regional leagues, St. Ives’ game at Walcot was called off due to the weather.

In Western Counties West, Wadebridge Camels dropped a vital point at bottom club Withycombe drawing 10-10. Rob Hawkey and Sam Stone scored tries for the Camels.

Newquay Hornets completed the double over Camborne with a 29-15 win at the Recreation Ground. Hornets ran in five tries with a brace from winger James Ingle, No.8 Stuart Williams, former Camborne flyer, Rob Ley and centre Romy Vassell. Sam Cullen kicked a couple of conversions. Camborne kept in it with tries from Rob Floyd and Shane Woods with Dave Mankee adding a conversion and a drop-goal.

Bude found the going tough up along the North Coast at Minehead losing 34-6, Ollie Rayner with acouple of penalties.

In London, London Cornish’s game was the victim of a water-logged pitch.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn maintained their championship push with a win at Hayle 12-5 thanks to tries by Darren Pellow and Taron Peacock with Peacock adding a conversion. For Hayle Adam Redgrave scored a try.

Truro maintain their push with a win over Crediton 16-8. Luke Trescothick scored the try with the Martin brothers kicking the other points, Scott the conversion and two penalties, Ross a drop-goal.

Saltash lost at Moorlands 8-5 to Wellington, Rob Woolridge scoing a try for the Ashes.

Falmouth had no answer to Tavistock going down 57-0.

Congratulations to Redruth Colts who overcame Ivybridge 15-0 at Redruth to reach the last eight of the National Colts Cup.

Truro College have made the semi-finals of the Daily Mail U.18 Cup following their 15-8 win in Cheshire to Lymm. They now face Surrey school John Fisher in the semi-final, which will be played at Broadstreet RFC in Coventry on Saturday March 14th, hoping to book their place in the Twickenham final on Wednesday 1st April.

So to the second weekend of the RBS 6 Nations, although Wales did beat England 23-15, England showed far better than they did in their previous game. France disappointed in their 22-13 win over Scotland for whom the Evans brother stood out. Ireland completed a routine win in Rome to keep their championship hopes on course winning 38-9.

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In the only National Trophy tie played on Saturday, Mount’s Bay defeated London Scottish 6-5 at the Mennaye thanks to the boot of Dan Hawkes. Bay’s reward a home tie against the winners of the Nottingham vs. Cornish Pirates tie to be played this weekend. Every incentive for the Pirates to overcome Nottingham and set up an all Cornish tie in the quarter-finals.

Should the Pirates prevail at Meadow Lane, which is by no means certain, then the possibility will be for the tie to be switched to Camborne so that both clubs can profit from higher gate receipts from a bumper gate, which sadly the Mennaye can no longer accomodate.

The weather got the better of the few remaining games with one or two exceptions. St. Austell won through to the quarter-finals of the Junior Vase with a 6-5 win against Teddington at Tregorrick. There reward an away tie to the winner of the postponed Liskeard & Looe v Campion tie, so great incentive for the Lions to win that one and set up another all Cornish tie!

In the few re-arranged league matches that took place, in Tribute Western Counties West a good win for Newquay Hornets against Kingsbridge 12-3. In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon league Hayle after some disappointing results enjoyed a good win at the Memorial Park defeating Plymstock Albion Oaks 22 – 6, thanks to tries from Kevin Tippett, Dave Seager and Adam Keverne. Mile Crump added a penalty and conversion with Paul Lello adding a second conversion.

I was delighted to learn this week of the selection for the England Counties XV for their forthcomming matches against AIB Irish Clubs XV at Donnybrook on Friday February 27th February and against France Amateurs at Twickenham on Sunday 15th March of Redruth’s Darren Jacques and Launceston’s Josh Lord and Mike Myerscough. Congratulations to all three on their selections, well deserved.

Turning to the RBS 6 Nations and the opening weekend of games, reigning champions Wales looked in ominous form as they dispatched Scotland at a bitterly cold Murrayfield on Sunday afternoon by 26-13. Wales with Alun-Wyn Jones and Andy Powell dominating the scrums and with a backline full of exciting runners put down a marker to the other sides, notably England next up for Wales at the Millenium on Saturday. England didn’t convince in their 36-11 win over Italy even though they were helped by Nick Mallett’s bizarre selection of flanker Mauro Bergamasco at scrum-half!!

And so to the most exciting game of the weekend by far, Ireland’s defeat of France 30-21 at Croke Park. It was great to see Brian O’Driscoll back to his best form, he took his try ever so well as did No.8 Jamie Heaslip and centre replacement Gordon D’Arcy. France too will take much from the game even in defeat, there was flair and imagination in their play, which was sadly lacking under Laporte.

Who will bet against a Grand Slam decider between Wales and Ireland on the last day of the tournament on March 21st in Cardiff?

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Redruth put a stop to their losing run with an exciting 29-17 win over Blackheath in National League 2 at the Recreation Ground on Saturday. With many pundits predicting another defeat foer the Reds against an in-form “Club” side Nigel Hambly’s charges secured all five league points to keep the pressure on the chasing pack. Despite trailing to an early try, Redruth hit back to tie the scores before half-time with a try by Mark Bright.

During the second half Redruth scored three tries in a seven minute spell through Luke Collins, Lewis Vinnicombe (who earlier got yellow carded for a technical offence) and Craig Bonds, a try described by David Penberthy as the best try scored at Redruth in many a long year. Hooker Owen Hambly rounded off the try scoring with the Reds’ fifth. Some big performances from Emyr Lewis, Mark Bright and James Mann. Credit to Blackheath for their performance in making it a great game on Saturday.

Mount’s Bay helped their cause with a 12-0 win at the Mennaye against Blaydon. Ben Hilton and Sam Parsons scored the Bay’s tries with Doug Sanft kicking a conversion.

After the euphoria of their win against Redruth the previous week, the Cornish All Blacks undid all the good work from that win with last-gasp defeat at Stourbridge losing 37-36. Despite going 14-0 down Launceston hit back with a try from Marc Dibble converted by Mal Roberts who then added a penalty. Sam Hocking’s try put the CAB’s in the lead. Stourbridge levelled with an Ali Bressington penalty, before Mike Myrescough scored for Launceston to re-gain the lead once more. A Stourbridge try levelled the scores at 24 all at half-time. Stourbridge nudged ahead with a penalty before Glenn Cooper scored a fourth try for the CABs. Hamish Mitchell scored a fifth try and all looked set for another win, but Stourbridge had other ideas with Bressington’s boot and a Martin Freman try denying the blacks putting an end to their promotion hoped for this season.

In National League 1 a morale boosting win on the road for the Cornish Pirates at Rotherham as the Pirates got revenge for their defeat against the Titans at Camborne. The 34-28 win was just the tonic before their National Trophy tie at Nottingham on Sunday. Tries came via Marika Vakacegu (2), Darren Dawiduik (on for Rob Elloway who suffered a cheap shot injury, which required a hospital trip for the hooker and a deserved red card for his assailant!), Iva Motusaga, Jimmy Moore. Rhys Jones kicked three conversions and a penalty.

In the Tribute regional leagues, in South West 2 West, St. Ives had a good win at Avonmouth Old Boys 30-20. Hanno Dirksen scored a couple of tries for the Hakes with Tom Nicholas scoring a third. Karl Martin added 15 points with the boot.

In Western Counties West, Newquay v Kingsbridge was postponed and has been earmarked for this comming Saturday.

Wadebridge Camels routed Camborne 37-3, with Herbie Stupple scoring a couple of tries, other scores came from Dan Briskham, Jake McCarroll, Tom O’Donnell and Ben Miskowicz. McCarroll kicking a couple of conversions and a penalty. Joe Parma kicked a penalty for Town.

Bude had no joy as Cullompton trounced the homeside 53-0 to maintian top spot.

In London 3 SW London Cornish got back to winning ways with a 14-9 win at Effingham & Leatherhead, Dickon moon’s report is in the link

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Penryn maintained their top spot with a 46-3 win at home to OPM’s. Six tries for the Borough through Taron Peacock (2), Matt Biggins, Darren Pellow (2) and Justin Doney. Five conversions and two penalties for scrum-half Dave Pascoe back at the Borough after a spell at the Reds.

Truro are in second spot just behind Penryn after defeating Carrick rivals Falmouth 33-0 at the Rec. Five tries for the city side through Mark Lea, David Moyle, Rikki Brandon, Tim Gay and Tristan Nolan. Ross Martin kicked four conversions.

No joy for Hayle at Wellington where the Somerset side won 36-0, nor for Saltash at Crediton as the Devonians won 45-3, Steve Down kicked the solitary Ashes’ penalty.

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Ever since Redruth’s win at the Recreation Ground against the Cornish All Blacks back in October, the Polson faithfull have been waiting the return fixture to make amends, and in fine style to with an impressive 19-8 win over their old rivals from down the A.30.

A spectacle of running rugby it was not, yet it was full of passion, pride and toil and played for the most part in good spirit, both on and off the pitch! You can read my full match report on the main site via the link here.

Mount’s Bay suffered another defeat at the Mennaye at the hands of high flyers Cambridge with all the scoring completed in the first half at 28-3. It’s been a tough week for Mount’s Bay with news that the “credit crunch” has hit the Penzance club hard. They however been given some good fortune when the news came through that Esher who had defeated Bay at the Mennaye in the 4th round of the National Trophy had been thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligable player, thus handing them a plum home tie in the 5th round at home to London Scottish.

Sunday afternoon saw the Cornish Pirates take on bottom side Manchester in National League 1. The Camborne pitch it has to be said is not at it’s best at present, especially with all the bad weather we have had in recent days. It made goal kicking a lottery, with not one kick at goal succeding. All the points came from tries with the Pirates running out winners 25-10. For the Pirates tries were scored by Rhodri McAtee, Brian Tuohy(the pick of the bunch), Iva Motusaga, Marika Vakacegu and recent signing Blair Cowan. In truth it wasn’t a five star performance and the Cornish Pirates looked to be playing well within their capabilities. They will miss McAtee and Tuohy when they both go off on 7’s duty with Wales and Ireland respectivley. Hopefully a few players will be back soon, I spoke to Bertrand Bedes before the game and he is resuming training this week and is raring to get back playing as soon as possible. Allez Bertrand!

The presentation last Monday in Penzance for the fund raising via the supporters for the Cornish Pirates went well with one piece of news to emerge that Chris Stirling will be returing to the club in the new role of High Performance Manager on a 2 year contract.

In the regional Tribute leagues, in South West 2 West, a good win for St. Ives who are comming good once again. Visitors St. Mary’s Old Boys were out to the sword 52-3. Will Dirksen maintained his fine scoring record with another couple of tries, with Kyle Armstrong, former Red, Craig Williams, Ben Taylor, Hino Robin and Karl Martin all crossing for the Hakes. Martin added seven conversions and a penalty to complete the rout.

It wasn’t a good day for Cornish clubs in Western Counties West with all four sides losing. In the battle between second and third, Kingsbridge got the better of Wadebridge Camels 13-10, a late drop goal giving the South Devon side the win.

League leaders Cullompton defeated Newquay Hornets 27-14 to maintain their top spot. Rob Ley scoring the Hornets try with Sam Cullen kicked three penalties.

Bude played the other Hornets (Weston), losing once more 39-17. Will Kingdom and Martin Green scored tries for Bude with Ollie Raynor converting both scores and a penalty.

Camborne’s poor season continues and the prospect of relegation looms as a real possibility! They lost for the eigth time this campaign the latest reversal at home to Devonport Services 27-23. Nigel Endean and Andrew Notman scored tries for the Town, both converted by Dave Mankee who also added three penalties.

After their Senior Vase exit last week, London Cornish hoped to bounce back in the league at home to Winchester in London 3 SW, instead they lost 14-11. DoR Dickon Moon’s report will be in the link.

Better news from the Cornwall & Devon league where leaders Penryn bounced back from defeat at Bideford to win at previously second placed Okehampton 15-14. A late try from Chris Mann sealed a great comeback from 14-0 down at half-time. Mann scored the Borough’s opening try as well with Darren Pellow also touching down.

Truro move up to second after a big win at home to Plymstock, 67-3. Tim Gay scored a hat-tick of tries with Mark Lea and Matt Trevail each scoring a brace. Other scores came from Ross Martin, Michael Patterson, Justin Irons and Scott Martin.

Hayle lost at home to Crediton 11-3, Paul Lello kicking a penalty for the Lions.

Saltash completed a league double over Falmouth to register only their second win of the season 26-8.

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The CORNISH PIRATES did the buisness on Sunday afternoon at Camborne safely dispatching National League 2 side Southend 24 – 0 to advance into today’s 5th Rd EDF-Energy National trophy draw at HQ. Tries by TASC’s Cornwall U,20 player for 2008 prop Paul Andrew, who yesterday made his senior debut for the Pirates, Iva Motusaga, Nicky Griffiths and Rhodri McAtee saw the Pirates home in difficult playing conditions, Jimmy Moore added a couple of conversions. Good to see club skipper Addy Winnan make a welcome return after injury also a debut for young Kiwi flanker Blair Cowan who signed this week from Wellington.

All eyes and ears will be on tonight’s EGM at the St. John’s Hall in Penzance when Dicky Evans will outline the funding package for next season to members.


Not such good news for the two other Cornish clubs who played in the 4th Rd. The Cornish All Blacks lost their tough tie at home to Birmingham & Solihull 15-10 after extra time. No. 8 Sam Hocking, TASC’s player of the year in 2008, opened the scoring with a try in the first half. The visitors levelled in the second half before Ryan Westren put the All Blacks ahead once more, before the Bees levelled again before nicking the tie with a third try in extra-time.

The result was more clear cut at the Mennaye were National League 1 side Esher proved too powerfull for Mount’s Bay running out comfortable 43- 5 winners, Mike Molloy scoing Bay’s only try near the end.

Cornish representation ended in the EDF-Energy Senior vase as both Camborne and London Cornish bowed out at the 5th Rd stage. Camborne found Western Counties West league leaders Cullompton too hot to handle losing 28 – 9. Dave Mankee kicked three penalties for the Cherry & Whites. London Cornish lost to Trojans 16 – 0, a side who play in league below them.

Better news in the EDF-Energy Junior Vase 6th Rd where both Cornish sides still in the competition progressed. Liskeard & Looe defeated Gloucester 2 side Bream 16 – 0, whilst St. Austell defeated Gloucester 1 Chipping Sodbury 28 – 13.

There was also local cup rugby with a 1st Rd tie in the Skinners Brewery Cornwall Cup where St. Ives knocked out the holders Wadebridge Camels 42 – 0, scoring six tries, to avenge a 50-13 defeat to the Camels last season in the same competition.

There were also two Skinners Brewery Cornwall clubs cup quarter-finals played at the weekend with Helston defeating Lankelly-Fowey 11-10 and Stithians defeating Veor 25-17.

One game played in the Tribute Western Counties West league involving Cornish clubs, as Newquay Hornets travelled to Bude and won a close game 7-5. Sam Cullen scored and converted his own try for the Hornets, whilst Ollie Mounce got a try for Bude.

In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, leaders Penryn travelled to Bideford only to lose 17 – 13. Syd Savaas scored a try for the Borough. which Taron Peacock converted, Peacock also added a penalty and Marek Churcher a drop-goal.

Truro fared little better at Tavistock were they lost 17 – 10 scoring a couple of tries through Chris Gilbert and Tim Gay.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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