It was a cold but sunny Saturday afternoon in Camborne for the Pirates first home league match of 2009 and as has been the norm this season it was another one of those rollercoaster afternoons with as many twist and turns in the plot as you find in a good Agatha Christie novel. The press benches were somewhat deserted with it being a Saturday coupled with the call of the FA Cup 3rd Rd, which saw our fellow scribes visiting the Emirates and the not so grandly named Plainmoor. Interesting though with the EDF-Energy National Trophy 4th Rd ties to be played in two weeks time to draw a parallel with soccer and rugby’s take on Cup competitions, a theme that Mark Stevens touched on in today’s Western Morning News. Rugby has struggled with the concept of cup competions at a national level ever since the RFU introduced a National KO Cup competion back in the early 1970’s, in fact the cup wasn’t even a cup, it was a lump of wood with an engraved plaque on it!!! Then of course the Cup got a sponsor, John Player were the first, and a cup. The trouble though was every time a new sponsor came along, they had to have a new cup, so whilst everyone knows that the FA Cup is the FA Cup, no one could remember what the Rugby Cup looked like. This is one of the reasons why Rugby and Cup competions are a complete shambles, you need tradition to build up an image of an event.
I digress, the Cornish Pirates eventually put the disappointment of their heavy defeat up at Exeter Chiefs behind them dispatching Otley 55-13, despite playing most of the match with only 14 men after prop Dan Seal got his marching orders from referee Mr. Knowles after 30 minutes for punching. You can read my match report along with head coach Mark Hewitt’s reactions post match on the main site match reports in the link.
In National League 2 a mixed bag of results, the Cornish All Blacks enjoyed a morale boosting win defeating Waterloo 103 – 5 at Polson scoring 16 tries in total, with loanee signing Jason Luff helping himself to a hat-trick. It is very sad to see a famous club like Waterloo in such dire straits and to see the club hammered like this gives no pleasure to true rugby fans. I hope that the corner can be turned and that the club can re-build once more. In these difficult financial times there are many who will privately think “There but for the grace of God…..”
Redruth made the first of their “long trips” away, to Blaydon and came away with a 13-13 draw, after trailing 13-3, they hit back with tries from Mark Bright and Paul Thirlby to tie the scores, a late drop-goal attempt by Mark Scrivener cannoned off a post, so it could have been all four points ! With many games being postponed, fixture backlogs will do nobody any favours, Redruth stretched their lead at the top by another two points.
Mount’s Bay lost the game they had to win at home to Stourbridge 14-9 to complicate their ever decreasing chances of survival in National League 2, or at this level for next season! With a trip to Birmingham next up and then the visit of Cambridge, January looks like a hard old month for the Bay, not to mention Esher in the Trophy, tough, very tough!
Only one re-arranged game in the Tribute league with St. Ives finally playing Brixham and losing out 16-11 in the South West 2 West encounter.
Two Preliminary Round Skinners Brewrey Cornwall Cup ties played, Falmouth won for the first time this season defeating Saltash 37-19 at the Rec, whilst Hayle defeated Newquay Hornets 13-10 in a tight affair. Falmouth now face Bude and Hayle will entertain Camborne in the 1st Rd proper, other ties will see Truro host Penryn and St. Ives face holders Wadebridge Camels, ties to be played by 18/01/09!
I read in the Rugby Times this week that scrummaging guru Keith Roach has called on Cornishman Phil Vickery to lead the Lions in South Africa. Well after watching the “Raging Bull” in action for Wasps against Harlequins on Sunday I wouldn’t be surprised if Martin Johnson appoints him as England skipper during the 6 Nations and he goes on to lead the Lions, he’s right back to the old Vickery that we have followed through thick and thin over the years.