Three games into the season and clubs and supporters alike are beginning to get inkling as to how their season is likely to pan out.
Many will say too early to call but the gut feeling isn’t too far wrong even at this early stage.
The Cornish Pirates difficult start to the campaign continued on Sunday when they travelled to Ashton Gate to take on Bristol and came away with a 45-17 defeat.
It’s been a tough start for a predominantly young squad facing three sides who will figure in the top half of the table this season.
The current campaign is all about survival at this level while hoping that matters off the pitch concerning the STADIUM can finally take a decisive step forward.
This Sunday’s game against Moseley, the first against a side likely to finish in the bottom third of the table, is the first of the Pirates’ BIG games this season in their bid to maintain Championship rugby in the Duchy.
It’s not quite “backs to the wall” but it will require a certain buccaneering spirit to get the campaign up and running and give the coaches, players and supporters something tangible to build on going forward.
It’s going to be their results against sides like Moseley, Plymouth Albion, Jersey, Nottingham and Bedford Blues plus their ability to pick up bonus points where they can that will determine their season.
Support is a key to their success, so getting as many down to the Mennaye to get behind the boys and shout like mad is the part we can ALL play.
You can read Nigel Walrond’s account in the link.
In National League 2 South on Saturday; a loss on the road for the Reds but a welcome first win at Polson for the All Blacks.
Redruth lost for the first time this season 27-20 at Cambridge, not a ground that holds many happy memories for the Reds!
Despite the loss a late rally saw Redruth pick up a losing bonus point with a performance that left head-coach Steve Larkins happier than the win over Launceston the previous week.
They will look to get back to winning ways this Saturday at home to Clifton.
Ed Bawden’s report in the link
The Cornish All Blacks got the win that Director of Rugby Neil Bayliss was looking for as they defeated Shelford 23-15 at Polson despite not playing to their full potential.
Read Suzanne Cleave’s report in the link
In Tribute South West 1West, I took in the game at the Recreation Ground as Camborne got back to winning ways following last week’s loss at Cleve. Clevedon were dogged opponents before three tries in the last ten minutes saw Town complete another bonus point home win 34-23.
Head-coach Liam Chapple is still waiting for his side to deliver an eighty- minute performance and conceded that their defence needs tightening up at times. Another good performance from scrum-half Taron Peacock who scored a couple of tries as did full-back Grant Thirlby with another former Red Ben Drew scoring their other try.
My report in the link
St. Austell slipped to a first home defeat of the season losing 13-30 to Cleve. Trailing 15-6 at the break with just a couple of Andy Ashwin penalties to show for their efforts they shipped further tries in the second half which just a try and conversion from Dan Pearce as consolation.
In Tribute Western Counties West, Penryn after two home wins were defeated in their first trip over the border going down 29-7 at Tiverton. Tom Hoban got their try which Callum Hinchley converted.
Truro got back to winning ways after their loss at Okehampton the previous week with an emphatic 92-10 win at St. Clements against a hapless Tavistock.
Carl Ranscombe lead the try scoring bagging five of Truro’s fourteen tries, whilst Jake Champion added eleven conversions to his hat-trick of tries.
Wadebridge Camels got their first win of the season defeating Okehampton 15-15 at the Molesworth Field. Dan Briskham and Cam Lees scored the two Camels’ tries with James Grubb kicking a couple of penalties.
St. Ives’ difficult start to the season continues as they slumped to a third defeat this time at home to Exeter University by 7-77. Ben Jenkins got the Hakes only try which Jacob Ninnes converted just on half-time.
In London 2 SW London Cornish made it two wins from two with a 26-10 win over KCS Old Boys. See the previous blog entry for Ben Gilby’s report.
In Tribute Cornwall & Devon League Pirates Amateurs maintained their fine start to the season with a third win at home against old rivals Hayle 25-6. Nick Hitchens, Danny Toolan and Rhys Brownfield scored the Ams’ tries with Brownfield also kicking a couple of penalties and conversions. For the Lions Dan Magee kicked a couple of penalties.
Bude’s two match winning run came to an end as they were defeated by league leaders Withycombe 29-5. Adam Black with the North Cornwall side’s only try.
Saltash defeated Falmouth 32-17 at Moorlands thanks to tries from Will Morton (2), Steve Hillman and Max Venables with Venables also kicking three conversions and two penalties.
For the Eagles Tom Spiller & Andrew Munroe-Lott (2) scored tries with Spiller kicking a conversion. Falmouth will look to get their season up and running at home to South Molton on Saturday.
Liskeard-Looe slipped to a third defeat as they lost at OPMs 31-8, Pete Regan scored the Lions’ try with John Thompson adding a penalty.
St. Agnes will represent Cornwall in the RFU Junior Vase following their win against Veor 21-15 in the final of the county qualifying tournament.
Some County fixture news;
The Tamar Cup match against Devon will be held at Plymouth Albion’s Brickfields Ground on a date to be arranged in late April next year.
Cornwall’s Under 20 fixture against Devon has been scheduled for Sunday January 25th at Ivybridge RFC
The other U.20 pool 3 fixture will be against Gloucestershire in Cornwall date and venue to be confirmed.