Report by Bill Hooper, Photos Simon Bryant Iktis photo
There was a good crowd at the Recreation Ground on a dry and bright Tuesday evening to see both sides benefit from a joint training session and 2 x 30 mins mini-games.
Photo – Reds Kyle Marriott gets to grips with Pirates’ Jason Atkinson
The Pirates crossed the line for six tries against none conceded but that was not the idea of the session. Cornish Pirates Director of rugby Ian Davies felt that evening was beneficial in the context of his squad’s pre-season: “It’s good to build on from last Saturday’s 10s tournament at the Mennaye. Tonight we were able to execute some of our players in contact situations and try out a few moves in preparation for Saturday’s game against Aberavon at the Mennaye (kick-off 5pm).
Photo – Ian Davies looking forward to the season
“We have put together a very exciting squad for this season and I certainly have great optimism for the forthcoming campaign. With the good news re the stadium in recent weeks there is a good buzz around the club both on and off the field, the future is now clearer. It was good to see players like Kyle Moyle looking sharp coming back from injury whilst others such as Tom Duncan and Tyler Gendall aren’t far off a return.”
However, the fear of injury is never far away and both camps look to have players who will miss the start of the season, Kieran Goss (Pirates) and Dave Mankee (Redruth).
In the Reds camp, head coach Steve Larkins was satisfied with his side’s performance against quality opposition. “We’ve had a good training session which turned into a bit of game. I enjoyed it. I thought we acquitted ourselves well. It was a shame we picked up a couple of injuries but hopefully they will prove not to be too serious. I was pleased with our scrum and lineout, especially during the first 30 when we had our first choice pack on, playing up the slope.”
Photo – Redruth’s Steve Larkins happy with the Reds pre-season
One player who caught the eye for the Reds was prop Tom Cowan-Dickie: “He is certainly one for the fans to watch this season: he is a quality player and very versatile as you saw tonight capable of playing in a number of positions.”
Another was recent signing from Camborne, Kieron Westlake who started in the back row before moving out into the backs: “He is another very versatile player,” said Larkins, “normally, a back-rower but a very good footballer. He can kick, run and tackle. A very talented player.” As far as recruitment of players goes, Larkins feels that the Reds are pretty much there: “I am hoping to pick some loan players, maybe two or three to strengthen the squad, but overall I am pretty happy. We had seven, eight or even nine players missing tonight, so it’s very pleasing that the youngsters stepped up. We will be ready for that first league game on the road.”