Pirates back up Sarries win with victory at RAG

Richmond  7 – 27 Cornish Pirates

Following their superb victory at home to Saracens seven days earlier, the Cornish Pirates followed up with another deserved result by bagging a bonus point win in Round 2 of this season’s Greene King IPA Championship, reports Phil Westren

For their visit to the RAG (Richmond Athletic Ground), the Cornish Pirates made just a couple of changes to the previous week’s selected 23. In the absence of John Stevens, who had picked up a nose injury against ‘Sarries’, Antonio Kiri Kiri was selected in the number 7 shirt and Paddy Ryan was called up on the bench.

Defending the Richmond town end of the ground, after Cornish Pirates’ fly-half Luke Scully kicked the game off into a strong wind, it was not long before the Pirates twice went close to scoring, first through centre Shae Tucker and then wide out left through wing Robin Wedlake.

On a ground that appeared in immaculate condition, the Pirates displayed no lack of energy, although just a few early errors spoilt obvious promise.

A brief breakout by Richmond saw debutant full back Will Kaye, formerly of Loughborough Students and Leicester Tigers, offer a threat, as did wing Max Trimble, but when the Pirates worked their way back up field it was industrious flanker Josh Caulfield whose strong midfield run forced the home side to give a penalty away. Skipper Tom Duncan wasted no time in calling Scully forward to attempt a kick at goal, and into the difficult wind the first points of the afternoon were registered.

The Pirates were not having it all their own way, however following good work by hooker Dan Frost, Duncan and prop Marlen Walker, a position was created where from a scrum they were awarded a free kick close to the posts. Lock Fa’atiga Lemalu made an initial drive before alert scrum half Jean-Baptist Bruzulier then spotted a gap. Able to swiftly pierce the opening, he stretched to score an unconverted try.

Soon after the restart Richmond, who had been relegated at the end of the 2018/19 campaign but have quickly bounced back after being crowned Champions of National One last season, made their first meaningful foray into the Pirates ‘22’. Also, thus far, there had been good disruptive work at the line-out from lock Freddie Hosking.

Rain and then hail made it a little extra inclement for a spell, and there was frustration for Richmond when fly-half Tom Hodgson was luckless with a penalty attempt. Showing dominance at the breakdown the Pirates also managed to hold on to their 8-nil lead come the break.

Early in the second half saw a yellow card shown to Pirates’ hooker Dan Frost for a ‘technical’ offence and it looked like Richmond would take advantage, Unfortunately, however, a knock-on made wide out right by their skipper Cameron Mitchell saw them miss a clear scoring opportunity.

Perhaps let off the hook, the Pirates weathered the rest of the period admirably and proceeded to extend their lead. Both Duncan and wing Robin Wedlake made power plays to the line and, when the ball was moved right, it was a clever tap pass from centre Rory Parata that reached full-back Maliq Holden who scored an unconverted try in the right corner.

Duncan was having a big game for the Pirates, and from the restart his power enabled him to make further yardage. He also scored his team’s third try following good play from Kiri Kiri. Scully added the conversion.

A bonus point fourth try was now surely in sight, and it would indeed materialise, but only after Kaye scored a try for Richmond that was converted by replacement Benjamin Cook. And who was scorer of the Pirates final try? Well, replacement Matt Bolwell was the happy figure who strode to the line, with Kiri Kiri once again playing a leading role. Replacement fly-half Harry Bazalgette’s conversion sealed the fine 27-7 win to provide a pleasing result for joint Head Coach Gavin Cattle. Speaking after the match, he said:

“It was our first away game for a year, and we didn’t have it all our way.

“The wind made it difficult for both teams and Richmond can be very unpredictable, but we were very professional and found our way into the game.

“We were perhaps just a little lethargic at times but, overall, the lads stuck at it and defended pretty well, and to get the win with a bonus point is very pleasing.”

Richmond:  15 Will Kaye, 14 Jake Caddy, 13 Cameron Mitchell (captain), 12 Oliver Evans, 11 Max Trimble (23 Dan Kelly, 63), 10 Tom Hodgson (22 Benjamin Cook, 63), 9 Luc Jones (21 Toby Dabell, 66); 1 Jonny Harris (17 Ben Christie, 66), 2 Callum Torpey (16 Charlie Gibbings, 55), 3 Jimmy Litchfield (18 Kurt Schonert, 55), 4 Alex Bibic (20 Byron Hodge, 67), 5 Freddie Hosking, 6 Hamish Barton, 7 Jack Allcock, 8 Jesse Liston (19 Myles Scott, 55).

Cornish Pirates:   15 Maliq Holden, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata,

12 Shae Tucker, 11 Alex O’Meara (23, Tommy Wyatt, 55), 10 Luke Scully (22 Harry Bazalgette, 70), 9 Jean-Baptist Bruzulier (21 Rhodri Davies, 67); 1 Marlen Walker (17 Jack Andrew, 55), 2 Dan Frost (7 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 58), 3 Jay Tyack (18 Sam Rodman, 55), 4 Fa’atiga Lemalu (19 Matt Bolwell, 50), 5 Danny Cutmore, 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri (16 Tom Channon, 50), 8 Tom Duncan (captain; 20 Paddy Ryan, 67).

Yellow Card:   2 Dan Frost (48)


Richmond – try: 15 Will Kaye (75); con: 22 Benjamin Cook (75).

Cornish Pirates – tries: 9 Jean-Baptist Bruzulier (20), 15 Maliq Holden (59), 8 Tom Duncan (66), 19 Matt Bolwell (78); cons: 10 Luke Scully (66), 22 Harry Bazalgette (78); pen: 10 Luke Scully (13).

Referee:   George Selwood (RFU)

Assistants:   Lionel Spooner & Michael Woods

Official 4:  Ieuan Davies

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Pirates take down Sarries in Championship opener


This contest saw the Cornish Pirates welcome Saracens, for the first time since 2003, to Penzance for their opening game in this season’s belated Greene King IPA Championship, reports Phil Westren from the Mennaye Field

Pre-match Jackson Wray, the visitors’ skipper, said his side was primed and ready to resist anything about to be thrown at them as they began their intended march back to the Premiership. At the same time, he didn’t expect anyone to do them any favours, and with regard to this particular Sea Warriors versus Desert Warriors contest he was absolutely right.

The Cornish Pirates fully deserved this win against their illustrious  opponents, it a terrific performance and a reminder to the RFU and Premiership Rugby that there is indeed true worth below the perceived elite.

On a wonderfully sunny spring day, before kick-off of this first competitive game at home since last March, sincere appreciation and thanks were expressed via the tannoy system to the NHS and to Key Workers for all they have done in the past 12 months. Then, during an impeccably observed minute’s silence, everyone stood to remember so many who have sadly passed away, including especially former players and supporters.

It was inevitably frustrating for the Cornish Pirates that they were missing the services of recently named club captain Nicolas De Battista and Callum Patterson, both of whom had picked up injuries just ahead of the match. Also, after Saracens applied early pressure and opened the scoring with an unconverted try from Scotland winger Sean Maitland, for many pre-match thoughts were likely reaffirmed that the ultimate outcome of this one was simply inevitable. Nobody, however, told the Pirates of such a script.

Penalties were conceded and the Pirates were tested looking into the glare of the sun under the high ball, but following good forays by lock Fa’atiga Lemalu, prop Marlen Walker and centre Shae Tucker, pressure created led to a kick at goal penalty opportunity for Luke Scully. With a quarter of an hour on the clock the young fly-half stepped forward and duly delivered.

Play was pretty evenly contested at this stage and, as had been expected, it was certainly very physical.

Into the second quarter Pirates’ hooker Dan Frost made a strong carry before skipper Tom Duncan maintained the forward advance and crashed over the line for an unconverted try scored to the right of the Newlyn posts.

The home scrum was quite sound at this stage and the line-out functioning particularly well with Lemalu and his young second-row partner Danny Cutmore leaping high. However, after Saracens hit back with another unconverted try, this time scored by wing Alex Lewington at the clubhouse corner, it was the visitors who held a 10-8 lead at the break.

With the Cornish flag flying high at the Mennaye post St. Piran’s Day, the county’s patron saint will have admired the effort and spirit so far displayed, and with just two points separating the sides the Pirates were very much still in the match.

For the start of the second period, after ‘Sandstorm’ blasted the arrival of the home team back on the field it was not long before the Pirates nudged ahead with a try scored by flanker Josh Caulfield, with Scully adding the conversion. Sarries, though, all but immediately bounced back to regain the lead when lock Tim Swinson scored a try which was converted by Vunipola.

For the Pirates the line-out was still functioning well, whilst at scrum time all but total dominance was amazingly now displayed. Indeed, awarded a scrum penalty 34 metres out, it was the boot of Scully who on 64 minutes fired his kick high between the Penzance posts to give the home team a one-point lead.

The effort of the whole Pirates side was to be admired, and with bloodied man-of-the-match flanker John Stevens perhaps deserving special praise, even without a crowd present an atmosphere was created whereby thoughts were that the Pirates side had it in them to record an historic victory.

Both sides introduced replacements, but with members called off the Pirates bench having the most impact. Young wing Tommy Wyatt continued to uphold the Pirates effort with a fantastic kick and chase, and the result was ultimately put behind doubt when scrum-half Rhodri Davies plucked a bouncing ball to run clear and score. Scully’s conversion opened up an important eight points gap, which is how it stayed for the final score to read 25-17.

It was such a shame that Covid restrictions meant supporters were not able to watch the match live, however those viewing it about the world on computer and television screens, or listening to BBC Radio Cornwall, will have been ecstatic – and deservedly none more so that Dicky Evans from his home in Kenya. This, without doubt, was arguably the team’s greatest ever result.

At least members of the national media were present, and they were impressed. In normal times we could all have celebrated with a good old singsong post-match with Cadgwith Singers, all for the present on hold.

The game had been a super advert for Championship rugby and looking for a highlight comment none was better than ‘The Observer’ correspondent Rob Kitson’s, when he said that Saracens had Vincent Koch, a prop with a World Cup winner’s medal, but their front-row was suddenly being shoved backwards by a front row sponsored partly by a local sweet shop! Hey, well done Jay Tyack, and thanks Freddie’s Proper Sweets.

Joint head coach Alan Paver, who was man-of-the-match when Saracens last visited the ‘Mennaye’ back in 2003, was a happy man after the game, commenting:

“This game was I feel an iconic moment – special. I am so pleased for the lads because the Covid period has been tough.  We said though that we were going to bring meaning to the season, so to achieve that result today provides a special moment.

“It was such a pity we missed a full house shouting their heads off, but we know they were here in spirit and I hope they feel pride in what we managed to achieve.

“The game was very physical, with heavy duty scrums and mauls, and I really enjoyed witnessing it. Facing such quality, having got the players ready for the league and them having worked so hard, for them to dominate in areas seen was fantastic.”

To conclude, in my mind it is time the RFU and Premiership Rugby had a rethink. We all accept that finance is important to the game and at the top it is a business – however it is first and foremost sport and it is sporting values that should always be upheld. Anything less would be/is a disservice to the game of rugby football.

Cornish Pirates:   15 Maliq Holden, 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Shae Tucker, 11 Alex O’Meara, 10 Luke Scully, 9 Jean-Baptist Bruzulier; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Dan Frost, 3 Jay Tyack, 4 Fa’atiga Lemalu, 5 Danny Cutmore, 6 Josh Caulfield, 7 John Stevens, 8 Tom Duncan (captain).

Replacements:   Jack Andrew, Sam Rodman, Matt Bolwell, Antonio Kiri Kiri, Rhodri Davies, Tommy Wyatt (used); Tom Channon, Harry Bazalgette (not used).

Saracens:    15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Aled Davies; 1 Richard Barrington, 2 Kapeli Pifeleti, 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Callum Hunter-Hill, 5 Tim Swinson, 6 Mike Rhodes, 7 Sean Reffell, 8 Jackson Wray (captain).

Replacements:   Sam Crean, Eroni Mawi, Alec Clarey, Joel Kpoku, Andy Christie, Tom Whiteley, Dom Morris, Rotimi Segun (all used).


Cornish Pirates – tries: Duncan, Caulfield, Davies; cons: Scully (2); pens: (2).

Saracens – tries: Maitland, Lewington, Swinson; con: Vunipola.

Referee:   Sara Cox (RFU)    

‘Tribute’ Man-of-the-Match:   John Stevens

‘Glengoyne’ Try-of-the-Match:   Tom Duncan

Posted in Bill's Blog

Dave Muirhead – RIP

Trelawny’s Army was saddened to learn of the sad passing of Dave Muirhead.

Dave was a stalwart of the Cadgwith Singers, singing with the group at our annual dinners, and at many rugby matches

A skilled boatman and fisherman, he was also a fine rugby player in his younger days playing and captaining both Falmouth and Helston rugby clubs from the back row. London Cornish and Roseland were also sides he played for. He also represented Cornwall 17 times between 1975-79, his first game for Cornwall was against Capt Crawshay’s, as indeed was his final appearance for Cornwall in 1979.

We will miss David’s camaraderie and friendship.

Trelawny’s Army wish to extend their sincerest condolences to Dave’s family and friends at this sad time.

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Kyle Moyle seals move to Gloucester

Having spent a period of time on-loan to Premiership Club Gloucester, it has been announced today that Kyle has sealed a deal that sees him move permanently to the Premiership outfit from the Cornish Pirates.

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CRFU put competitions return on hold

You will have seen the news that the county has moved into tier 3 with all that that entails. You may also have seen the RFU guidance to tier 3 and the implications of that.
The CRFU have taken a responsible view all through Covid and I hope you’ll agree we have not only kept clubs informed as to RFU developments but also offered assistance to any club who has either asked or needed it. For that reason we wanted to act quickly on the above.

As a constituent body we think it would be fool hardy to endorse any form of competition and to that aim have suspended the start of our clusters until end of January when we will update. I know this will be disappointing to some but please think of the big picture. The County has already had players tested positive, and I’m sure we all want to support our NHS, with cases on the increase.
To that aim the colts, U16s and the County DPP will also be suspended until 31st January when the position will be reviewed.The Govt are reassessing the situation in a fortnight and we of course will be guided by any changes.

The situation now is simple, as a CB we can not stop you playing  friendlies but we would urge you to consider the possible consequences. The RFU allow this but with strict restrictions, please see their website
2020 has been an awful year for us all, let’s hope 2021 is better for all sport and especially Cornish rugby.

Chairman CRFU


Chairman Youth & Education CRFU

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Trelawny’s Army Colts League Cluster Fixtures for 2021

We are delighted to be associated once again with the CRFU Colts rugby for 2021.

A list of the cluster group fixtures can be found in the links below

Cluster 1

Cluster 2

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Boxing Day Fixtures 2020

These are the fixtures we are aware off. Please check with the home club regarding entry and covid restrictions that apply. Please note Redruth v Camborne is an all ticket game, no pay at the gate. If we hear of further games we will add them to the list.




HAYLE 10 – 15 ST. IVES







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Tony Pill Cup Boxing Day

In recent years we have delighted to award the Tony Pill Memorial Cup as a man-of-the-match award at the Boxing Day derby between Camborne and Redruth.

We had hoped to be able to do the same this year, however the pandemic has made us re-think our plans for 2020.

Despite the fixture going ahead as planned within the rules governing rugby at this time, we have taken the decision not to award the cup this year.

We have written to both Camborne and Redruth clubs advising them of our decision, with the hope and wish that we can resume again in 2021.

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London Cornish RFC latest Newsletter

Click on the link to read the newsletter – PDF

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London Cornish RFC Newsletter, October 2020

Welcome news from London Cornish RFC with the publication of their Autumn Newsletter. Please click on the link

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