Match report by Bill Hooper, photos Simon Bryant Iktis photo
Photo Cornish Pirates skipper Tom Duncan takes on the Cornwall pack
The Cornish Pirates ran in nine tries in a sparkling performance against a Cornwall Development side under the lights of the Mennaye
The game was a chance for both camps to run the rule over fringe players and those on the road back to full match fitness following lengthy injury.
Cornwall coach Ian Morgan was pleased with the efforts shown by his squad after just a single training session together: “The stand out moment for me was at the end there where we went through ten phases of play against a professional outfit, the players can take that back to their clubs and work on it.
“I think all twenty-six players that played can take a bow tonight. We had a mix of players who will be competing for both the senior and under 20 squads this season. At times with such a large squad it can be difficult to keep continuity but they all to a man stuck at it.
“In both upcoming campaigns we have got some hard games but I think you saw tonight players coming through. I feel we have a good set-up in both camps. We need experienced players like Damien Cook to guide the youngsters. Last season players like George Jones and Jon Dawe came through and from what I’ve seen tonight there are players there that can come through and make a contribution to Cornwall’s campaign.”
There was a late call up for former Redruth skipper Damien Cook, who contrary to popular belief has not completely retired from the game, but has called time on his National League career.
Photo – Damien Cook came on as a replacement for Cornwall
It didn’t take long for the Pirates to get the first points on the board. Following good work by centre Max Bodilly, taking play into the Cornwall twenty-two, the ball was re-cycled and moved along the line for winger Kyle Moyle to dive in at the Newlyn Gate corner.
Fly-half Laurence May couldn’t add the extras on this occasion but he was on target just a few minutes later adding the extras to the first of skipper Tom Duncan’s brace of tries, as the big No.8 drove over from short-range.
Duncan scored again with a trademark pick-up from the base of the scrum from five meters out, with May bettering the score for 19-0 with barely 20 minutes on the clock.
Cornwall got some go-forward ball earning a penalty that “Eggy” Williams kicked to the corner. From the catch and drive in the murk in the scoreboard corner, referee Kevin Williams spotted a Pirates’ infringement and awarded a penalty try converted by Williams.
Photo – St. Austell’s Ben Chenoweth on the charge
Despite Cornwall making the first of multiple changes during the game, the Pirates were soon back in command scoring two further tries before half-time through flanker Sam Simmonds and hooker Jack Innard, May adding a further conversion for a 31-7 score-line.
The Pirates emptied their bench as well during the second half, but were still too good for a worthy Cornwall side running in a further four tries through Oulton, lock Will Graulich winger Kieran Goss and Simmonds, who also grabbed a second try.
Pirates director of rugby Ian Davies was pleased with his side’s performance and felt that many had put their hand up for a place not just for the forthcoming British & Irish Cup ties but also their next Championship game at Moseley.
Cornish Pirates: B Hopkin (R Brownfield 79), K Moyle (N Sixton 64), M Bodilly (R Coote 64), B Bartlett (T Hendrickson 53), A O’Mera (K Goss 45), L May, J Oulton (T James 58); T Gendall (G Collenette 70), J Innard (T-L Southworth 79), F Deformes (J Tyack ht), W Graulich, B Beukeboom ( B Howe 28), D Lee, S Simmonds, T Duncan (Capt).
Cornish Pirates scores: Tries – Moyle, Duncan (2), Simmonds (2), Innard, Oulton, Graulich, Goss, Conversions – May (5), Bartlett, Hopkin
Cornwall Dev XV: C Williams, J Kessell, J Simmons, D Tout, B Chenoweth, R Kevern, D Rutter; L Chapman, B Taylor (Capt), J Drew, T Whittle, P Hamber, T Simmons, M Grubb, N Stanleick.
Replacements (all used): M Davey, J Tompsett, A Zacharovas, B Trevaskis, D Cook, A Hughes, G Randlesome, B Roberts, T Peacock, A Coad, J Wilson.
Cornwall Dev XV scores: Penalty-try, Conversion – Williams
Referee: Kevin Williams (Cornwall RRS)
Man-of-the-match Tom Duncan, good to see the No.8 back in action following a long running injury, hopefully a better season lies ahead.