County news round up

Photo: Josh Lord & Matt Shepherd Cornwall Under 20 coaches

It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks, having an enforced week with no scheduled games and then the following Saturday almost wiped out by the snow and ice.

At least the Cornish Pirates have been able to make hay beating both Yorkshire Carnegie and Doncaster Knights on successive Sundays.

The match reports are detailed in the blog. Cornish Pirates are off again this coming weekend as no matches are programmed in the Championship!

Cornwall Under 20s have qualified for the national quarter-finals following their thrilling 23-20 win at St. Austell against Hampshire last Sunday. If they can defeat Dorset & Wilts in their final game at Dorchester then they will have a home tie.

The Intermediate Cup saw St. Austell travel to high-flyers Coney Hill from Western Counties North, sadly the Saints were soundly beaten 65-17 thus exiting the competition.

On a more happy note last season’s defeated semi-finalist in the Senior Vase, Saltash, are back on the hunt following their fine 32-21 win at Gordano. They now host  Slough in the next round on March 17th.

St. Austell are of course still involved in the County Cup and were due to host St. Ives on Saturday March 17th. With the fixture backlog Saints will be at Crediton on that date, so it now seems likely that their semi-final in the county cup will be played on Easter Saturday, with the county final now possibly taking place on Monday 7th May. This is all subject to confirmation from the CRFU.

The other tricky topic on cups is whether the Cornwall clubs cup will be held this season as sides in both Cornwall 1 & 2 struggle to complete their league fixtures.

St. Ives are looking a shoe-in for the Tribute Western Counties title with just five games left to play. In one of the few games played last Saturday they won at Truro 38-13.

Hakes scored six tries through Pete Mabbott (2), Martyn Lawrence, Rob Elloway, Joe Parma and Tom Nicholas with Rhys Brownfield landing four conversions.

Jack Tidball pulled a try back for Truro converted by brother Luke whilst “Eggy” Williams kicked two conversions.

Wadebridge Camels travelled to Devonport Services but sadly lost 28-20. It looks like either Services or St. Austell for the play-off spot behind St. Ives. Both sides meet this Saturday at Tregorrick.

For the record Shaun Hartley and Adam Blackmore scored tries both bettered by James Grubb who also landed two penalties.

It was good to learn that Penryn’s Aaron Simmonds (pictured below) has been named in this season England Counties U.18 squad.

Following a selection weekend at Stourbridge RFC Aaron, the only representative from Cornwall in the squad, sadly both Mike Austin (Falmouth) and Fraser Nottle (St. Austell) missed out, will be in the squad for matches against Ireland on 4th and 7th April. Both games will take place at HMS Temeraire. Prior to those games, the England Counties side will play a warm-up match against Ealing Trailfinders Academy on 10th March.

Simmonds has played three times for the first team this season, scoring a try and two conversions in the process.

Speaking about the fantastic news, Penryn coach Ian Morgan said: “Aaron came to us after the Colts at Newquay Hornets had folded. He was quick to adapt and showed huge potential straight away. He was a key part of our early league success and we are really pleased for him. He deserves everything that he has achieved, he works hard at his game, and he is always looking to improve. We can’t wait to see where he goes from here. Hopefully we will see him in a Borough shirt again, but I am sure doors will open for him now.”

Aaron will be in good company as the side will once again be managed by former Redruth DoR, Dave Penberthy.

Other good news from the Borough Penryn U18 Girls prop Mia Abbott-Smith (pictured below)  recently attended the U18 Centre of Excellence assessment at the Bristol Centre Of Excellence and the club are incredibly excited to announce that she has been offered a place on the program, the only girl from Cornwall to be selected. This news means that Mia is officially now an elite rugby player with a clear player pathway through to represent England Women.


With Mia still being only fifteen this is a massive achievement for her age category but not a surprising one as Mia is a talented rugby player who has the skill and attitude to succeed. She has completed a successful season for Cornwall and has more games to come for Penryn.

She is a pleasure to coach and has excelled at ‘Playing the Borough Way’, taking on board advice and working hard, at training and on her own initiative, on areas of her game which has seen her develop quickly. As a girls section we are very proud of her where she serves as a role model to other talented, up and coming Rugby players and we will now work closely with the centre of excellence to ensure she continues to thrive.

The Cornwall Rugby Football Union (CRFU) are delighted to announce that their chosen charity for 2018 will be the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust (RCHT), Children’s Unit, play room and sensory rooms.

Photo Iktis photo: Cornwall squad members learning about the work of RCHT Children’s Unit play room and sensory rooms.

Over the past few years people involved with the CRFU have nominated a local charity to support. This support comes with some fund raising, but mainly giving the charity the opportunity to do a match day collection at our home games in the Bill Beaumont County Championship. Please give as generously as you can when the collectors come around.

This year, there are two home games, on Saturday 5 May and Saturday 12 May, where our opponents will be Surrey and Devon respectively.

The CRFU hope that the funds raised will assist, not only the charity, but the young people who will use the services that the charity provides.

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