Cornwall go into the second pool match against Gloucestershire at Camborne this Saturday (kick-off 3 p.m.) buoyed by their fine win against North Midlands at Redruth last Saturday 65-22.
Gloucestershire travel to Cornwall on the back of a 30-19 defeat at Cinderford against Hertfordshire knowing that a second defeat will leave them in a battle to avoid relegation on the final day.
PHOTO JOHN BEACH – BJ CHAPMAN ON THE BREAK AGAINST NORTH MIDLANDS
Cornwall coach Graham Dawe isn’t one to get carried away as he knows that sterner tests are to come, beginning with visitors Gloucestershire this Saturday. He said. “Although we won the match against North Midlands there were areas of our game that we need to work on during this week. We had much of the play up front but we need to tighten up our defence before the game against Gloucestershire this week. It was good for us to introduce some new young faces into the match day squad. Nobody should be complacent over their place; we have a number of good quality players to select from for the next games”.
PHOTO – CORNWALL TRAINING AT CAMBORNE RFC YESTERDAY EVENING
Cornwall captain Ben Hilton was pleased with his players’ efforts and the support of the Cornish fans at Redruth. “Pulling on the Cornwall strip is a real honour for these guys and the battle scars and tiredness of the domestic season seems to fade away. It is also so pleasing that players from the different clubs join together at the end of each season to become team Cornwall. Our guys really appreciate the very loyal and large number of people who turned up support the team.” He further commented “The players really respond to the fans, and thanked them for attending and urged them to come along and support the team at the remaining games”.
A player who caught the eye last Saturday was young Cambridge prop Jamal Ford-Robinson, Jamal came up through the junior ranks at Penryn, Penzance & Newlyn and Redruth before attending the Leicester academy, he has already played for the full England Counties XV this season against France and Ireland. He spoke of his great thrill at playing for Cornwall last Saturday. He said. “It was great to come back and play at Redruth, at the beginning of the season I made my senior debut with Cambridge at Redruth, this time it was good to have the crowd on my side when we were scrummaging down in Hell fire corner during the first half the atmosphere was great and really lifted the pack. There is a real buzz within the camp going into this campaign which has given the boys a real lift, but the coaches are keeping our feet on the ground and we are just taking it one game at a time”.
PHOTO BY JOHN BEACH – JAMAL FORD-ROBINSON ON THE CHARGE
CRFU President Kenny Plummer who played for Cornwall in the 1969 County Championship Final at Redruth was delighted with Cornwall’s opening performance in tricky conditions. “A potential tricky first game against North Midlands was going to be a test for our squad. It ended with a well-deserved but hard-fought victory, winning 65 – 22. The weather conditions at Redruth were extremely blustery however apart from one shower it remained dry for the guys in the Black & Gold, I am extremely proud of the start they have made to this year’s campaign”.
Cornwall have been forced into making changes with the unavailability of winger Rhodri McAtee, who is competing at the Amsterdam 7’s tournament this weekend, and injury to fly-half Paul Thirlby. Tom Notman comes into the starting XV from the bench with Camborne’s Joel Matavesi, who enjoyed a fine game in the Cup Final against St. Austell coming onto the bench. Former Penryn and Cornish All Blacks’ Lewis Webb takes over the fly-half berth form the un-lucky Thirlby.
Tom Rawlings is fit having missed the Tamar Cup and North Midlands games and comes into the side in the back row at the expense of fellow All Black Lloyd Duke.
Darren Jacques unavailable last weekend comes back into the frame and will be on the bench.
Gloucestershire, so often Cornwall’s bête-noir in the 1970’s and 80’s, travel to Cornwall having lost their opening game to Hertfordshire at Cinderford 30-19 last Saturday.
Gloucestershire started poorly against their visitors who with the wind raced into a 20-5 half-time lead and then in the second half soaked up pressure seizing scoring chances to close out the game despite a mini-revival from the Gloucestershire side.
They have made some interesting changes with the dangerous Jaike Carter forming a club partnership at centre with Seb Rodwell and the abrasive Loti Molitika coming into the back row. Gloucestershire are always formidable opponents and they will hope to repeat the result of their Under 20’s against Cornwall earlier in the season at Camborne.
CORNWALL: 15. Kieron Lewitt (Cornish All Blacks), 14. Lewis Vinnicombe (Truro), 13. Ryan Westren, 12 Nielson Webber (Both Cornish All Blacks), 11. Tom Notman (Redruth), 10. Lewis Webb (Cornish All Blacks), 9. Greg Goodfellow (Redruth); 1.Jamal Ford-Robinson (Cambridge), 2.Jamie Salter (Cornish All Blacks), 3. Craig Williams (Reduth), 4. Ben Hilton (Cornish All Blacks, Capt), 5.Damien Cook, 6.Chris Fuca (Both Redruth), 7.Tom Rawlings, 8.Barrie Chapman (Both Cornish All Blacks).
Replacements: 16.Ben Priddey (Redruth & Royal Navy), 17. Darren Jacques (Truro), 18. Bryn Jenkins (Cornish All Blacks), 19. Tony Whittle (Falmouth), 20. Lewis Paterson (Ivybridge), 21. Matt Shepherd (St. Austell), 22. Joel Matavesi (Camborne)
Reserves : Richard Brown, Jess Tompsett (Both Redruth), Jake Murphy (Cornish All Blacks), Sam Parsons (Redruth)
GLOUCESTERSHIRE: 15. Stefan Hawley, 14. Sam Baker (both Cinderford), 13. Jaike Carter, 12. Seb Rodwell (both Hartpury ), 11. Leo Fielding (Chinnor), 10. Mike Wilcox (Cinderford), 9. Sam Arnott (Lydney); 1. Joe Smart, 2. Tom Bozzard (both Cinderford), 3. Scott Fritchley (Old Centrailians), 4. Brett Scriven (Lydney) 5. Lance Randall (Cinderford, 6. Loti Molitika (Cinderford ), 7. Will Jones (Lydney, Capt), 8. Mike Uren (Dings Crusaders).
Replacements: 16. James Brooks (Cinderford), 17. Nathan Taylor Hartpury),18. Josh Lloyd (Dings Crusaders), 19. Harry Hone (Avonmouth OB’s), 20. Roger Birkin 21. Alex Frame (Both Cinderford), 22. Christian Gervais (Old Redcliffians).