Josh & Matt’s take on Cornwall’s semi final win
By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground Camborne
Sheer delight and happiness was etched on the faces of Cornwall Under 20 coaches Josh Lord and Matt Shepherd after the final whistle saw Cornwall home 9-8 against Cheshire in a tight arm wrestle of a game.
A smiling Matt Shepherd said after the game. “We like to give the supporters a nail-biter and keep them on the edge of their seats, both Josh and I were going through the mill on the touchline, but hats off to the boys they showed huge character.
Shepherd had a lot of praise for fly-half James Tucker. “He showed a lot of maturity today, he’s only just turned 18 and to kick those penalties in these conditions having missed 3 or 4 touch kicks previously, which would have dented the confidence of many players, that shows a true test of character. Don’t forget he played a full eighty the day before for Redruth and then travelled back from Tonbridge.
Shepherd felt that Cornwall didn’t deviate too far from their expansive game plan despite the conditions. “We looked to move the ball wide when we could and we attacked the space, we still have work to do ahead of the final but defensively we were pretty sound apart from when they scored but that was a lapse after we had been camped in their half for so long but didn’t get our reward.
“To be fair we didn’t have to say much at half-time the boys said themselves it wasn’t good enough and they had to put it right, but credit to Cheshire they defended very well but indiscipline cost them in the end.
Thoughts now turn to Yorkshire and the final. “We will go up there well prepared and give it our best shot, if we play to our potential then we will be in a good position to do ourselves proud.
Josh Lord was delighted with the forward game from Cornwall. “They went well and earned the hard yards, it wasn’t pretty at times but the set-piece was strong. The bench kept the momentum going. It was day to grunt out a victory, so I am pleased.
Lord was pleased with the way the line out went. “Despite the wind we were spot on with our throwing in, so that was good and gave us a lot of go forward ball and when you have big ball carriers like Ollie Andrews and Jack Hodge you are making ground.
“We have thirteen of our lads at the South West trials next Sunday at Keynsham, so we will reconvene after that, Yorkshire will be in the same position with the North trials. We will prepare a good training schedule prior to Twickenham.