Reds give Pirates stern test

CORNISH PIRATES 46 – 14 REDRUTH

By Bill Hooper at the Mennaye Field.

Redruth will take plenty of positives from their game at the Greene King Championship side, it was a performance that pleased head coach Steve Larkins as the Reds look to build for next Saturday’s opening National League 2 South fixture at Southend. Larkins said after the match. “I thought we played very well and I think for the first hour you would have been hard pushed to tell the sides apart. We showed great enthusiasm during the game and showed up well both in attack and defence, you couldn’t fault us.

“We took our tries very well and I think our second try was the best of the game. We said to the lads if it’s on give it a go and I think Rhodri saw the opportunity to set the move in motion, great hands from Fucs and Browner slipped the tackle and got over the line put us in the lead at that stage.

“Despite the lack of game time I think to hold our own against a Championship side for a good hour and go toe to toe physically with them for the entire game was tremendous and I think we are in a good place prior to Southend. Yes we’ve only had the two games but they have been hard games and will stand us in good stead.

Redruth’s back row of Kyle Marriott, Chris Fuca and Owen Hambly got through a lot of work with locks Chis Bailey and Todd Prisk competing well at the lineout.

The combination of Rhodri McAtee and Greg Goodfellow at half back will cause the opposition plenty of headaches this season, whilst in mid-field Nielson Webber and Sam Parsons will pack a hefty punch going forward.

Despite a few knocks to players Larkins was happy it was nothing too serious. “One or two of the lads had a knocks so we took them off as a precaution but there was nothing serious and they should be fit for next week.”

Prior to the kick-off there was a minute’s silence in respect of Pirate’s supporter and volunteer Peter Cogbill and for Redruth’ s legendary player “Bonzo” Johns.

The first points scoring chance went the way of the Reds after just 3 minutes but full-back Murray Westren saw his effort sale wide of the posts.

The Pirates lost their skipper Chris Morgan very early in the game with a cut which required some twenty stitches, however fly-half Kieran Hallett gave the hosts the lead with a penalty soon after.

Having weathered the early pressure Redruth got back into the game with a series of penalties down in the clubhouse corner, which Westren kicked to touch. The Reds looked to set up a driving maul finally succeeding at the fourth attempt when the Pirates were down fourteen men after lock Will Graulich was yellow carded having taken Red’s skipper Chris Fuca out in the lineout, scrumhalf Greg Goodfellow getting the score.

Westren added the extras for a 7-3 lead. Goodfellow was at his incisive best making some good breaks and bouncing off tackles.

The Pirates soon re-gained the lead with a good try from Canadian full-back Matt Evans from a Luke Jones’ pass. Hallett slotted the conversion for a 10-7 advantage.

Brown’s try again converted by Westren saw the advantage swing back to the Reds as the game went over the half-hour mark.

Scrum-half Tom Kessell made a good break which led to a penalty for the Pirates, which was kicked to the corner, eventually prop Paul Andrew burrowed over for an un-converted try.

Then just on half-time Evans scored his second try of the game with Hallett adding the conversion for a 22-14 lead to the Cornish Pirates.

Kessell took a quick tap penalty in the Reds’ twenty-two early in the second half to run in the Pirate’s fourth try in the scoreboard corner with Hallett again on the money with the extras.

Both sides brought on a raft of replacements during the second half to give players much needed game time, among them last season’s Cornwall 18 group skipper Locryn Williams from the Pirates guesting for the Reds as replacement hooker.

Redruth went down to fourteen men after replacement fly-half Ashley Hosking was yellow carded.

The Pirates greater fitness began to tell as they ran in further tries from Hallett replacement scrum-half Mike Pope and replacement hooker Tom Channon with Hallett adding another couple of conversions.

Cornish Pirates: M Evans, L Jones, T Riley, R James, K Moyle, K Hallett, T Kessell; P Andrew, A Carpenter, A Jamieson, W Graulich, D Barry, C Morgan (capt), A Cheesman, L McGlone

Replacements – T Channon, J Ford-Robinson, T Gendall, W Carrick-Smith, B Howe, J Atkinson, C Pope, L May, T Hendrickson, M Bodilly, M Bolwell

Tries – Evans 27, 40+4; Andrew 35, Kessell 42, Hallett 59, Pope 67, Channon 77

Cons – Hallett 35, 40+4, 42, 59

Pens – Hallett 15

Yellow Card – Graulich 22-32

Redruth: M Westren, R Wedlake, N Webber, S Parsons, J.Kessell, R McAtee, G Goodfellow; J Tompsett, R Brown, C Williams, T Prisk, C Bailey, C Fuca (capt), O Hambly, K Marriott

Replacements – B Drew, L.Williams, T Phillips, J Lamsin, P Joyce, A Hosking, D Rutter, L Thomas D Bonds. T Notman

Tries – Goodfellow 23, Brown 31

Cons – Westren 23, 31

Yellow Card – Hosking 55-65

Referee – D.Proctor (RFU)

Attendance – 843

Posted in Bill's Blog

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