A 23-man Cornwall U17 squad travelled to Dorchester RFC on Sunday (29th Jan) to play in a "tri-angular" fixture against Dorset & Wilts and Somerset.
The idea of a 3-way fixture was trialled this season between the three sides to try and get to see more players playing, with the first 3-way being played at Newquay RFC on 18th Dec 2016. On that occasion Cornwall came away with two wins from their two games
There a 3 x 40 min games played ( 2 x 20 min half) with each side plating twice.
This weekend saw the Cornwall squad travel the distance to Dorchester RFC, with the heavy rain all the way it was obvious that it wasn't going to be a day for free flowing rugby. However all sides tried to play as expansive as they could.
The first game of the day saw Cornwall take on Somerset. Cornwall started well and were dominant for the first 10-12 mins and spent much of the time camped in the Somerset "22" but poor decision making and forced passes meant they failed to convert into points. On the break, following a quick tap penalty, Somerset found themselves in unfamiliar territory, the Cornwall half. quick thinking and quick feet found the Somerset 9 score a try against all the play. Half time score Cornwall 0 - Somerset 5
Cornwall continued to dominate possession in the 2nd half and finally managed to score through good forward play around the ruck. Now playing with much more control Cornwall managed to finish of the game when they cleverly reversed the direction of play and found the Somerset defence outnumbered. Good handling, especially in the horrendous conditions found Cornwall scoring out wide.
Final score Cornwall 10 - Somerset 5
Next up for Cornwall was Dorset & Wilts. This time the game seemed far more balanced, whether that was because Cornwall had already played 40 mins of rugby or whether the heavier D&W pack were more competitive it wasn't clear. Again a tight affair on the field, with conditions deteriorating rapidly managed a single score toward the end of the first half. Half time Cornwall 5 - D&W 0. The Cornwall defence was tested on a number of occasions by the D&W pack with some very strong runners but the "Black & Gold" wall stood firm. Even when camped on the Cornwall line for 5 mins the D&W players couldn't break through. With only seconds to go the Cornwall side set up for a final flurry but with conditions as they were and the pressure put on the Cornwall fly half plans had to change. Calmly the Cornwall FH (Aaron Simmonds, Newquay RFC) step passed an oncoming defender, onto his left foot and placed the ball straight through the posts.
Final score Cornwall 8 - D&W 0
This sees the end of the U17 season with losses to Truro School 1st XV and Plymouth College 1st XV but with 4 wins from 4 against Somerset and Dorset & Wilts.
The coaching team have given nearly 50 players the opportunity to pull on a Cornwall shirt this year with next seasons U18 squad being selected from this seasons U17 players.
Squad for Dorchester RFC "Tri-Angular" Fixture
- Callum Looker (Camborne RFC)
- Darrall Bristow (St Austell RFC)
- Jack Maclean-Brown (Camborne RFC)
- Joshua Barbery (St Austell RFC)
- Rory Mead (Bude RFC)
- Sam Benson (Penzance & Newlyn RFC)
- Leoin Cole (Launceston RFC)
- Billy Bromfield (Newquay RFC)
- Rob Freeth (Truro College)
- Patrick Parry (Redruth RFC)
- AJ Stanfield (Redruth RFC)
- Reuben Dorean-Mitchell (Hayle RFC)
- Dominic Bolding (Wadebridge Camels RFC)
- Connor Ellery (Truro College)
- Dan Tyrrell (St Austell RFC)
- Aaron Simmonds (Newquay RFC)
- Oliver Aggiss (Liskeard RFC)
- Jordan Smith (Liskeard RFC)
- Josh Mares (Newquay RFC)
- Joe Vanstone (Launceston RFC)
- Fraser Nottle (St Austell RFC)
- Rhys Colrein (Liskeard RFC)
- Shea Cornish (Penzance & Newlyn RFC)