Rugby preview - Saturday, September 11

THE Cornish All Blacks’ first home game of the South West Premier campaign tomorrow sees them welcome Exmouth to Polson Bridge (3pm).

The Cockles arrive from East Devon on the back of an opening day 40-6 victory over Okehampton, while the All Blacks had the unenviable task of facing an Exeter University side brimming with England Under 20s internationals and players in the Exeter Chiefs academy.

Although they were well beaten – 76-26 – the All Blacks grabbed tries through league debutants Hugh Hamilton Green and James Tucker while full-back Tom Sandercock and Lloyd Duke scored after half-time to seal a useful bonus point.

When the two sides met at Polson Bridge on the second weekend of the season in September 2019, a shellshocked All Blacks were thrashed 76-24, but as the season went on they improved markedly, even winning the rematch 19-17.

Exmouth were eighth when the 2019/20 season was brought to a premature halt due to COVID with the Blacks third bottom, but crucially five points above Bracknell and Newbury Blues who went down.

Exmouth unsurprisingly name an unchanged starting 15 from the Okehampton game while the All Blacks make three changes, all of which are enforced.

Scrum-half Adam Collings and lock Tom Bottoms are both injured while number eight Hugh Hamilton-Green is unavailable.

Tom ‘Gravel’ Sandercock who made a big impression last week after replacing Collings just five minutes into the game, starts at nine while in the forwards, Brandon Rowley replaces Hamilton-Green at number eight.

Rupert Freestone makes his eagerly-anticipated debut at blindside-flanker with Charlie Tummon moving into the second row to replace Tom Bottoms.

Ed Dudden and Glenn Coles come on to the bench, alongside prop Alex Bartlett.

Cornish All Blacks — Tom Sandercock, Shaun Crawford, Ryan Westren, Cameron Fogden, Dan Pearce, James Tucker, Tom ‘Gravel’ Sandercock; Andy Knight, Fred Bulut, Jake Keat, Charlie Tummon, Adam Powell, Rupert Freestone, Lloyd Duke (captain), Brandon Rowley.

Replacements: Alex Bartlett, Ed Dudden, Glenn Coles.

Exmouth —

Henry Goldson, Jake Inglis, Nick Headley, George Mears, Lewis Geran, George Meadows, Matt Ryan; Gareth Walker, Will Ridout, Fin Keywood, Jack Fahy, Connor O’Shaughnessy, Max Keen, James Harris, Dave Bargent.

Replacements: Jack Madge, Liam Bayley, Angus Meadows.

Other South West Premier fixtures: Bournemouth v Brixham, Okehampton v Hornets, Old Centralians v Exeter University, Old Redcliffians v Drybrook, Royal Wootton Bassett v Camborne, Weston-super-Mare v Ivybridge.

Tribute Cornwall/Devon

BUDE got their season off to a winning start last weekend against promoted Withycombe thanks to a late try from number eight Joe Wilson in a 20-19 success.

The North Cornwall side welcome another East Devon club to Bencoolen Meadow tomorrow (3pm) as Cullompton visit.

Cully were in South West One (West) as recently as 2018/19 but have suffered back-to-back relegations to find themselves back at Step Eight of the pyramid.

Their opening day clash with Veor was rescheduled for later in the season, meaning Bude’s home advantage plus the fact they have already played, means they should be better prepared.

Bude player/coach Angus Hodges makes four changes from last Saturday.

Martin George replaces Luke Dunkin at hooker while Hodges, who was at a wedding last weekend, replaces Fred Saxton, who himself is at a wedding this weekend, at blindside-flanker.

Scrum-half Liam Goodenough is working which means a call-up for Charlie Watton, while the final change sees exciting Kyle Spear replace Jordan Hill on the right-wing.

Winger Rory Hodges comes on to the bench alongside Dunkin and back-rower Dan Statton.

Bude v Cullompton –

Olly Denford (capt), Kyle Speare, Will Pharo, Ed Hilliam-Cooke, Zerran Hammond, Brad Thomas, Charlie Watton; Jason Bolt, Martin George, Chris Allin, Will Kingdon, Joel Troke, Angus Hodges, Finley Fry, Joe Wilson.

Replacements: Luke Dunkin, Dan Statton, Rory Hodges.

Elsewhere in the division, Saltash will look to bounce back from their opening day defeat at North Tawton when they welcome much-fancied Pirates Amateurs to East Cornwall.

Saltash are able to recall several experienced players such as props Simon Nance and Ryan Simmons and flanker Lewis Wells, while the backs are bolstered by the return of outside-centre Ryan Cruickshanks and winger Joe Rider.

Saltash v Pirates Amateurs –

Danny Snook, Joe Rider, Ryan Cruickshanks, Kieran Down, Jay Moriarty, Andrew Walsh, Greg Eatwell; Simon Nance, Ryan Rayner, Ryan Simmons, Lewis Woolaway, Devon Bennett-Murray, Lewis Wells, Phil Eatwell, Steve Hillman.

Replacements: Colm Rich, Finlay Jones, Jack Pritchard.

Liskeard-Looe were well beaten (41-0) by Topsham at Lux Park last weekend, and face another tough task when they head up the A38 to Torquay Athletic.

Player/coach Lewis Elliott makes five changes in a bid to get a response against a side that won 36-7 at Hayle.

Liskeard-Looe at Torquay –

Kieran Underhill, Mickael Delage, Ieuan Evans, James Noel-Johnson, Billy Edwards, Ollie Aggiss, Jay Mason; Sam Winfield, Michael Porter, Kai Manning, Will Stuart, Michael Prowse, Andrew Rowe, Nathan Wills (capt), Fred Cozens.

Replacements: Archie Doidge, Jack Badnall, Billy Wildgoose.

Other Cornwall/Devon League matches: Tavistock v North Tawton, Topsham v Newquay Hornets, Veor v Hayle, Withycombe v Plymstock Albion Oaks.

Tribute Cornwall One

Bodmin were given a bye on the opening day of the seven-team Tribute Cornwall One season, but start at home to Camborne School of Mines tomorrow (2.30pm).

Head coach Dave Saunter has said promotion is the aim, and with only 12 games, any side hoping to go up can ill-afford many mistakes.

Bodmin v Camborne School of Mines — 

Max Cowling, Paul Carter, Chris Brown, Ali McPhee, Matt Trethewey, Mark Trevarthen, Harry Roberts; Jack Rutty, Macauley Read, Jordan Edyvean, Callum Rowe, Oliver Wendon, Lachlan Blacklaw, Sam Lebbern, Ollie Brooks (capt).

Replacements: Chris Hutchings, David Hoskin, Dom Cullip, Richard Edyvean, Neil Rousseau, Char Parker.

Lankelly-Fowey are without a game this weekend following their 35-19 loss to Illogan Park last Saturday.

Other Cornwall One fixtures: Roseland v Illogan Park, St Agnes v Helston.

Tribute Cornwall Two

CAMELFORD will have to wait another week to step on to the field after Stithians conceded their trip up to North Cornwall.

‘The Ford’ were hoping to find a friendly but to no avail.

Perranporth visit Lane End next Saturday.

Other Cornwall Two fixtures: Perranporth v St Just, Redruth Albany v St Ives.