Hampshire U20s 25 v Cornwall U20s 19

Despite a valiant fight back in the last ten minutes the young “Black & Golds” went down to a well organised Hampshire side who sealed the group with their third victory of the campaign. Gloucestershire’s victory over Berkshire meant the end of the road for this season’s campaign for Cornwall who finished third in the group.

Cornwall were well supported at Overton RFC who ply their trade in Hampshire II (Level 10 of the rugby pyramid). It was a strange setting for county rugby at the end of what appeared to be a lengthy farm track on a steeply sloping pitch. Apparently, Hampshire Under 20s love it there and they were certainly quickly out of the blocks looking well fired up for the encounter.

Playing up the hill with a strong breeze at their backs the hosts opened the scoring after five minutes with a forty-five-metre penalty from centre Matt Evenhand.  Ten minutes later left wing James Wise showed electrifying pace to exploit the space vacated whilst Cornish full back Toby Robinson was off the field for a head injury assessment. His touch down in the corner went unconverted.

With five minutes of the first period remaining the visitors set up a promising attack on the Hampshire line but the ball was turned over and kicked up field culminating in a try for full back Adam Musa. Evenhand added the extras to give Hampshire a 15 – 0 lead at the break. 

Despite having the advantage of the wind for the second half the steep slope appeared to give the visitors a mountain to climb both metaphorically and literally and despite a try-saving tackle by Robinson it seemed all over when Jerome Rudder and Cameron Smith combined for Smith to touch down for an unconverted try which extended the Hampshire lead to 20 – 0.

Cornwall dug deep with centre Declan Matthews carrying well and a period of sustained pressure saw the visitors open their account with a Jack Osborne try converted by Fraser Honey fifteen minutes into the second half.

The “Black & Golds” continued to press but ten minutes later Hampshire’s flying left wing, Wise, used his pace once again to cross in the corner for the home side’s bonus point try.

The final ten minutes saw the Cornish boys show real character as they stormed forward to set up a try for Cameron Sayer. Honey’s conversion attempt went wide but with the deficit reduced to thirteen points the visitors sensed that an upset was possible and threw everything at Hampshire. An excellent backs move led to a Robinson try converted by Honey.

With four minutes remaining and only one score separating the sides Cornwall kept the ball alive and pressed hard but the Hampshire defence held on to secure their quarter-final berth.


T. Robinson (St Austell), E. Tyler (Truro), D. Matthews (Redruth), M. Blee (Camborne), C. Boyer (St Austell), F. Honey (Launceston), N. Nash (Brixham), J. Bishop (St Ives), L. Powell (Redruth), J. Hodge (Redruth), H. Culverhouse (Wadebridge), D. Reed (Wadebridge), H. Smith (Wadebridge), W. Gilder [Capt.] (St Austell), M. Duggan (St Austell).

Replacements: M. Healey (Penryn), A. Vincent (Lankelly-Fowey), J.  Osborne (Launceston), C. Sayer (Camborne), R. Edwards (Launceston), T. Sandercock (Launceston), H. Jones (Unattached).  

Coaches: Mike Rawlings, Bryn Jenkins, Matt Shepherd

Team Manager: Chris Lea


Cornwall U20s 9 v Gloucestershire U20s 18

The young Black & Golds were overpowered by a big, powerful visiting pack at a wet and windy Redruth on Sunday 26th February leaving them with a “must win” game against Hampshire at Overton RFC on Sunday 19th March (K.O. 1.00 p.m.).

Photo: Declan Matthews on the attack

We have video highlights here (courtesy of Kevin Bishop TV):

and  TWO match reports from the pundits, Bill Hooper and Chris Jones (Undergraduate Journalism Student at Falmouth).


Our first report is by Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground Redruth.

Cornwall have it all to do in three weeks time against Hampshire following defeat in their second pool game of this season’s Championship.

The conditions suited the big heavy Gloucestershire pack which they revelled in. Sadly Cornwall had no answer to the powerful visiting scrum, they were mercilessly penalised by the referee, with the penalty count against them well into double figures, and more, by the end. It was a salutary lesson for the lads.

Naturally it was a result and performance that disappointed Cornwall coach Mike Rawlings. He said. “We were never going to win that game without any scrum or set-piece ball, we weren’t good enough today in a game and conditions that suited an upfront game and that obviously cost us dear.

“Credit to the boys, they never gave up trying and at the end they managed to pinch one against the head.

Rawlings acknowledges that it had been a steep learning curve. “Some of the lads learnt a lot today, a steep learning curve for them, hopefully they can take that lesson going forward and we can improve on that in our next game.

“We will regroup at training over the next couple of Sundays at Truro College and look to address the problems we had today.

“The focus now is away to Hampshire if we can get a win up there then we will progress to the quarter finals and that would be a great achievement for this young group this season.

There were aspects from Cornwall’s performance that pleased Rawlings. “I thought Cavan Boyer kicked his penalties very well in difficult conditions. Max Duggan at No.8 carried well he brings a lot of aggressiveness to his game, Cory Teague got through a lot of work and Declan Matthews in the centre tried very hard on a day that didn’t suit the backs.    

Playing down the slope into the driving rain Gloucestershire dominated from the kick-off as Cornwall struggled at the set-piece; it was no surprise that the visitors went ahead after just 7 minutes when skipper Tyler Jerum powered over with an unconverted try.

A high ball into the twenty-two from centre Declan Matthews was not released by Gloucestershire’s full back Macaulay Dale leading to a penalty kicked by wing Cav Boyer.

Boyer was on the money with another kick just a couple of minutes later for Cornwall to put his side 6-5 up.

Cornwall were still under pressure at scrum time, eventually referee Max Weston’s patience wore out with Cornwall prop Adam Wright being yellow carded.

Gloucestershire maintained their domination scoring a second try from a catch and drive through winger Terence Barbarinsa, converted by centre Robbie Faulkner.

Cornwall No.8 Max Duggan was having another excellent game, he carried a lot of ball and looked dangerous going forward. A good break by fly-half Callum Boyce led to a third penalty success for Boyer and leave Cornwall trailing 9-12 at half-time.

If Cornwall hoped playing down the slope would bring a change of fortune it didn’t materialise as the rain and murk intensified during the second half. Two penalties from Faulkner closed the game out for the visitors.

Despite great vocal support from the contingent of Trelawny’s Army at the game, Cornwall couldn’t find a way through a very well-organised Gloucestershire defence.

Frustrations erupted a couple of times during the game when a couple of bouts of fisticuffs broke out, but the dye was cast well before the final whistle sounded.    

Cornwall must now travel to unbeaten Hampshire for their final game in three weeks time. Hampshire defeated Berkshire 36-24 at Sonning in the other game played on Sunday.


Cornwall U.20s: R Edwards (Launceston), D Hubble (Falmouth), D Matthews (Redruth), M Blee (Camborne), C Boyer, C Boyce (both St. Austell), N Nash (Brixham); A Wright (Redruth), C Dewson (Launceston), K Vinson (Penryn), H Culverhouse, C Teague (both Wadebridge Camels), J Osborne (Launceston), W Gilder (Capt), M Duggan (both St. Austell).

Replacements: J Hodge (Redruth), A Vincent (Lankelly-Fowey), M Scott (Saltash), C Sayer (Camborne), B Andrews (Devonport Services), S Firth (Falmouth), H Jones (Unattached).

Cornwall scores: Pens, Boyer (3)

Yellow Card: Wright (20)

Gloucestershire U.20s: M Dale (Bristol Uni), T Babarinsa (Cinderford), R Smith (Cardiff Met), R Faulkner (Drybrook), F Murphy (Cleve), T Webb (Newent), S Boyland (Brighton Uni); C Lane (Lydney), J Williams (Gloucs Uni),  A Chalkin (Bristol Uni), W Greenway (Gloucs Uni), R Herbert (Stroud), B Mustoe, T Jerum (Capt) (both Cleve).

Replacements: J Hughes (O Patesians) C Lane (Lydney), F Crosby (Gloucs Uni), M Adams (Cinderford), L Locke (Longlevens), M Loader (Salisbury), F Sharp (Clifton), T Knight (Chosen Hill FP).

Gloucestershire scores: Tries Jerum, Babarinsa, Con, Faulkner, Pens, Faulkner (2)

Referee: Max Weston (Somerset RRS)

Crowd: 250



Finally a report from Chris Jones:

Cornwall could not carry on their winning form in the County Championship after a thoroughly dominant forward’s performance from Gloucester.

Three converted first half penalties from Cavan Boyer gave Cornwall their nine points in what was a very wet and windy game at Redruth RFC.

Cornwall stay on five points level with Gloucester meaning they will need a win when they play their next fixture against leaders Hampshire on the 19th of March.

Coach Mike Rawlings said after the game: “Scrums and set pieces weren’t good enough today and that cost us the game.

“We forget this game now, Hampshire is our focus, we go there, we focus and we get that win and then we know we’re through to the next round.”

The away side was the first to break the deadlock through captain Tyler Jerum in the 7th minute after a thoroughly dominant scrummage from 5 metres out was shoved over the line for the number eight to score with ease. Robbie Faulkner could not convert the try.

Cornwall answered back only three minutes later after centre Declan Matthews’ kick and chase allowed him to catch the Gloucester fullback, who was penalised for not releasing. Cavan Boyer converted from just left of the posts to take the score to 5-3.

The Black and Golds soon took the lead and it was Boyer again with another expertly taken penalty from halfway in the 15th minute of play to make it 6-5.

Eleven minutes later and Gloucester were back in the lead, after Tom Webb’s tricky footwork and offload to winger Terence Babarinsa who crashed over the line and this time Faulkner did convert to make take the score line to 12-6.

Cornwall gained another three points just before halftime after Gloucester were penalised for not releasing in the ruck and Boyer converted from 30 yards.

Gloucester resumed the scoring 5 minutes after the restart after Jack Osborne was too hasty in taking the ball from the scrum and Faulkner converted down the middle from 20 yards.

The away side converted yet another penalty in the 63rd minute take them nine points ahead after a truly dominant display in the scrum and Faulkner converted with ease from 10 yards in front of the posts.

Despite a heavy period of pressure in the final 10 minutes, Cornwall could not muster any more points, replacement Cam Sayer came closest after a well driven maul however the Cornish forward could not find the try line.


Cornwall U20s 64-3 Berkshire U20s

Cornwall's young guns make an electrifying start to their County Championship campaign. We have TWO reports, first from Bill Hooper followed by another take from student journalist Christopher Jones!

Cornwall 64-3 Berkshire (HT19-0)

By Bill Hooper at the Recreation Ground

Cornwall ran riot at Camborne on Sunday afternoon scoring ten tries as they comprehensively defeated their Berkshire counterparts 64-3.

It was a win and performance that delighted and pleased head coach Mike Rawlings. He said after the game. “I was so pleased to see the boys hard work over the past few weeks and months pay off today. I can remember only too well being on the wrong end of similar score-line a couple of years ago when Cornwall lost a semi-final to Yorkshire here at Camborne.

“I did think we were up against it early on as Berkshire dominated but the guys weathered the storm and that built confidence and the guys thought we can do this.

And Rawlings was full of praise for the whole squad. “They really showed their skills levels out there today, but there is still much to work on, our set-piece wasn’t up to scratch and Bryn Jenkins and I will look at that and work on it. Our fitness really told in the final quarter they fell away badly but we kept our energy levels up and finish strongly with that final try.

Cornwall skipper St. Austell’s Will Gilder was equally pleased. “I couldn’t have asked for anymore we put in an eighty minute performance today, some of our tries today were top draw we want to play a fast open style of rugby and offloads and that final try we scored (Tyler’s third) down in the corner was the pick of the tries today.

Rawlings is under no illusion that his lads must keep their feet on the ground with stern tests to come not least Gloucestershire in three weeks time at Redruth. “We will not take them lightly but we will look to impose our game on them and run them off their feet. We will put our plans in place over the next three weeks and make sure we a full prepared to take them on.”    

Despite a slow start, the set-piece came under early pressure from the big Berkshire eight,  Cornwall soon got on top of their opponents with an opening try from full-back Toby Robinson following a tap and go from scrum-half Noah Nash a chip kick was missed by the Berkshire cover and Robinson pounced to score.

Centre Declan Matthews scored a second try following a solo break from his own twenty-two just moments later.

Berkshire came close to reducing the arrears when Cameron Golby-Barr was hauled down short of the line by covering wing Ethan Tyler.

The visitors then butchered a golden chance when they failed to work an overlap as the Cornish defence scrambled across to cover.

Robinson made a great break before the ball found it’s way to Tyler, the Truro winger scoring Cornwall’s third try. Wing Cav Boyer added two conversions to make it 19-0.

Berkshire’s woes continued as their hooker Griffri Whiston was yellow carded for a high tackle just before the break.

Cornwall made full use of the man advantage at the start of the second half as Matthews broke the cover with his skipper Will Gilder in support to take the scoring pass for the bonus point try.

No. 8 Max Duggan was having an influential game for Cornwall constantly catching the eye.

Berkshire looked to find a way back into the game but they were undone by two interception tries from Matthews and Boyer, the St. Austell winger kicking all three conversions to put Cornwall 40-0 up.

Berkshire pulled three points back with a penalty from Jake Finlay but that was the only crumbs Cornwall dropped from the table as they wrapped up the game with further tries from Tyler, replacements Harry Smith and Seb Firth before Tyler completed his hat-trick with arguably the try of the game a sweeping move from 60 meters with Matthews feeding Tyler for a score in the West Bank corner.  

Tyler banged over a couple of late conversions for a nineteen point haul for the game.

Cornwall’s next game is at home to Gloucestershire at Redruth on Sunday 26th February kick-off 2pm

Cornwall U.20 (St. Austell unless stated): T Robinson, C Boyer, D Matthews (Redruth), T Sandercock (Launceston), E Tyler (Truro), N Nash (Brixham); A Wright (Redruth), M Healey (Truro), L Lee, M Scott (Saltash), C Teague (Wadebridge Camels), S Sayer (Camborne), W Gilder (Capt), M Duggan.

Replacements: J Bishop (St. Ives), K Vinson (Truro), J Osborne (Launceston), H Smith (Wadebridge Camels), S Firth (Falmouth), R Edwards (Launceston), H Jones (Unattatched).

Cornwall scores: Tries, Robinson, Matthews (2), Tyler (3), Gilder, Boyer, Smith, Firth, Cons, Boyer (5), Tyler (2)

Berkshire U.20 (University of Reading unless stated): J John, G Sims (Redingensians), E Jones, C Stacey (Bath Uni), C Golby-Barr (Newbury), M Smart (Camberley), A Walton (Bracknell); D Morgan (Maidenhead), G Whiston, J Lane (Redingensians), N Wake, L Meek-Carter (Maidenhead), L Goodison (Bracknell), M Clementson (Redingensians) (Capt), T Field (Bracknell).


Cornwall U20 64-3 Berkshire u20

Report by Christopher Jones

Cornwall RFU Under 20s began their County Championship campaign with a superb win over Berkshire.

The Black and Golds thoroughly dominated the away side - who beat them in their campaign last season.

Ethan Tyler scored a hat trick for Cornwall with Toby Robinson, Will Gilder, Declan Matthews, Harry Smith and Seb Firth also getting onto the scoresheet.

After a shaky start it was the home side who broke the deadlock in the 18th minute through Robinson after a kick over the top wasn’t collected cleanly by the Berkshire fullback. Cavan Boyer could not convert leaving the score at 5-0.

Only three minutes later and the black and golds extended their lead to 12-0 after Berkshire’s Jacob John failed to kick past the Cornwall defence leaving Matthews to collect and charge 50 metres to score Cornwall’s second and Boyer added the extra two points.

Cornwall scored again in the 36th minute, Robinson involved again, this time with the pass to winger Tyler who scored just left of the posts. Boyer again converted taking the scores to 19-0.

The Black and Golds came out for the second with the same intentions as the first, and it wasn’t long until they scored again, this time through captain Will Gilder who went over after a superb offload from Matthews and with Boyer’s conversion the scores read 26-0.

Mathews was involved yet again with Cornwall’s 5th try in the 52nd minute after a superb interception in his own 22 put him through with no defenders able to catch the speedy centre and Boyer again added the conversion making it 33-0.

In the 57th minute Cornwall made it 40-0, Boyer was able to capitalise on a misplaced pass from the Berkshire scrum-half which allowed the winger to race through under the posts from his own half and he then converted.

Berkshire were able to put three points on the board through a Jack Finlay penalty in the 59th minute from 20 yards out to make it 40-3.

Cornwall were a further seven points ahead through Ethan Tyler’s second try of the game in the 61st minute, his quick feet allowed him to get on the inside of the Berkshire centre and score under the posts. He then converted with ease.

Cornwall were thoroughly dominating by this point and scored again in through Harry Smith after the Black and Golds won their own lineout and drove over the line, however the conversion was not made.

Falmouth’s Firth added Cornwall’s 7th try after Matthews again broke the Berkshire defence before passing to his left to put Firth through to score, Tyler converted from the left meaning the scores read 59-3.  

Cornwall’s final try was a superb team effort, first Mathews broke the defence before offloading to Firth, who offloaded to Tyler to score his 3rd try of the game and to round the scores off at 64-3.