THE CORNISH PIRATES followed up their win at the Mennaye over Rotherham Titans with a 17-14 win over the same opponents at Clifton Lane on Saturday.
A result which keeps them handily placed for the RFU Championship semi-finals. Flanker Phil Burgess scored the Pirates’ try with full back Rob Cook slotting four penalties.
A big plus for the Pirates in recent weeks has been the improved form of fly half Ceiron Thomas.
The news off the pitch today is the club confirming the speculation in the Rugby Paper yesterday that centre Drew Locke has signed for Aviva Premiership side Gloucester next season. The possibility remains that this could be the first of a number of player exits at the end of the current campaign with the continued uncertainty over planning for the construction of the Stadium for Cornwall not helping matters. Until the stadium gets the greenlight and the Pirates have a clear pathway to the Premiership then holding on to talented players will be increasingly difficult.
Next Saturday sees the Pirates travel to Pandy Park to take on Cross Keys in an eagerly anticipated British & Irish Cup semi-final, before resuming the Championship play-offs the following week with the visit to the Mennaye of Bedford Blues.
Dick Straughan’s WMN match report is available in the link.
In National League 2 South a mixed bag for our two Cornish Clubs. I don’t think the end of the season can come quick enough for Redruth as once again they fell off badly up at Clifton. Outgoing Director of Rugby Dave Penberthy summed it up pretty well when he said. “We never got going!”
A promising start fell away and the Reds travelled back down the M5 with just a losing bonus point from a 31-24 loss.
It could have gone horribly wrong for the Cornish All Blacks up at Barnes, at one point they were down to thirteen men with centre Lewis Paterson and lock Ben Hilton in the bin. Hilton had scored the All Blacks first try was later to get a red card for second yellow card offence. Richard Bright got the All Blacks’ second try enabling them to get the win 20-13.
In Tribute South West 1 West. Wadebridge Camels enusered they will be playing at this level again next season with 29-20 win at Thornbury, thanks to tries from Ashley Rescorla, Matt Ballard, James Grubb and Shaun Hawkey. A win that will set them up nicely for the CRFU Cornwall Cup Final on Saturday against St. Austell at Penryn.
Camborne ran riot up at Chosen Hill winning by 83-12, scoring twelve tries. After the disappointing results of late this was a shot in the arm for the Cherry and Whites, who will hope to win back the Rodda’s Milk Cup at Redruth on Easter Monday.
Penryn showed good pride in defeating fellow relegation candiates Berry Hill 34-8 at the Memorial Ground. Borough will look to bounce back in Western Counties West next season.
In Tribute Western Counties West, St. Austell geared up for the CRFU Cornwall Cup Final with a 13-6 win over Wellington at Tregorrick Park, thanks to a try from Ian Venner and the boot of Matt Shepherd. Truro had a good win at St. Clements against Devonport Services 32-8 scoring six tries with a brace from Justyn Irons.
Bude lost at relegation haunted Tiverton 41-24, whilst St. Ives had their fate sealed losing at Alexandra Road 36-0 to champions North Petherton
In the Tribute Cornwall & Devon League, Veor’s loss at home to Withycombe 18 – 16 leaves them still in the drop zone back to Cornwall 1. Liskeard/Looe did themselves a favour with a 19-10 win at Plymouth Barbarians, which should see them safe.
Pirates Amateurs had a good win over Newquay Hornets 42-14 and Falmouth won at doomed Torrington 27-11. Hayle lost at third placed Teignmouth 48-14.
In the final game of the seson in Tribute Cornwall 1 Saltash defeated St. Just for the second week running this time 36-0. Both sides meet again on Saturday in the Tribute Cornwall RFU Clubs Cup Final at Penryn. Somehow I reckon it will be a lot closer!
So Easter is almost upon us, once upon a time the season for touring sides to head to Cornwall. There will still be a couple of hardy visitors, Old Dunstonians returning for their 78th Easter Tour, with games against Penryn, Falmouth and Truro and Imperial Medics continous tourists at Easter since 1925.
As mentioned previously it’s Tribute Cornwall RFU Cup Finals Day on Easter Saturday at Penryn RFC
Clubs Cup Final Saltash v St. Just kick off 1-15 pm
Cornwall Cup Final Wadebridge Camels v St. Austell kick-off 3-45 pm
Club bars open
Also at Penryn on Easter Sunday is the Penryn Easter 7’s
Easter Monday the old foes lock horns again as Redruth take on Camborne for the Rodda’s Milk Cup kick -off 3 pm.