Cornwall U20s aim to make home advantage count
CORNWALL Under-20s head coach Tom Rawlings admits it is important to get a win on Sunday when the Duchy face Somerset at Redruth (2pm) in their second group match in this season's National U20 Championship, writes Nigel Walrond.
Rawlings is keen not to heap any undue pressure on the youngsters, but after losing their opening pool match 28-21 to Dorset and Wilts at North Dorset RFC, a victory is crucial if the Duchy are to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition.
Somerset lost 39-12 at home to Devon at Bridgwater and Albion RFC in their opening game.
"It would be nice to win this weekend, because it is our only home game of the group stages," said Rawlings.
"There are a lot of great rugby players there who are playing National League rugby week in and week out, and I think it just shows the standard of rugby is growing throughout Cornwall.
"I think we went through a stage where there were a lot of old heads in teams, but I think that is passing through now and the youngsters are coming through.
"You look at Redruth, they are blooding young lads, and our Cornwall Under-20s captain, Neil Broadbank, has made a couple of starts for them at openside flanker, and there are plenty of other examples of that as well.
"Duncan Hales is in the Cornish All Blacks' first-team mix, Sam Chapman is playing regularly for Launceston, and there are guys getting regular first-team game time at clubs like Wadebridge and Penryn, and all over the county.
"It is nice to see talent coming through and stepping up and playing men's rugby."
Cornwall have made six changes, with St Ives full back Jamie Prisk, Bude winger Kyle Spear, Cornish All Blacks winger Luke Tidball, Bath University scrum half Luke Asbridge, UWIC hooker Ted Allsopp and All Blacks back rower Matt Bolwell all coming into the starting line-up.
St Ives scrum half Max Bodilly has recovered from injury to take a place on the replacements' bench.
Truro's Jack Innard was initially selected at hooker, but he is slightly too young to be eligible for the game so has had to drop out.
Cornwall U-20s v Somerset: J Prisk (St Ives), Spear (Bude), Hendrickson (Truro College), S Chapman (Cornish All Blacks), Tidball (All Blacks), Moyle (St Ives), Asbridge (Bath University), Cinnamond (Wadebridge Camels), Allsopp (UWIC), Roach (All Blacks), Hales (All Blacks), T Prisk (St Ives), Instance (Stithians), Broadbank (Redruth, capt), Bolwell (All Blacks).
Replacements: Brownfield (Pirates Amateurs), Brewer (Wadebridge C), O'Keeffe (Truro), Stanleick (St Ives), Bodilly (St Ives), Ninnes (St Ives), Edwards (All Blacks).
The torrential rain on Saturday played havoc with the scheduled league programme.
Camborne's Tribute South West 1 West game at Sidmouth was called off and will now be played this Saturday, as will the postponed Tribute Western Counties West matches between Penryn and Exeter Saracens and Truro and Torquay Ath.
No games were played in the Cornwall and Devon League, but this Saturday Hayle will be at Liskeard-Looe and Falmouth at Teignmouth.
In Tribute Cornwall One the only game to be played saw leaders Veor bounce back from their first defeat of the season at Helston the previous week with a 37-13 home win over Roseland.
In Cornwall 2, St Day overcame visiting Lankelly-Fowey 33-0, with all the other games being postponed.
Fixtures page 116 Sport Digest
The draw has been made for the semi-finals of both the CRFU Tribute Cornwall Cup and Tribute Clubs' Cup.
It is: Tribute Cornwall Cup: Camborne v Bude; Wadebridge Camels v St Ives.
Tribute Clubs' Cup: Stithians v Camborne School of Mines.Veor v St Agnes or Helston RFC.
The semi-finals in both cups are due to be played on Saturday February 23.
Truro Under 16s squad are urgently in need of a temporary floodlit training pitch/surface for a mid-week training session.
Due to ongoing development at Truro, there is currently no floodlit facility for them to use.
They have tried all the local schools and unfortunately, all are booked up until after Christmas.
If anyone has any suggestions, they will be gratefully be received by 32 keen, able and talented young rugby players.
Contact Karen on 01209 716498.