Is that the fate of our three National League 2 clubs this season? Noises from certain well-connected quarters are seeming to suggest that the RFU in their bid to create a 12 club second tier will have no promotion from National League 2 this season, with four clubs comming down from National League 1! Furthermore it looks likely as if National 2 clubs will be merged with clubs from National leagues 3 North and South to create three regional league at level 3.

The outcry from clubs such as the Cornish All Blacks, Birmingham & Solihull or Cambridge, who have invested heavily during the close season in players to mount a serious assult on promotion will gather force if this ill conceived idea is pushed through.

It’s no secret that the RFU have been looking at cutting funding to clubs at level 3, putting more funds towards the 12 surviving National 1 clubs. What is disturbing is the fact that to date we have had no directive from the “powers that be” with only five days to go until the start of the new National League 2 campaign, this is laughable!

Following Redruth, I very much enjoy the level of rugby that they are now playing at, I also enjoy games against clubs from the Midlands and “Up North” who bring a greater intensity to their play, which I believe helps southern clubs in their development. I believe the Redruth players have benifited from the regular exposure to that style of play.

The whole sorry saga is very depressing and leaves a bad taste in the mouth!! RFU sort it out now!

League action got under way in National League 1 this weekend with the Cornish Pirates getting off to a fine start with a 48-5 win over the Newbury Blues on Sunday at Camborne. Whilst coach Mark Hewitt will no doubt conceed that everything was not quite perfect on the opening day he will be satisfied that his side have immediatly answered one of the biggest criticisms aimed their way last season, failing to secure the bonus point. Seven tries scored is a fine return in any match and should set them up for the tricky visit to the Butts Park Arena, Coventry on Saturday. Following an early penalty from fly-half Doug Snaft winger Marika Vakacegu scored the opening try following a fine chip ahead from skipper Addy Winnan, Snaft added the extras. A second try came on 33 mins from new No.8 Bertrand Bedes who powered over from the base of a scrum near the Blues line. Snaft kicked his second conversion for 17-0. Newbury pulled a score back when winger Humphries capitalised on a grubber kick from former Redruth fly-half Gareth Griffiths to score what was to prove his sides only points of the afternoon. Before half-time the Cornish Pirates scored a third try through flanker and former Blues player Chris Morgan, Snaft’s conversion left the home side 24-5 up at the break.

The bonus point was secured early in the second half as Welsh flyer, Rhodri McAtee rounded off a fine move. Snaft kicked his fourth conversion before departing to be replaced by Tom Luke. The Pirates made their usual raft of replacements, with Darren Dawidiuk on for Rob Elloway scoring the fifth try. Jimmy Moore on for Mark Ireland scored the sixth whilst it was the skipper who scored the final try, Winnan scoring in the final move of the game with Moore converting. A promising start.

Attention in the Duchy will turn to National 2 next Saturday, with the Pirates up at Coventry in Nat 1. Redruth entertain Birmingham & Solihull Bees, a stern test against one of the sides that came down last season and who were planning on bouncing back up. The Cornish All Blacks travel to Southend looking for an opening day win, whilst new boys Mount’s Bay make the long trip up to Tynedale to take on fellow new boys at this level.

No regional league matches, but there is the 1st round of the EDF-Energy Senior Vase with Saltash vs. Truro being the pick of the round locally.

STOP PRESS! Read Martyn Thomas’ comments in Plymouth Hearld today.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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