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




Cornwall Girls compete well at Tavistock

Cornwall Girls U.15 compete well at Tavistock                               

Report by backs coach Ross Tucknott.

Cornwall Girls U15s kicked off their 3-legged, festival-style campaign in style, beating Somerset and Gloucestershire and losing narrowly to Devon.

A warm, sunny Tavistock RFC saw a blistering opener as Cornwall hit the ground running against a much-fancied Somerset, with second row Paige Clarke opening the scoring after just 8 surging phases from halfway to tryline. Then from the restart Cornwall marched straight back once more, with 11 different players handling across 10 more phases of sweeping backs moves and driving forward runs to set up Josie Plant for a relatively simple finish, with Somerset's only consolation being that the extras were so far eluding our kickers.

It was almost a third straight after, but a pass from centre Millie Osman which looked set to give full-back Betty Matthews and wing Ellie Richards a clear run-in instead slipped through the fingers and to the feet of Somerset's nimble fly-half, who hacked it forwards three times and won the race to dive on in over the try line. Somerset converted to close the gap to three points, but Cornwall continued to dominate and were rewarded by Ellie Richards powering through a high tackle to the line after yet more patient play orchestrated by scrum half Anna Garman.

Somerset then enjoyed their best spell of the game, with a succession of Cornish penalties finally costing them as the opposition 7 powered past a tackle and over the whitewash from a tap and go, the conversion reducing Cornwall's lead to a single point at the halfway mark. Introducing fresh legs though made an immediate impact, with replacements Hannah Dawes and Abby Smith combining to race from deep inside their own 22 to be stopped just short by a high tackle, with fellow sub Hannah Statton picking up and finishing instead. Captain Sophie Daniel's conversion attempt sadly proved to be her last play of the day after injuring her foot, but her replacement fly half Emily Hoskin's kick into the corner soon after set the platform for Plant to peel from the back of the maul and power over for her second try.

Cornwall then finished with a stylish sixth try after a turnover won by centre Tamsin Wilson's powerful counter-rucking. Plant and player-of-the-day Evie Curnow powered forward, then the ball went through the hands to Smith who cut back inside through several opponents to score between the posts, giving a grateful Hoskin the teams' first (and only!) conversion of the day.

Final Score: Somerset 14 – Cornwall 32

With the first game over-running a little, there was precious little respite before the next half-hour encounter with a Devon side who had selected from a player pool triple the size of our own, and the fatigue, heat and nerves of both sides showed in the opening exchanges. Winning a scrum against the head then put wind in the Cornish sails, with winger Maddie Meagan then Plant making massive line breaks to put Cornwall into the Devon 22 only for a knock-on in front of the posts to hand the home side some respite. Respite turned to territory after a pair of Cornish infringements, and strong tackles from Meagan and flanker Maeve Turley were needed to thwart a dangerous break down to the right.

Perhaps after 12 scrums in 14 minutes the referee was just as fatigued by them as both packs, so play continued as he waved away what appeared to be a Devon knock-on inside the Cornish 22 as solely off the knee instead. Smith dived on the loose ball but green shirts were the first to follow up, and with the Cornish winger unable to recover quickly enough Devon raced into the corner to break the deadlock, with the extras missed from out wide.

The home side then manage to weather another 7 minutes of pressure inside their 22, culminating in tired Cornish legs being adjudged to have gone of their feet at a ruck on the Devon try line. With ball finally back in hand Devon broke, stopped temporarily by a fantastic one-on-one head-on tackle by vice captain Matthews on her own 22, but the green horde played the ball through their hands admirably to put themselves in at the corner then back around under the posts for a converted score with four minutes left.

With time ticking away, a canny interception by second row Lilly Jehu on her 22 set in motion a series of powerful driving runs from the majority of the pack all the way up to the five-metre line, giving Clarke the platform to pick up and drive over for her second try of the day, with Matthews missing the conversion on the final whistle.

Final Score: Devon 12 – 5 Cornwall

Having finished on a high, Cornwall started against Gloucestershire where they'd left off with Plant completing her hattrick. Then followed Cornwall's longest period of defence all day, as slowly but surely the black and gold shirt drove back their opponents tackle by tackle from the the Cornish 5m line all the way back to the Gloucestershire 10m before forcing the knock-on. Plant was soon after held up on the line then drove just short, before Clarke completed her own hattrick from a tapped penalty from 5m out.

The remaining quarter of an hour saw plenty of Cornish pressure without reward, only for a succession of tired infringements to then force one last big defensive effort at the end to maintain a hard-fought lead against some ambitious flowing rugby.

Final Score: Gloucestershire 0 – 10 Cornwall

After a much-needed break over lunch play resumed in a 4-way sevens tournament, giving most of the Cornish girls their first taste of the format.

After a long morning of 15-a-sides and facing fresher 7s specialists it proved a bridge too far for Cornwall though. The girls fought hard to achieve very respectable losses to eventual winners Somerset and home side Devon, but with both injuries and play time mounting it was decided to award final opponents Gloucestershire a walkover in the final game.

However, despite the defeats the overwhelming consensus from the girls as they came off the pitch was that 7s was good fun. Exhausting... but good fun! With two more rounds of this festival format yet to come against the same opponents there'll be plenty of opportunity to explore and improve on our showing here.

Thank you to Tavistock RFC for hosting us so well, to the referees, and to the parents who cheered on their girls from start to finish!

Squad: Sophie Daniel, Josie Plant, Evie Curnow, Ellie Richards, Rosie Innins, Eloise Maniglia, India Bennett, Millie Osman, Pyper Karkeek, Lucy Mills, Farrah Sarle, Paige Clarke, Hannah Dawes, Hannah Statton, Emily Joyce, Avril Crabb, Anna Garmen, Izzy Holmes, Nicola Wormsley, Maddie Meagan, Emily Hoskin, Maeve Turley, Betty Matthews, Abbey Smith, Tamsin Wilson, Ellen Armstrong, Chiana Alee, Lilly Jehu, Ellie Bardoe.

Coaches: Gavin Mountjoy, Ross Tucknott


Gill Burns Cup Fixtures 2019


Cornwall Senior Ladies XV are looking to build this season on their first year in 2018 playing in this competition.

Cornwall are again drawn in Pool 3 of the Gill Burns Division 2 along with Dorset & Wilts and Somerset;

Sunday 28th April Cornwall Ladies v Dorset & Wilts Ladies @ Launceston RC

Sunday 5th May Somerset Ladies v Cornwall Ladies @ Taunton RFC 2:30 pm

Further information regarding kick-off time for the Dorset & Wilts game will be added when advised.


The ladies team will play a warm up match against Plymstock Albion Oaks Ladies details below;

Sunday 7th April Plymstock Albion Oaks Ladies v Cornwall Ladies 2 pm.



CRFU Girls Are Recruiting!

Back room staff volunteers are needed for Cornwall Girls

This coming season we require the following volunteers to build on last season:

·       Coaches for U15 and U18 girls’ squads

·       Team Mangers and Assistants

·       First Aiders

·       Kit Manager

The season starts in December 2018.

If interested, please send you CV to include DBS number and where necessary coaching qualifications to

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applications close Friday 28th September 2018.


Cornwall Women 10 v Hertfordshire Women 48

Marina Trevarton’s photo shows the Cornish Women on the attack.

Cornwall Women concluded their Gill Burns Women’s County Championship campaign, going down to a well-organised Hertfordshire side which boasted several Women’s Premiership players.

The Cornish girls gave a good account of themselves, defending steadfastly and showing tremendous character and spirit for the full eighty minutes.

This is the first season that Cornwall has entered the competition and congratulations should go to all who have worked hard to move the women’s game forward in the county. Competing at this level was a big step up and a win against Somerset was a bonus.

The 2018 results were:

Gill Burns Division Two Pool Three

Sunday 29th April - Dorset & Wilts 74 – 0 Cornwall

Sunday 6th May – Cornwall 37 – 12 Somerset

Sunday 13th May – Cornwall 10 – 48 Hertfordshire


Gill Burns Women’s County Championship - Division Two Pool Three














Dorset & Wilts

















































Cornwall Ladies v Somerset Ladies

Polson Bridge - Sunday 6th May 2.30 p.m.

Cornwall Ladies completed their first ever fixture in Division Two of the Gill Burns Women’s County Championship on Sunday 29th April. It was a notable step forward in the development of the ladies’ game in Cornwall as playing the game was more important than the result.

Despite going down to Dorset & Wilts by 74 points to 0 the ladies will have learnt much about county championship rugby to take into this Sunday’s game (6th May) when they meet Somerset at Launceston (K.O. 2.30 p.m.).

If you are not going to Twickenham to support Saltash and Cornwall U20s then why not make your way to Polson Bridge and give the ladies your support?

The squad which met Dorset & Wilts was:

  1 Lydia Furse (Bude)
  2 Zeta Penrose (Penryn) Captain
  3 Jessica Howell (Penryn)
  4 Rachel Shackleton (Bude)
  5 Oriel Brazier (Penryn)
  6 Nicole Rowland (Bude)
  7 Verity Waters (Plymouth Albion)
  8 Jo Holden (Plymouth Albion)
  9 Steph Trapp (Penryn)
10 Jessie Humber (Penryn/Plymouth Albion)
11 Ro Gomez (Penryn)
12 Imogen Miller (Penryn)
13 Claire Thompson (Penryn)
14 Emma Stefanotti (Bude)
15 Frankie Perry (Bude)

16 Clare Matthews (Penryn)
17 Claire Onions (Bude)
18 Cozette Shrosbree (Penzance)
19 Louise Snelson (St Austell)
20 Cheryl Goodwin (Portsmouth Valkaryies)
21 Martha Simons (Penryn)  


Mia Abbott-Smith Selected for Bristol Centre of Excellence

Mia Abbott-Smith has been successful in the recent Under 18 Girls Centre of Excellence (formally South West divisional) trials at Cleve RFC, home of Bristol ladies.

Mia, who is only 15, of Penryn RFC (formally Camborne) will now attend sessions and receive mentoring from the newly formed Centre of Excellence team.

Six girls were nominated with five attending the trial. Feedback from the girls regarding the new set-up was encouraging. The Centre of Excellence will not only be coaching the girls but mentoring them in areas such as nutrition and rehabilitation pre and post match to develop the player.

Everyone involved in the CRFU and particularly those involved in Women and Girls rugby wish Mia all the very best and hope she enjoys this amazing opportunity.


Cornwall Ladies Squad Named for Gill Burns County Championship

The following ladies have been picked for the Cornwall Ladies squad for this season’s Gill Burns Cup County Championship.

Squad: Zeta Penrose, Jess Howell, Oriel Brazier, Claire Matthews, Steph Trapp, Ro Gomez, Jess Humber, Claire Thompson, Imogen Miller, Martha Simons (all Penryn Ladies), Hannah Pickard, Lydia Furse, Rachel Shakleton, Nicole Rowland, Frankie Perry, Emma Stefanottie, Claire Onions (all Bude Ladies), Jo Holden, Alex Smith, Verity Waters, Helen Mitchell, Chloe Dawe (all Albion Ladies), Megan Belts, Cozette Shrosbree (both Pirates Girls & Ladies), Louise Snelson (St. Austell Angels).

The ladies are pictured after a muddy trials day!