Cornwall u16s played their final home games of the representative season at Callywith College. With Exeter Chief Academy selectors present the players knew that their performance individually and as a team would be recognised in games against strong academy teams and players from Somerset.
CHRIS LEA REPORTS:
The Cornwall A team started well against the Somerset East team and soon got the scoreboard moving with an early penalty by Ethan Morgan. Then on twenty minutes Tyler Dower, having a strong game at 8, blasted over to score the first try and that was quickly followed by a determined drive by second row Cam Bishop to sore the second try.
Within ten minutes back row Ben Grubb scored the third try to take the game away from Somerset. Ethan Morgan added all three conversions and demonstrated his game management with a good range of tactical kicking.
With Somerset adding a penalty of their own the half time score of 22-3 to Cornwall giving the hosts a healthy lead which they maintained with excellent defensive play.
Jack Mills at 7 again caught the eye making many turnovers and strong tackling.
The second half was 10 minutes old before centre Charlie Levick outpaced the visitors defence to score by the posts before Somerset scored their only try which was converted. Ethan Morgan added a try from a quickly tapped penalty and the final try was then added by replacement Ben Durrant who took his chance well. All 3 second half tries were converted by Morgan.
The 41-10 final score showed the huge improvement the squad had made since their last representative game.
Sadly the Cornwall B team were outplayed by a very strong Somerset West team who scored 14 tries. The Somerset team showed pace, off-loading and ball retention of the highest order for the whole game and were relentless in their support play.
Cornwall stuck to the task and scored a try in each half. Andre Green showed good pace down the wing in the first half and prop Xavier Jenkins powered over in the second half.
It was a tough rugby lesson for the Cornwall players but hopefully they will get their chance to bounce back.
Overall the event was a good advert for Cornish rugby with all the players awarded their U16 ties. The standard of play demonstrated in both games was excellent and the referees allowed the players to make the most of the afternoon.
Before the end of March the U16s will play against the U17s team so that the boys can make the transition from Junior rugby in to Colts. There is also the prospect of playing Dorset and Wilts if a suitable date and venue can be arranged amongst all the club cup games that have been rescheduled this winter.