With Cornwall For Cornwall

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Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4LY

Tel: 01736 331961 Email: [email protected]

Cornish Pirates 41

Nottingham 17

20 January, 2024

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League / Cup

Championship Rugby Round 10


Mennaye Field, Penzance




Cornish Pirates 41


Nottingham 17

Phil Westren

Recording this convincing 41-17 points victory against Nottingham at a dry but windy Mennaye Field, the Cornish Pirates held onto to third spot with a pleasing third league win on the trot.


There were just a few changes from the team that started in the narrow victory recorded at Cambridge the previous weekend. In the backs, Will Trewin moved from right wing to full-back in place of the injured Kyle Moyle, and fit again Ioan Evans was named in the centre with Robin Wedlake returning to his more familiar position on the left wing. As for the forwards, lock Will Britton was about to make his first league start of the season and recovered from injury club captain John Stevens returned at openside flanker.


Playing with the elements, the visitors got off to sound start, only to be denied by some spirited tackling from the Pirates, typified by the efforts of their back row. Also, impressive early doors, was the home scrum, the potency of what was witnessed surely giving hope of advantages to come.


Added to the forward effort, there was an urgency and fluency too with ball in hand, and when space was created for wing Wedlake on the left, he cantered over for a try at the old Western National Corner. Fly-half Bruce Houston set the ball to add the conversion but, with such a tricky wind, delivering points from the tee was less than easy exercise, and so it proved.


The Archers, to give Nottingham their nickname, and who had in the opening minutes lost the services through injury of their South Africa-born German international Sebastian Ferreira, would soon leak another score. Centre Joe Elderkin ran powerfully to the left of the Newlyn posts, and maintaining the onslaught and following a penalty award the Pirates opted for a scrum. It proved a good choice, because shunting the visitors back, and with important control, it was number 8 Hugh Bokenham who scored a try that that was this time converted by Houston.


Nearing the end of the first half, Nottingham had a spell of possession that offered hope. Their scrum-half skipper Michael Stronge kicked well to the clubhouse corner, giving a chance to score for their men out wide, but it was not to be. As for the Pirates, they finished really strongly, with some superb inter-play and skipper Stevens at the heart of their effort. Man of the match Fin Richardson was awarded a try in the very last minute and Houston landed a superb conversion from wide on the left to make it 19-0.


So far so good for the Pirates, who were clearly keen to waste no time in securing a bonus point providing fourth try when the second half got underway. Keen, yes, and admirably so, but when Nottingham’s prolific try-scoring wing David Williams was gifted and interception opportunity he raced in from halfway for a try converted by fly-half Morgan Bunting.


Getting their first points of the match appeared to boost the Archers, with it not long before centre Marcus Ramage looked to fully test the home defence. If they could score again then it might have impacted, but no worries as it was not long before the crowd were impressed by a Houston 50-22 kick deep to the scoreboard corner. Then, following solid ball carrying and patience from a line-out, a scrum option was taken from a penalty award. At first there was no joy but holding confidence when a further penalty and scrum choice resulted, clever play from number 8 Hugh Bokenham and scrum-half Alex Schwarz saw Elderkin take a direct route to the line for the sought after, and converted, fourth try.


Soon after the restart the Archers scored again when another interception opportunity led to centre Joe Woodward crossing the line for an unconverted try. However, the Pirates were quick to react and within two minutes opened their points advantage once more, when further good play was finished off by lock Steele Barker who stormed over the line at pace.


Next on the try-scoring sheet for the Pirates was replacement prop Jacob Morris, followed by a fully deserved score by the always hardworking and fully committed Alex Everett. As for a last say, that was a try scored at the very end of the match by Nottingham’s Gamage, which at least provided some consolation.


Speaking at the end of Saturday’s contest, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle commented:

“Keen to take our performance up a notch from the one at Cambridge, I felt we did.

“We brought emotion to the game and our physicality was there, which was pleasing. You can have a game plan and all the tactics you want, which was something we failed to apply last week in the second half.

“There were some nice tries scored today, and it was clear we had set piece dominance from the scrum which gave us good field position and a foothold on the game.

“In the first half we played into a pretty stiff wind but controlled the ball quite well, whilst in the second half our plan was play high up the pitch because we knew the wind was picking up a little bit and you could see they struggled to get out of our ‘22’, meaning they then had to try and run it.

“Yes, I felt we did lack a little composure at times, but then again we always had that lead, and it certainly provided another good-sized crowd with some entertainment.”

Cornish Pirates:   15 Will Trewin 14 Robin Wedlake 13 Ioan Evans (22 Tom Pittman, 29) 12 Joe Elderkin 11 Matt McNab (23 Frankie Nowell, 63) 10 Bruce Houston 9 Alex Schwarz (21 Ruaridh Dawson, 54); 1 Lefty Zigiriadis (17 Jacob Morris, 54) 2 Morgan Nelson (16 Marlen Walker, 63) 3 Fin Richardson (18 Matt Johnson, 54) 4 Will Britton (19 Josh Williams, 54) 5 Steele Barker 6 Alex Everett 7 John Stevens (captain) 8 Hugh Bokenham (20 Harry Dugmore, 58.)

Nottingham:  15 Ellis Mee 14 David Williams 13 Marcus Ramage 12 Joe Woodward 11 Ryan Olowofela (22 Dafydd-Rhys Tiueti, 60) 10 Morgan Bunting 9 Michael Stronge (captain; 21 Will Yarnell, 54) 1 Kai Owen (17 Archie Van der Flier, 47) 2 Jack Dickinson (16 Harry Clayton, 47) 3 Xavier Valentine (18 Jake Bridges, 54) 4 Sebastian Ferreira (19 Jack Shine, 05) 5 Come Joussain (6 Iosefa Maloney-Fiaola 72; 1 Kai Owen, 72) 6 Iosefa Maloney-Fiaola (23 Sam Green, 47) 7 Emeka Ilione 8 Richard Clift (20 Jay Ecclesfield, 56).




Cornish Pirates – tries: Robin Wedlake (17) Hugh Bokenham (26) Fin Richardson (40) Joe Elderkin (53) Steele Barker (58) Jacob Morris (63) Alex Everett (70); cons: Bruce Houston (27, 40, 54).


Nottingham – tries: David Williams (41) Joe Woodward (56) Marcus Ramage (80); con: Morgan Bunting (41).


Referee:   Hamish Grant

Attendance:   1594

Cornish Pirates ‘Tribute’ Man of the Match:   Fin Richardson

Match Officials


Hamish Grant


Callum Howard


Jonathan Healey