UNDER 20 COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
CORNWALL 9 – 18 GLOUCESTERSHIRE
By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground Redruth.
Cornwall have it all to do in three weeks time against Hampshire following defeat in their second pool game of this season’s Championship.
The conditions suited the big heavy Gloucestershire pack which they revelled in. Sadly Cornwall had no answer to the powerful visiting scrum, they were mercilessly penalised by the referee, with the penalty count against them well into double figures, and more, by the end. It was a salutary lesson for the lads.
Naturally it was a result and performance that disappointed Cornwall coach Mike Rawlings. He said. “We were never going to win that game without any scrum or set-piece ball, we weren’t good enough today in a game and conditions that suited an upfront game and that obviously cost us dear.
“Credit to the boys, they never gave up trying and at the end they managed to pinch one against the head.
Rawlings acknowledges that it had been a steep learning curve. “Some of the lads learnt a lot today, a steep learning curve for them, hopefully they can take that lesson going forward and we can improve on that in our next game.
“We will regroup at training over the next couple of Sundays at Truro College and look to address the problems we had today.
“The focus now is away to Hampshire if we can get a win up there then we will progress to the quarter finals and that would be a great achievement for this young group this season.
There were aspects from Cornwall’s performance that pleased Rawlings. “I thought Cavan Boyer kicked his penalties very well in difficult conditions. Max Duggan at No.8 carried well he brings a lot of aggressiveness to his game, Cory Teague got through a lot of work and Declan Matthews in the centre tried very hard on a day that didn’t suit the backs.
Playing down the slope into the driving rain Gloucestershire dominated from the kick-off as Cornwall struggled at the set-piece; it was no surprise that the visitors went ahead after just 7 minutes when skipper Tyler Jerum powered over with an unconverted try.
A high ball into the twenty-two from centre Declan Matthews was not released by Gloucestershire’s full back Macaulay Dale leading to a penalty kicked by wing Cav Boyer.
Boyer was on the money with another kick just a couple of minutes later for Cornwall to put his side 6-5 up.
Cornwall were still under pressure at scrum time, eventually referee Max Weston’s patience wore out with Cornwall prop Adam Wright being yellow carded.
Gloucestershire maintained their domination scoring a second try from a catch and drive through winger Terence Barbarinsa, converted by centre Robbie Faulkner.
Cornwall No.8 Max Duggan was having another excellent game, he carried a lot of ball and looked dangerous going forward. A good break by fly-half Callum Boyce led to a third penalty success for Boyer and leave Cornwall trailing 9-12 at half-time.
If Cornwall hoped playing down the slope would bring a change of fortune it didn’t materialise as the rain and murk intensified during the second half. Two penalties from Faulkner closed the game out for the visitors.
Despite great vocal support from the contingent of Trelawny’s Army at the game, Cornwall couldn’t find a way through a very well-organised Gloucestershire defence.
Frustrations erupted a couple of times during the game when a couple of bouts of fisticuffs broke out, but the dye was cast well before the final whistle sounded.
Cornwall must now travel to unbeaten Hampshire for their final game in three weeks time. Hampshire defeated Berkshire 36-24 at Sonning in the other game played on Sunday.
Cornwall U.20s: R Edwards (Launceston), D Hubble (Falmouth), D Matthews (Redruth), M Blee (Camborne), C Boyer, C Boyce (both St. Austell), N Nash (Brixham); A Wright (Redruth), C Dewson (Launceston), K Vinson (Penryn), H Culverhouse, C Teague (both Wadebridge Camels), J Osborne (Launceston), W Gilder (Capt), M Duggan (both St. Austell).
Replacements: J Hodge (Redruth), A Vincent (Lankelly-Fowey), M Scott (Saltash), C Sayer (Camborne), B Andrews (Devonport Services), S Firth (Falmouth), H Jones (Unattached).
Cornwall scores: Pens, Boyer (3)
Yellow Card: Wright (20)
Gloucestershire U.20s: M Dale (Bristol Uni), T Babarinsa (Cinderford), R Smith (Cardiff Met), R Faulkner (Drybrook), F Murphy (Cleve), T Webb (Newent), S Boyland (Brighton Uni); C Lane (Lydney), J Williams (Gloucs Uni), A Chalkin (Bristol Uni), W Greenway (Gloucs Uni), R Herbert (Stroud), B Mustoe, T Jerum (Capt) (both Cleve).
Replacements: J Hughes (O Patesians) C Lane (Lydney), F Crosby (Gloucs Uni), M Adams (Cinderford), L Locke (Longlevens), M Loader (Salisbury), F Sharp (Clifton), T Knight (Chosen Hill FP).
Gloucestershire scores: Tries Jerum, Babarinsa, Con, Faulkner, Pens, Faulkner (2)
Referee: Max Weston (Somerset RRS)