With this being the only home fixture for Cornwall U18 group this season, the players and coaches were keen to put on a good display for the faithful Cornish crowd that had gathered at St Austell's Tregorrick Park on Sunday afternoon.
With a few injuries to squad members, the coaches used the opportunity to select from the promising number of U17 players that have been highlighted through the U17 selection process. Even with the changes to the match day 23 the Cornwall players were confident following on from two strong performances against Bucks and Devon.
Things didn't start well though, when Cornwall lost one of their props in the warm-up.
The previous two fixtures had been "selection" games and it was obvious from the start that as this was effectively a "friendly", the intensity wasn't quite the same, as Cornwall looked laboured and couldn't seem to bring the normal consistency to their game. With dominance in the forwards and a huge attacking force in the back line it was only Cornwall's mistakes and frustration that kept Somerset in the game.
Eventually things began to click and Cornwall managed to get on the scoreboard through some excellent continuity play in the forwards. With the offloads now "sticking" confidence was growing. Somerset soon quashed the new found confidence when Cornwall failed to secure the restart and some simple but effective "one up" driving by the visiting forwards led them to the Cornwall line. Only a few meters away Cornwall again were guilty of communication failings when the Somerset 9 simply strolled around the corner of a ruck to score. (7-5)
The Somerset score and the "gentle encouragement" from the Cornwall coaches appeared to concentrate the "black & gold" players as this was to be the final score by Somerset.
Cornwall took a hold of the game and with the forwards being able to provide a solid platform, the impressive backs began to tear holes all through the defence. A further two tries were scored in the first half meaning Cornwall went into the break with a healthy 21-5 lead.
The 2nd half pretty much followed the first with Somerset only managing to break into the Cornish 22 on the rare occasion. The inclement weather probably didn't help matters but it appeared that Cornwall adapted best to the constant changes from sun to rain to hail back to sun again. Cornwall scored a further three unanswered tries in the 2nd half (one converted) to finish off the afternoon 38-5 victors.
The players and coaches would like to thank St Austell RFC for their fantastic hospitality and use of their facilities as always. Thanks again to the large support, including the members of TASC, who braved the cold and wet to cheer on the players.
The U18 season is now complete but the coaching team now move on to the U17 season which begins in earnest on 20th Nov at Bodmin RFC where the annual "squad day" will be held.