McATEE SET TO BOOST CORNWALL’S ATTACKING OPTIONS
By Bill Hooper, at the Recreation Ground.
Cornwall went through their final preparations for Saturday’s vital Bill Beaumont Cup match against Hertfordshire at Hertford RFC kick-off 2 pm at a damp and dismal Redruth on Wednesday evening under the watchful eye of Cornwall’s head coach Dave “Benji” Thomas.
However, on the pitch running around with his usual enthusiasm and looking to get involved with the ball was Cornish Pirates’ winger Rhodri McAtee who is set to leave the Mennaye at the end of the season and could very well end up at Redruth next season where he played a few games on loan this season.
After training Benji gave us his thoughts starting with team selection. He said. “The forwards will be the same as started last Saturday against Gloucestershire. In the backs sadly Ryan Westren (London Scottish) still hasn’t recovered from his groin injury, so Steve Johns (Plymouth Albion) moves from the wing to the centre with Lewis Paterson, and we have brought Rhodri in on the wing.
Benji was delighted to be able to have McAtee in his side. “The strength of the Hertfordshire side is in their backs hopefully we are going to be able to match pace with pace especially on the wings with both McAtee and Richard Bright.
“Hopefully we can get enough possession to get the ball wide to our wingers and they will show their paces on Saturday.
“Hertfordshire are going to be a very tough side to beat on Saturday. They have got a few players from Saracens in their side and they are going to be an unknown quantity, but at the end of the day we’ve just got to get on and deal with the opposition on the day, no matter who they play for we’ve got to stick to our game plan and go through our structure and shape and hope to come out with a win which will put us in a good place prior to the final group match against North Midlands on Saturday week at Camborne.
He agreed that the Cornish boys would be travelling with confidence after last Saturday’s great win over Gloucestershire at Redruth. “That Gloucestershire side was as big as we have ever played and I think our boys showed terrific passion and pride against them.
Benji has also had a detailed report of Hertfordshire’s win over North Midlands compiled by London Cornish Director of Rugby Dickon Moon. “I’ve had some long conversations with Dickon he has given me a lot of information which I have passed on to the boys along with a video of their game. So it’s very much a case of “One and All” coming together for Cornwall.
Cornwall (Cornish All Blacks unless otherwise): B Rule (Redruth), R Bright, S Johns (Plymouth Albion), L Paterson, R McAtee (Cornish Pirates), L Webb, G Goodfellow (Redruth); D Jacques (Redruth), J Salter, C Williams (Redruth), B Hilton (Capt), B Jenkins (Cambridge), M Rawlings, T Rawlings, S Hocking (Plymouth Albion).
Replacements: R Brown (Redruth), P Joyce (Redruth), C Fuca (Redruth), T Duncan (Redruth), D Pascoe (Penryn & Royal Navy), J Murphy, T Notman (Redruth) .