Pic – left Mike Rawlings plotting another Under 20 campaign
Wadebridge Camel’s head coach Mike Rawlings is a busy chap at the moment, not only is he trying to mastermind the Camel’s escape from the relegation zone in Tribute Western Counties West but he is also been called upon to play as his side has been hit by injuries.
Add to that his work with the Cornwall Under 20s who’s season will soon be starting!
I caught up with Mike following his side’s vital 19-16 win at Penryn last Saturday, which lifted them away from the drop zone for the present.
The result gave Rawlings a bit of breathing space as he plots to steer his side up the table. He said “That result takes a little bit of pressure of us, it will lift the lads following that poor performance the previous week against Truro. Next Saturday we have another vital game at home against Saltash who are also in trouble.
Rawlings knows from experience that battles at the foot of the table are often the toughest. “These relegation games are often the hardest, as we have seen today at Penryn, both sides fought until the end and the result could have gone either way, but for us to come away get the win is very pleasing.
“Both sides committed a lot of mistakes but that is the nature of the game, I think we were as guilty as Penryn of not looking after the ball more, I felt our presentation was not good enough. Getting the first score was huge bonus and lifted the spirits, having spent much of the first ten minutes soaking up Penryn pressure.
Rawlings was concerned about the number of penalties his side gave away. “I was concerned about the number of penalties we conceded and that did cost us with Matt Horton’s kicking for the Borough. In fairness to the referee he did warn us but the lads were too slow on the uptake and need to work on that going forward into the Saltash game.
Rawlings was also pleased with the way the Cornwall Under 20s squad is shaping up this season. “It’s looking like an exciting squad, we may be looking to play a slightly different style this season as we are not so big physically in the forwards, so a more mobile game is what we are looking at. I am confident in the skill set that the lads have and look forward to them playing a wider game and I think that prospect is very exciting.
Whilst Rawlings wants the squad to push on from last season, he acknowledges that this season may well be one of consolidation.
“We have lost a few of the lads from last season who made the semi-finals, but on the other hand we have got a good crop of youngsters coming in who will be with us for at least a couple of seasons. Maybe this season we will look to consolidate before pushing on and building the following year.
“We have got a few lads who are away at University, it’s a big commitment for them to travel down for either training or the games, but they want to play for the black and gold and that’s still the great attraction.
Cornwall’s group opponents are tough. “We start up at Berkshire who were finalists last season before travelling again to face Gloucestershire. We finish our pool games at home against Devon at Camborne, we will see where we are then with the top two sides going through to the quarter-finals.
County Under 20
Sunday 7 February – Berkshire v Cornwall @Redingensians RFC KO 2 pm
Sunday 28 February – Gloucestershire v Cornwall @Cinderford RFC KO 2 pm
Sunday 13 March – Cornwall v Devon @ Camborne RFC KO 2:00 pm
Quarter final Sunday 27 March, Semi-final Sunday 10 April
Finals day – Saturday 7 May @Twickenham.