Launceston’s Ryan Westren deservedly took the man-of-the match award for the home club with a superb hat-trick of tries and polished all-round performance as the All Blacks took the honours in the first of this season’s Cornish Derbies.
Redruth indiscipline contributed greatly to their own downfall in a display that will have left Redruth’s Director of Rugby David Penberthy fuming with frustration over his player’s performance. Three times during the first half referee Mr. Hall brandished a yellow card in the direction of a Reds’ player!
Owen Hambly was the first to depart after 20 minutes after repeated indiscretions on the deck, then crucially just before half-time Redruth lost both locks Luke Collins and Damien Cook within a minute. The Cornish All Blacks took full advantage during both periods to build up a comfortable lead.
Aaron Penberthy gave Redruth the lead after 17 minutes, but it was short-lived as Launceston’s Mal Roberts landed a penalty following Hambly’s departure and then a conversion to Westren’s first try after 29 minutes.
Roberts then extended his side’s lead following Collins trip to the sin-bin for a high tackle on winger Ben Turner. Cook’s yellow card right on half-time gave the Cornish All Blacks a tremendous advantage at the start of the second half and they made full use of it.
Roberts stretched his side’s lead with an early penalty then converted Westren’s second try which came from a Redruth error as they chased the game. At 23-3 Redruth faced a mountain to climb to get anything from the game. Any hopes were quickly extinguished as Steve Perry kicked out of defence for Launceston, Nathan Pedley mis-judged the ball, which fell kindly for winger Richard Bright who ran in unopposed. Roberts surprisingly failed with the conversion.
The Cornish All Blacks sensed the try bonus point, however they suddenly found themselves down to fourteen men as scrum-half Lewis Webb became the fourth player to see yellow. Collins made the most of a drive in the clubhouse corner to score a try for Redruth, Penberthy’s conversion got the Reds’ into double figures.
Launceston were not to be denied, fittingly it was Westren who got the fourth try to complete his hat-trick following up a kick through from Perry. Roberts added the extras. Moments later salt was rubbed into the Reds’ raw wounds as replacement winger Kerion Lewitt scored Launceston’s fifth try, Westren this time turning provider.
Redruth did salvage a consolation score near the end when replacement winger Sean Hawkey scored a fine un-converted try in the clubhouse corner. At the final whistle Redruth were a well-beaten side and the Polson crowd savoured another derby day victory.
Cornish All Blacks 40 pts
Tries – Westren (3), Bright, Lewitt, Conversions- Roberts (3), Penalties – Roberts (3)
Yellow Card – Webb
Redruth 15 pts
Tries – Collins, Hawkey, Conversion – Penberthy, Penalty – Penberthy
Yellow Cards – Hambly, Collins, Cook
Referee: Mr. T Hall (RFU)
Man-of –the-Match: Ryan Westren (Cornish All Blacks)