Bill Hooper

Bill Hooper

Assistant Hon. Secretary Cornwall RFU

Cornwall Girls Under 15s Part 2

Photo: Ross Tucknott with Cornwall Girls Under 15 squad.


With the running order for the afternoon 7s games the same as before, Cornwall got to warm up against an imperious Devon side who swept all before them. Despite that, it took most of the first half for the black and gold defence to be overcome, and Hannah Dawes' elusive running was a constant thorn in their side. Yet two quick tries just before the break were followed by three more in the second half, with big carries from Farrah Sarle and Avril Crabb the main Cornish attacking highlights.

Devon 7s 33-0 Cornwall 7s

The home side were next, and straight from the start proved more accommodating as Plant broke through challenges to score under the posts, Osman converting. Gloucestershire tried responding but Maeve Turley and Karkeek made strong tackles, Cornwall forced a turnover and Plant raced away for another in the corner before the break.

Gloucestershire won a turnover themselves and got an unconverted score back, only for Smith to catch the restart and race through almost untouched for an unconverted third. Rosie Innins, Grace Price and Becky Bennett held back the home attack with some outstanding tackles, and finally Wormsley's attack led to Tamsin Wilson dotting down for the final score.

Gloucestershire 7s 5-22 Cornwall 7s

The campaign then climaxed with a stunning performance against Somerset's specialist 7s team. After a couple of phases, the ball was passed wide to Smith who scythed through the defence for the opening score. Cornwall then started playing at another level, with first Jehu making a big carry then assist India for the score, then more patient phases culminated in some champagne rugby releasing a rampant Smith for a third try. Osman converted all three, including an epic long-distance effort, and looked set to finish the half with a fourth only for Vickery's try beside the posts  disallowed for a marginal forward pass after yet more impressive play.

A fourth nearly came after the restart after Meagan was once more unleashed along the wing from halfway, but an immense cover tackle forced her to knock on as she was diving for the line. That seem to give Somerset a second wind, breaking near their own line and running the whole length of the pitch to score, then soon after repeating the feat, but it was too little too late and Cornwall claimed a second successive win against the 7s side that had dominated the opening county festival weekend.

Somerset 7s 10-21 Cornwall 7s

So with 3-0 series wins over Somerset and Gloucestershire in the 15s, plus giving Devon a couple of scares along the way too, the girls added 4 wins out of 6 in the 7s to their tally since the opening weekend's first ever foray into the format. All in all a successful and extremely satisfying campaign for all concerned, and all done under the Half Game Rule giving all 29 squad members near-identical playing times!

More importantly, the amount of fun being had by the Cornish girls along the way was a joy to watch, and their growth as players and a team too was plain to see.


Thanks to Cheltenham Tigers and Gloucestershire RFU for hosting us; the referees for officiating in the morning; the coaches who officiated the 7s; the volunteers who ran the line; the coach driver from Hopleys; the parents for supporting their girls all the way; Bodmin RFC for the training venue; the coaches, team managers, support staff, medics and volunteers without whom none of this would have been possible; Anna Garmen and Paige Clarke, who despite injury after contributing so much in the earlier rounds came along and made the wonderful notes that this report is written from!


Well done girls. The future of Cornish rugby is bright indeed.

Squad: Sophie Daniel, Josie Plant, Evie Curnow, Ellie Richards, Rosie Innins, Eloise Maniglia, India Bennett, Millie Osman, Pyper Karkeek, Lucy Mills, Farrah Sarle, Hannah Dawes, Emily Joyce, Avril Crabb, Izzy Holmes, Nicola Wormsley, Maddie Meagan, Emily Hoskin, Maeve Turley, Betty Matthews, Abbey Smith, Tamsin Wilson, Chiana Alee, Lilly Jehu, Ellie Bardoe, Becky Bennett, Grace Bewshea-Price, Bryher Ingram and Chloe Vickery


Coaches: Gavin Mountjoy, Ross Tucknott

Cornwall Girls Under 15s complete festival program

Cornish Girls Sign Off In Style


by Ross Tucknott (Backs Coach), Anna Garmen and Paige Clarke (Players)

Cornwall's U15 girls' third festival outing finished on a high in Gloucestershire as they matched their previous best of 4 wins from 6 with some new-found expansive style to add to their powerful trademark forward play.

The 5:30am start at Chiverton was the start of a real “on-tour” style day, with the squad emerging from the coach at Cheltenham Tigers and rocking their way through the clubhouse to the changing room in an eclectic array of onesies, setting the tone for the fun still to come!

The 15-a-sides: Devon, Somerset and Gloucestershire

Any hope of easing their way into the day evaporated with the schedule setting Cornwall against top opponent Devon in the opener, but it was the black and gold jerseys who struck first to shock the favourites. Flanker Josie Plant had already made a couple of impressive opening surges from the kick-off before Cornwall won a scrum on halfway, easily secured by the dominant Cornish pack. Then with Devon confused by the Cornish running lines, looping fly half Emily Hoskin isolated their winger and offloaded to skipper Betty Matthews, with the full back beating her opposite number to open the scoring but narrowly missing her own conversion attempt.

Devon then rallied, playing with the combination of sweeping passing moves, strong support play and intense competition at the breakdown that saw them go undefeated across the campaign, but despite the intense pressure the hearty Cornish defence was only breached once across the following ten minutes, leading to a converted try under the posts. Then, with Cornwall under yet more pressure and with half time approaching, Devon gathered a clearance kick on the Cornish 10m line and a single missed tackle was sufficient to see the green and white hoops to score their second between the uprights, kicking the extras to go to the break 14-5 ahead.

Cornwall restarted and piled on the pressure, letting Devon know they were still in a game by driving Devon back to their own try line and forcing a clearance kick. A Cornish infringement at the breakdown then help Devon work their way deep into the Cornish half but then gave away a scrum from which centre Becky Bennett dragged in multiple defenders with an arcing run then offloaded to winger Maddie Meagan, who won the race to the Devon try line from inside her own 10m line, making it 14-10 with the conversion missed.

Stung back into action, Devon's response was swift as strong carries crafted space in the Cornish line from which they capitalised with a third converted try to make it 21-10. There the scores staying for most of the remainder of the half as both sides tested each other thoroughly but, shortly after hooker Pyper Karkeek had made a massive try-saving tackle on the near side, the talented Devon wingers finally found joy on the far side after the Cornish defence had been sucked in by a flurry of phases with quick ball, giving the Devon side another try right before the final whistle to put a gloss on what had been a far tighter contest than the scoreline suggested.

Devon 26-10 Cornwall

Next up were home side Gloucestershire, who had narrowly succumbed to Cornwall on both previous occasions but were improving with every game. The early exchanges simply reinforced the expectation of another tight match as each team worked through the phases without managing a telling blow. As Gloucestershire mounted another attack some excellent defensive work from Chloe Vickery led to a turnover from which number eight India Bennett smashed her way through numerous challenges back up to her own 10m line before Cornwall won a scrum. Scrum half Chianna Alee's pass met the on-rushing Matthews who broke through the line and raced home under the posts, converting her own try.

The Cornish pack was winning scrums against the head, and with Matthews in particular snuffing out Gloucestershire's repeated attempts to avoid the black and gold forwards it felt like the opposition's try on the half time whistle was very much against the run of play. Gloucestershire finally managed to break through the Cornish defence, but a wonderful try-saving tackle from flanker Emily Joyce proved a brief reprieve as the claret shirts scored from their subsequent 5m scrum, missing the extras to trail the Cornish 5-7 at the break.

Cornwall restarted, Karkeek immediately won the ball back and as the Cornish forwards turned the screw their opponents gave away a pair of quick penalties, the second of which was quickly spun wide to vice-captain Sophie Daniel who drew Meagan's defender to put the winger in for her second unconverted try.

This time the Gloucestershire's response was much swifter, quickly winning the ball back from the restart themselves and going through some strong phases before working a hole in the Cornish defence to score their second, but crucially missing an easier conversion to remain two points behind the visitors.

Cornwall finished in the ascendency, centre Millie Osman's clever kick plus Daniel and Alee's hard chase gifting the team a succession of scrums and penalties deep inside the home 22. India Bennett carried strongly once more over the line only to knock on, another Cornish attack found itself held up in a mass of bodies, and solo drives from Daniel and fly-half Nicola Wormsley similarly met with impregnable opposition before the final whistle sounded.

Gloucestershire 10-12 Cornwall

The Cornwall girls finished their 15s campaign as they started it 4 weeks previous: with a dominant display over Somerset. Clubmate front rowers Lucie Mills, Evie Curnow and Ellie Bardoe had politely asked to finish up alongside each other, but the treatment they dished out to the opposition front row in the opening Somerset scrum (and indeed every single scrum all first half!) was far less reserved, driving them backwards at speed and winning back the ball. Mistakes surrendered possession again, but strong defensive work from Lilly Jehu and Osman saw Somerset driven into touch.

A huge carry from Mills soon saw Cornwall just short of the line, but the referee was no position to see Bardoe pick up and ground the ball over the try line; in the few seconds before she had got around for another angle a pair of Somerset hands had cheekily squirrelled their way under the ball. The sense of injustice soon evaporated though, for India Bennett picked and drove over from the following scrum for an unconverted score and to put an end to the backs getting all the glory... momentarily, as full back Ellie Richards raced through the defence off a scrum after the restart to put Cornwall 0-10 up.

The Cornish forwards were firing on all cylinders now, working from halfway in a series of blistering phases in which the whole pack were involved and culminating in Plant picking and breaking through at a guardless ruck to score between the posts, Richards adding the extras to go in at half time 0-17.

The second half started more scrappily, but Cornwall started to impose themselves once more largely through impressive carries from Richards and prop Eloise Maniglia who was held up over the line. Cornwall refused to surrender territory and soon it was flanker Emily Joyce scoring with Matthews adding the extras, then Matthews came close to scoring again herself after quick ball through the back line nearly saw her through again.

Somerset cleared their lines into the waiting arms of Richards who released winger Abbey Smith at full speed, jinking her way through the defence. Halted ten metres short, Smith offloaded to Daniel who ran an unstoppable support line to complete the morning's scoring and earning the team their largest winning margin of the campaign.

Somerset 0-29 Cornwall



Revised Draw Tribute Cornwall Clubs Cup


Revised Draw for the Tribute Cornwall Clubs Cup, Plate, Vase and Shield 2019

Following the withdrawal of Illogan Park RFC.


GROUP 1, Cornwall Clubs Cup

Round 1 Sat 23/3/19  VEOR     v NEWQUAY HORNETS

                                BODMIN v LANKELLY-FOWEY   

Round 2 Sat 30/3/19  VEOR v BODMIN

                                NEWQUAY HORNETS v LANKELLY-FOWEY

Round 3 Sat 6/4/19    NEWQUAY HORNETS v BODMIN

                                LANKELLY-FOWEY v VEOR


GROUP 2, Cornwall Clubs Plate

Round 1 Sat 23/3/19 HELSTON v ROSELAND

Round 2 Sat 30/03/19 ST. AGNES v HELSTON

Round 3 Sat 6/4/19    ROSELAND v ST. AGNES


GROUP 3, Cornwall Clubs Vase

Round 1 Sat 23/3/19  CAMELFORD v PERRANPORTH

Round 2 Sat 30/3/19 ST. JUST v CAMELFORD

Round 3 Sat 6/4/19 PERRANPORTH v ST. JUST


GROUP 4, Cornwall Clubs Shield FINALS DAY ONLY



Top two sides from Groups 1,2 & 3 qualify for respective finals.