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Cornwall U20s 18 v Kent Under 20s 8 TWO Match Reports

James Tucker touches down for a vital try (photo courtesy of Simon Bryant – Iktis Photo)



By Bill Hooper at Tregorrick Park

In difficult conditions Cornwall wore down a spirited Kent side to earn a semi-final spot in this season’s Jason Leonard Cup.

Despite a few changes to the side from the previous week due to injuries and unavailability the Cornish lads put up a solid performance, notably when having to defend constantly putting their bodies on the line.

With driving rain coming in just before kick-off Cornwall played with the wind first half.

Despite good early territory Cornwall were a little too eager at times falling foul of referee Zerran Bell’s whistle.

Kent got into the game and surprised Cornwall with a well-worked opening try scored by their wing Jordan Thomas with a blindside move. Despite a good attempt by fly-half Sam Evans the try remained unconverted.

There were a couple of good runs from Cornwall’s fly-half James Tucker but sadly the support was a little slow arriving at times.

Flankers Will Gibson and Tian Clark combined well and looked threatening as did skipper Torin Clarke who led by example throughout.

Cornwall made a couple of changes after 24 minutes with both Jack Hodge at prop and Noah Nash scrum-half coming on.

Hodge’s presence was soon felt as he got stuck in at scrum time.

Cornwall earned a penalty, which Tucker kicked to the corner from the catch and drive Cornwall drove for the Kent line after a couple of phases Hodge barged over for an unconverted try.

Cornwall struck twice just before half-time. Tucker kicked a penalty from in front of the posts to put the black and golds into the lead for the first time in the game. Tucker then converted his own try that came about after a powerful break from tight-head prop Ollie Andrews from just inside the Kent half, the Falmouth player almost made the line himself but was hauled down under the posts just short, the ball was moved wide for Tucker to dot down for a 15-5 half-time lead.

In the worsening conditions Cornwall’s backs found it increasingly difficult as the pitch cut up, centres Connor Gilbert and Jake Penprase worked hard to create an opening but the Kent defence was tight.

The line out proved to be a lottery for both sides. Kent cut the deficit early in the second half when Evans kicked a penalty but that was as good as it was to get for the visitors.

Cornwall’s only points of the half came from a Tucker penalty after 61 minutes following a powerful Cornish scrum that shoved the Kent pack backwards at a rate of knots leaving their giant replacement prop Thomas Little, who’d proved a handful, crumpled on the ground.

Kent tried to salvage a score but the clock was against them and the Cornish were in no mood to yield.

The final whistle saw the Cornish lads leaping in the air and the Tregorrick crowd cheering them to the rafters.

After the game Cornwall coach Josh Lord was delighted with his side’s performance. He said. “I am really delighted they all put in a fantastic performance today. We ground out a victory in difficult conditions.

Lord also had huge praise for the players that had come in today. “Every player who took the field was fantastic today. The squad works, trains and plays together and that ethos showed today.

There are always things to work on and Lord thought that his side had been a little to eager at times. “Especially during the first half we tried to force it a little too early when we need more control. We had a chat at half-time and I feel the boys controlled the game far better in the second forty.

Josh was also pleased with the way his side defended when called to do so. “Defences win games and we tackled our hearts out and didn’t give them the time or space to play. The boys have got a huge passion and desire to go as far as they can in the tournament.

Josh, Matt Shepherd and the lads can now look forward to a home semi-final on -Sunday 15th April against Cheshire who beat North Midlands 17-12 at Dudley Kingswinford. The other semi-final sees Hertfordshire play Yorkshire.  

Cornwall: E Tyler (Penryn), S Cornish (Penzance & Newlyn Colts), C Gilbert (Redruth), J Penprase (Bath Uni), D Hubble (Falmouth), J Tucker (Redruth), C Boyce (St. Austell); R Bentham (Launceston), H Lightfoot (Launceston), O Andrews (Falmouth), D Goldsworthy (Launceston), B Rowley (Lainceston), T Clark (Camborne), W Gibson (Cardiff Met), T Clarke (Launceston, Capt)

Replacements: Q Cross (Wadebridge Camels), C Jenkins (Launceston), J Hodge (Redruth), A Brassington (Redruth), S Firth (Falmouth), N Nash (Brixham), J Carr (St. Austell).

Cornwall scores: Tries, Hodge, Tucker, Con, Tucker, Pens, Tucker (2)

Kent: T Lennard (Cranbrook), A Orris (Medway), H Roberts (O. Elthamians, Capt), T Adamson (O Elthamians), J Thomas (O Elthamians), S Evans (Blackheath), W Luxford (O Elthmians); B Bratton (Tonbridge Juddian), T Petty (O Elthamians), T Simmons (Westcombe Park), C Dee (O Elthamians), A Keheli (Blackheath), L Remington (Ashford), K Clarke (Ashford), J Stubbington (Medway)

Replacements: J Simmons (Westcombe Park), T Little (Canterbury), K Wright (Thanet Wanderers), M Beard (Medway), L Hollidge (Medway), S Elllison (Sidcup), T Agu-Benson (Cranbrook)

Kent scores: Try Thomas, Pen, Evans

Referee: Z Bell (Devon RRS) 



Cornwall u20s 18 – 8 Kent u20’s


Chris Jones Reports


Cornwall progressed into the semi-finals of Jason Leonard cup after grinding out a hard-fought win over Kent.


Conditions were not ideal with heavy rain and blustering winds contributing to a lot of handling errors throughout the match.


Jack Hodge returned to the Cornwall squad after a long period out with a broken shoulder and made his mark after scoring the first try of the match.


Coach Matt Shepherd said after the game: “I’m immensely proud of what the boys have achieved and getting to the semi-final of the Jason Leonard Cup is incredible.”


Kent took the early ascendency and were the better team early on and could have scored within six minutes if the ball had not have eluded the hands of a Kent forward which resulted in a knock on near the line.


But only moments later and Kent did have their lead after a superb blind side move off the back of a scrum deep in the Cornwall 22 resulted in winger Jordan Thomas crashing over to score the game’s first try. Fly-half Sam Evans could not convert meaning the score read 5-0.


After Cornwall had gone behind, it seemed that this was the wake-up call they needed and took firm control from there on in.


James Tucker had a chance after Ethan Tyler’s great run and so did Jake Penprase, however it was a forward who scored first for Cornwall after a series of rucks over in the left corner when prop Jack Hodges heaved himself over the line to level the scores at 5-5 in the 33rd minute. Tucker had missed the following conversion.


Tucker made amends for his errors a couple of minutes before the break and coolly converted a penalty in front of the posts putting the Black and Golds in the lead for the first time of the match at 8-5.


Cornwall were even further ahead seconds before the break at 15-5 after a superb breakaway from Ollie Andrews left the Kent defence scrambling. The young prop was stopped just before the line but the run had created space wide-right which Cornwall exploited after a simple passing move and Tucker dived over the line before converting well to add the extra points.


Kent added to their points tally in the 42nd minute when they were awarded a penalty which Evans converted after he judged the wind direction and speed well to bring the scores closer at 15-8.


Cornwall were not phased and finished well. They finished the scoring in the 60th minute after a solid scrum led to a penalty which Tucker showed the same class he had all day to convert and add the three points, which meant at fulltime the score read 18-8.




1.     R. Bentham


2.     H. Lightfoot


3.     O. Andrews


4.     D. Goldsmith


5.     B. Rowley


6.     T. Clark


7.     W. Gibson


8.     T. Clarke ©


9.     C. Boyce


10.J. Tucker


11.D. Hubble


12.J. Penprase


13.C. Gilbert


14.S. Cornish


15.E. Tyler


16.Q. Cross


17.C. Jenkins


18.J. Hodge


19.A. Brassington


20.S. Firth


21.N. Nash


22.J. Carr



Dorset & Wilts U20s 22 v Cornwall U20s 34

Cornwall u20’s secured a home quarter final fixture after a superb away victory in Weymouth.

Chris Jones reports from Weymouth & Portland RFC

Photo shows Declan Matthews  diving over to open Cornwall’s scoring - courtesy of Simon Bryant (Iktis Photo)

Click on the link for a glimpse behind the video courtesy of Kevin Bishop:


It was end to end stuff between the two young sides in the first half, but a strong second half from Cornwall secured the victory in a well-fought battle.

Coach Mat Shepherd was pleased with his side’s performance after the game and felt that they thoroughly deserved the win.

He said: “We scored six tries away from home and didn’t give away too much that we didn’t need to and from what we did on the pitch I’m really happy with the boys today.”

It only took three minutes for the first points to be put on the board and it was Cornwall with the first say of the day when Declan Matthews got on the end of a superb passing move from midfield to dive over in the left corner. Reuben Edwards missed the kick from a tight angle leaving the scores at 5-0.

But the home team responded quickly when Noah Cannon latched onto the end of a superb kick over through and his pace was too much for the Cornwall defence as he put the ball down under the posts which left Harry Bazalgette with an easy conversion to make it 7-5.

Dorset and Wiltshire scored again in the 17th minute. After a successful line out the home pack heaved themselves over the line, Captain James Hill this time with the try, and after Bazalgette missed the conversion the scores read 12-5.

The young Cornwall side never doubted their chances and their free flowing rugby was rewarded in the 19th minute when Jake Penprase made it 12-10 after Ethan Tyler’s great line and offload allowed the pacey winger to score down the right side.

The away side then put themselves in front for the second time in the match when a well drilled lineout turned maul was too much for the Dorset and Wiltshire defence and Harry Lightfoot got his first of the match right under the posts and Edwards converted with ease taking the scores to 17-12.

It truly was end to end stuff with both teams hungry for the victory. Dorset and Wiltshire regained their lead in the 33rd minute in mirrored fashion to Cornwall’s last try. A good lineout and drive pushed Tom Cordery over the line for Dorset and Wiltshire and after Bazalgette missed the kick it was 19-17.

But the scoring for the first half wasn’t done there, and Cornwall wanted to have the last say of the half and they succeeded when Tiaan Clark heaved himself over the line from the back of maul in the right corner taking the scores at half time to 22-17.

Three minutes after the break though and Dorset and Wiltshire were level at 22-22 after Bazalgette converted a penalty from straight in front of the posts.

Cornwall started to run away with it after 60 minutes and it was 27-22 when Connor Gilbert received the ball from the back of a scrum in the Dorset and Wiltshire final five and placed the ball down unchallenged before James Tucker converted with ease.

Ten minutes later and after a fairly dominant second half the young Black and Golds put the game to bed after Falmouth Prop Ollie Andrews scored in the corner and after Tucker missed a difficultly placed kick the scores ended 34-22.


1.    R. Bentham

2.    H. Lightfoot

3.    K. Gratrix

4.    D. Goldsmith

5.    N. Stanier-Smith

6.    T. Clark

7.    A. Brassington

8.    T. Clarke ©

9.    B. Callum

10.  R. Edwards

11.  D. Hubble

12.  D. Matthews

13.  C. Gilbert

14.  J. Penprase

15.  E. Tyler

16.  Q. Cross

17.  C. Degenhardt

18.  O. Andrews

19.  B. Rolwey

20.  J. Tucker

21.  N. Nash

22.  K. Bradley


Cornwall Scores: Tries by Declan Matthews, Jake Penprase, Ollie Andrews, Tiaan Clark, Connor Gilbert and Brandon Rowley with a conversion each for Reuben Edwards and James Tucker.


Cornwall U20s 25 v Hampshire U20s 22

Following a pulsating win over Hampshire all roads will lead to Dorchester on Sunday 18th March when a win over Dorset & Wilts will guarantee a home quarter final in the 2018 Jason Leonard Under 20 County Championship.

Pictured are coaches Josh Lord and Matt Shepherd smiling after Sunday’s win.

Not only are there TWO match reports for the price of one below – also check out Kevin Bishop’s fantastic “behind the scenes” video here:





By Bill Hooper at Tregorrick Park, St. Austell

Time added on proved dramatic indeed as Hampshire scored a fourth try to level a pulsating game, the conversion was missed after the ball toppled over and the Hampshire player was forced to make a drop attempt into a biting easterly wind.

There was still time, from the re-start, Cornwall managed to win a penalty allowing fly-half Reuben Edwards to split the posts and keep Cornwall on track for the quarter-finals with a 25-22 win.

Speaking after the game joint Cornwall coaches Matt Shepherd and Josh Lord were happy with the result. Shepherd said. “I was pretty happy with our first half performance we played the game in the right areas of the pitch, we went in having played into the wind 12-5 up. I thought we could go on and dominate the second forty but it didn’t quite work out that way which was a little disappointing.

“We encourage the lads to play an expansive game, sometimes you have to be more street-wise with what’s in front of you. Heads could have dropped when they levelled it near the end but all credit to the boys for working to get that final penalty to get the win.

Josh Lord was pleased with the way his forwards played. “I thought our pack looked good and went well, we dominated in the set-piece, although at times the line out was a bit of a lottery in the wind. It’s a young side these guys are still learning the game. There are still things to work on but I can’t fault the lads’ commitment.

“Torin Clarke played well for us today, as did the whole of the back row, we have got some great talent there and he leads by example. The whole squad works hard not just those in the match day twenty-two but those who turn up for training and are knocking on the door.”   

Despite the bitterly cold weather there was a good crowd at Tregorrick Park as both sides took to the field. Interestingly last season’s Trelawny’s Army Cornwall Under 20 player of the year Will Gilder was an assistant referee, part of the trio of officials from Gloucestershire, Will now studying at Hartpury.  .

Cornwall began well making some good early breaks and with barely two minutes on the clock one such break by centre Connor Gilbert almost saw the Redruth player make the line, however winger Jake Penprase was in support to score in the corner an unconverted try.

It was just the start Cornwall would have hoped for, however despite dominating the first quarter they couldn’t add to the score.

Hampshire came more into it and from a penalty kicked to the corner by fly-half Harry Johnstone from the resulting lin out and drive skipper Josh Moore crossed to level matters.

Cornwall certainly looked the better side during the first half with the forwards driving well and the backs looking very threatening.

Their endeavours were rewarded before half-time when skipper Torin Clarke drove over after a series of pick and goes near the Hampshire line, Edwards adding the extras for a 12-5 half-time lead.

The second half began much as the first as Penprase intercepted a pass running hard for the line cutting inside the last defender to score nearer the posts allowing Edwards to convert for a handy 19-5 lead.

Hampshire replied almost immediately when following a kick chase by centre Russell Bennett fellow centre Eddie Jenkinson scored a try converted by Johnstone to bring them back into it.

Despite losing prop George Cotterell to a yellow card Hampshire maintained their pressure when following a good burst from No.8 Pita Koroi led eventually to an unconverted try scored by lock Toby Warburton from close-range, leaving Hampshire only two points adrift.

Cornwall got back downfield to earn a penalty in front of the posts, Edwards making no mistake with his kick with some 18 minutes to play.

Hampshire threw everything at Cornwall, as the game moved into time added on, Johnstone made a fine break eluding tackles to score in the corner and tie the scores.

However, Edwards second penalty of the half made the game safe for Cornwall much to the relief of the Tregorrick crowd.

Onwards to Dorchester and Dorset & Wilts on March 18th.

Cornwall U.20: E Tyler (Penryn), J Penprase (Bath Uni), C Gilbert (Redruth), D Matthews (Camborne), J Carr (St. Austell), R Edwards (Launceston), N Nash (Brixham); R Bentham (Launceston), L Barnes (Camborne), K Gratrix (Penryn), D Goldsmith (Launceston), D Reed (Wadebridge Camels), T Clark (Camborne), W Gibson (Cardiff Met), T Clarke (Launceston, capt).

Replacements: H Lightfoot, C Jenkins, R Cinnamond, B Rowley (all Launceston), D Hubble (Falmouth), C Boyce (St. Austell), K Bradley (Penryn)

Cornwall scores; tries, Penprase (2), Clarke, cons Edwards (2), pens, Edwards (2)

Hampshire U.20: T Jennings (Portsmouth Uni), A Gooch (Chobham), E Jenkinson (Birmingham Uni), R Bennett (Wild Geese), J Rudder (Havant), H Johnstone (Cardiff Met), J Prior (Wimborne); M Gorry (Oxford Uni), S North (Hartpury Uni), G Cotterell (Bracknell), R Cuffe (Havant), T Warburton (London Scots), M Whitehead (Havant), J Moore (Swansea Uni, capt), P Koroi (London Scots)

Replacements: A Hankins (Portsmouth Uni), A Warner (Wild Geese), W Owen (Havant), S Rai (Camberley), O Cook (Winchester), S Bloomer (St. Mary’s Uni), C McGuigan (Havant)

Hampshire scores: Tries, Moore, Jenkinson, Warburton, Johnstone, Con, Johnstone

Yellow Card: Cotterell (51)

Referee: Astie Bolton (Gloucs RRS)

Match balls sponsored by Trelawny’s Army Supporters Club   



Cornwall 25-22 Hampshire

Report by Christopher Jones

Cornwall U20’s left it very late to defeat Hampshire at Tregorrick Park to make it two wins from two so far in The Jason Leonard County Championship.

Cornwall benefitted from Hampshire’s slow starts and scored very early in the first and second half.

After a late 78th minute try from Hampshire to make it 22-22, it looked as though the points would be shared, however a late 80th minute penalty conversion from Rueben Edwards secured the win for the Black and Golds.

Coach Josh Lord said after the game: “A fantastic result, but I’m not sure we were up to scratch in terms of what we expect from our players.

“At times we looked absolutely brilliant, and at times we look shambolic but championship rugby is about getting results and this is another win and we can take this into the next match and hopefully get another one.”

Cornwall got off to a lightning start and scored within the first three minutes when Connor Gilbert broke the Hampshire line before offloading to Jake Penprase who scored just to the right of the posts. Edwards could not convert leaving the scores at 5-0 early on.

Both sides had further chances but it wasn’t until the 35th minute until the game saw its next score. This time Hampshire with a try as Captain Josh Moore crashed through the Cornwall line to level the scores at 5-5. Again the kick was missed leaving the scores level.

But Cornwall were back in the lead on the stroke of half time Torin Clark this time going over the line under the posts, before Edwards converted to secure a 12-5 lead going into the break.

Almost immediately after the break the home side were further ahead, Penprase with his second try of the game after he stepped past his opposite number and Edwards again converted to make it 19-12.

Hampshire were having no luck and found themselves a man down when George Cotterell was given a yellow.

But this only seemed to give Hampshire the wake-up call they needed as they scored six minutes later in the 56th minute when second rower Rob Cuffe went over the line, and after Harry Johnston missed the conversion the scored read 19-17.

Edwards then put Cornwall an extra three points ahead at 22-17 after he converted a penalty from straight in front in the  60th minute.

However, Hampshire pulled back level in a breath-taking finish when Johnston shrugged off the tackle from Ethan Tyler to dive over the line and equal the scores for the second time of the day at 22-22. Johnston again could not convert the try.

The game seemed destined for a draw with neither team really playing to the best of their ability, however a late penalty directly in front of the posts presented Edwards with the opportunity to seal the win for the Cornwall in the final seconds. With the crowd silent and tension in the air he stepped up and coolly converted the penalty to leave the final score at 25-22.


Gloucestershire U20s 15 v Cornwall U20s 24


Cornwall u20s overcame a very good Gloucestershire team at a very chilly Cinderford on Sunday 11th February to get the 2018 campaign in The Jason Leonard Under 20 County Championship. The boys are pictured celebrating their win courtesy of Simon Bryant (Iktis Photos).

Cornwall secured a four try bonus point with Kyle Gatrix (Penryn) scoring 2 tries and Noah Nash and Jake Penprase scoring 1 try each.

Kyle Gatrix got Cornwall underway with an early driven maul for Gloucestershire to get back on terms. The home team added a penalty on 20 minutes to make the score 8-5 to Gloucester before Cornwall scrum half Noah Nash exploited a gap and nipped over to regain the lead for Rueben Edwards to add the extras. On half time Tian Clarke scored a well worked try for Edwards to take a 19-8 lead.

The second half was a very well contested game. A tribute to u20 rugby and in particular the Cornish defence. Relentless attacking play led to Gloucester winger adding a try to make it 19-15 Cornwall. The enthusiastic crowd had to wait until the 75th minute for Cornwall to seal the game following good control in the Gloucester 22. Kyle Gatrix went over for the all-important score to set up a final 24-15 score-line.

With the final whistle the Cornwall boys could celebrate a well-deserved victory knowing that there is still work to be done before Hampshire at St Austell on 25th February.

The Cornwall team is selected from players who have a birthday after 31 August 1998, were born or reside in Cornwall, or are registered as a player with a Cornish club. 

The squad of over 50 players have been training since the start of the year and are coached by Matt Shepherd and Josh Lord both of whom have played senior rugby for Cornwall and are RFU qualified coaches. The squad consists of 18, 19 and 20 year old players and forms part of the CRFU’s progression and development of young players.

The gates open at St Austell on the 25 February at 1200. Entry will cost £5 including a match programme with accompanied U16’s having free entry. Please come along and support the young “Black and Golds” in the potential pool decider.

Gloucestershire U20 v Cornwall U20

Sunday 11February @ Cinderford RFC

Cornwall Squad 


Rikki Bentham

Launceston RFC


Luke Barnes

Camborne RFC


Kyle Gatrix

Penryn RFC


Dan Goldsmith

Launceston RFC


Jack Osborne

Not affiliated


Tiaan Clark

Camborne RFC


Will Gibson

Cardiff Uni


Torin Clark (Captain)

Launceston RFC


Noah Nash

Brixham RFC


Reuben Edwards

Launceston RFC


Matt Blee

Exeter Uni


Connor Gilbert

Redruth RFC


Jake Penprase

Not affiliated


Dan Hubble

Falmouth RFC


Callum Boyce

St Austell RFC


Harry Lightfoot

Launceston RFC


Chae Jenkins

Launceston RFC


Jack Hodge

Redruth RFC


Dan Reed

Wadebridge Camels RFC


Declan Matthews

Camborne RFC


Liam Jolly

St Ives RFC


Jake Carr

St Austell RFC


Travelling reserves


Rory Cinnamond

Launceston RFC


Brandon Rowley

Launceston RFC


Ethan Tyler

Penryn RFC


Seb Firth

Falmouth RFC


Coaches - Matt Shepherd, Josh Lord

Medical cover - Lauren Albury, Sam West

Kit - Paul Hurrell, Colin Hatch