This Saturday Western Counties West league leaders Truro travel to St. Ives for what will no doubt be a keenly contested local derby, writes Bill Hooper.
Truro travel with confidence having defeated Bude 70-21 last Saturday at St. Clements Hill scoring ten tries, to maintain their promotion push at the top of the table.
Local derbies can be a banana skin as Truro found out when they suffered their only loss this season at home to St. Austell with discipline needing to be even higher on the field.
Both clubs are coached by players who were once teammates at Redruth with Hakes coach Paul Thirlby looking to plot the down fall of his old pals Darren Jacques and Mark Richards who jointly coach at Truro.
After a poor start to the season St. Ives have picked up a couple of notable wins in recent weeks against St. Austell and Tiverton and were unlucky to lose last Saturday 26-22 up at Burnham.
Jordan Gott has been kicking the goals for St. Ives and his tussle with Truro’s Ashley Hosking at fly-half who bagged ten conversions against Bude will be one of the highlights.
Hakes player coach Paul Thirlby is looking forward to the game. He said. “This week we are going to have to be at the top of our game. MR and Jacquesy have worked very hard over the past couple of years and are a couple of years in to a process and they are now reaping the benefits of their hard work which is great to see and fair play to them they have a strong squad and have recruited very well in the time they have been there together. Players are going there because of the reputation of both MR and Jacquesy and the high regard in which they are held throughout the county.
Photo: Paul Thirlby will; be looking to stop Truro’s run
After the game when all is dried and dusted on the pitch Thirlby is looking forward to a few drinks with his old teammates. “It will be great to catch up with them before the game and I’m sure during the game a few looks and words will be crossed but at the end we will all sit down have a beer together and have a good catch up and some reminiscing I’m sure. I wish them the best of luck for this week and the rest of the season but Derby games are always a leveller and you never know what can happen, all we can do is go out there as the under dogs with them being at the top of the pile and their form going into the game, and perform. We know if we perform at the best of our ability then we can compete at this level and it will be a great gauge for us as a club to see where we are in regards to the league and the progress we have made.”
Truro have certainly made the sort of start to the season that both Jacques and Richards would have hoped for and Richards is looking forward to catching up with Thirlby. “Its always good to see your old mates and Saturday will be no different. We shall look to plot each other ‘s downfall for eighty minutes and then put the world to rights after that in the bar!
Photo: Truro’s joint head coach Mark Richards
“Paul has done a great job at St. Ives getting them back up last season and looking to play a good brand of rugby.
“We know the form book goes out the window in derby game and this game will be no different. We both know each other’s games inside out as does Jacqusey so maybe we might have an advantage there! We shall be travelling in good spirits eager to keep our good form going.We might have scored a lot of points last week but that counts for nothing on Saturday, we start again from scratch.”
Kick-off for the game at Alexandra Road is 2:30 pm with both sides looking for good crowd support at the game.