Redruth Rugby Club Mini Junior Section
17

MAR

David Penberthy's Redruth weekend round up
Firstly, an unforgivable omission last week and that was to wish the Colts all the very best in their National Cup quarter final away at Colchester. To Simon and everyone involved I do apologise.

What a strange weekend this last one has been for all sorts of different reasons .... lets start with the Colts and their National Cup quarter final tie at Colchester.

I traveled to watch the boys play and I can honestly say that they represented the club with all the things that you would expect a team associated with Redruth too do. Unfortunately I think they will all admit that they underperformed in the first half but remained in the game with an 11-0 scoreline. The second was a slightly different story and to be fair the boys got back to an 11 - 7 scoreline with about 5 minutes to go. That was the closest it got and Colchester sealed the tie with a late try to make the final score 16-7.

I am not going to take anything away from Colchester, they deserved their win and in their skipper and loose head prop, James Mitchell I think his name was, they had the game's outstanding player. Tom Duncan was very strong as usual but with injuries ruling out Tommy Job and James Williams and with others not available for one reason and another the boys were a little off their best. However it was very pleasing to hear the opposition comment on the behaviour of the boys both on and off the field and a message to those who will leave the Colts ranks at the end of the season, "one era is about to finish but another is just around the corner".

Prior to this, on Saturday I went to watch Truro College's semi final in the Daily Mail/RBS Under 18's cup and what a game that turned out to be ... as you may know it was 19 all at the end of normal time and, for the first time that I can ever remember, the game went to penalty kicks... well I can tell you it was one of the most emotional situations I have ever found myself in during a game of rugby. My lad Aaron was faced with probably the most demanding and nerve racking task he has faced so far in his career, a penalty goal from the 15m line to win the tie and send the team to Twickenham .. he duly obliged and what followed was surreal. There has been lots of hype surrounding this but it really was a great team effort and Ben Hawkes kick to nudge Truro in front and put pressure on the John Fisher kickers was immense and equally as important.

This lad is one of the best strikers of a rugby ball I have seen. What Truro have is a great team ethos and everyone works for each other which is what makes good teams, there are no superstars .. anyway the task I then had was to get him from there to meet up with the Colts for the quarter final yesterday ... that was a challenge as obviously his mind at that stage was with his team mates traveling back to Cornwall and celebrating on the way, but all credit to him he handled the situation well and played yesterday .... 870 miles on my, so called, weekend off but everyone one of them worth it ... back and bum pretty sore today!!!

Next weekend we host troubled Waterloo and hopefully we will have a huge crowd for our penultimate home league game of the season. I know our game clashes with England against Scotland but that game will be recorded and you will be able to watch it afterwards. The game of the international weekend, next weekend, is undoubtedly the Wales v Ireland game and that one kicks off at 5:30pm ..... please please come and support the players in our last 2 home matches, they have had a great season too date, the club are still in pole position in the league and they deserve all the support you can give .... the atmosphere at the ground this year has been immense and I really do want that to continue.

Watching the Sale v Newcastle Falcons game last weekend, the performance of Carl Hayman was absolutely immense. There have been many rumours of his discontent since arriving here, but it certainly looked as if had settled last week. A massive performance in the tight he also got himself into many ball carrying positions. I recall watching Newcastle a few weeks ago when they were absolutely dire against London Wasps but since then they have put some form together and now find themselves well clear of the relegation zone and with a Heineken cup place well within their sights.

Going back to the 6 Nations on Saturday it was good to see Simon Shaw back in the team. How they leave this guy out is beyond belief. He is an outstanding rugby player, one of the most skillful their is around, and yet he is constantly ignored. He has been on the international scene since 1996 and plays only his 51st game at the weekend! I wonder how many internationals England have played in that time?

So England look to be back on track somewhat .... an exhilarating first half against a very sub standard French team saw the England team provide their frustrated supporters with some much needed cheer, in fact they played some of their best rugby for a long time.

Delon Armitage must of played his way into Lions selection, Cueto proved that he is one of the best finishers in the team, Flutey had another great game and the athleticism of Tom Croft must of pushed him into the frame for Lions selection. Steve Borthwick deserved a performance from his team and we all must now hope that this sort of form is carried forward to next weekends match against Scotland. Martin Johnson showed emotion that I never once saw him show as a player, apart from that moments lapse when England won the World Cup in Australia in 2003.

As an aside I expect most must of heard the interview with Phil Vickery and Danny Care. I am not sure the name of the interviewer, but the question she asked Care about his sin binning in Ireland and said, "Did you think you were an idiot" was very brave ... to be fair he answered reasonably well saying that he thought "idiot" was a bit strong ..... what else could you call it ... and then there was Phil Vickery telling her that things would be put right this week and reinforcing the fact by say, "I am telling you ........" .... well he was right anyway!!

Scotland next and would expect England to take another step forward in their improvement ... hopefully it will be the same team providing Toby Flood recovers from his shoulder injury. How unlucky was that! It seemed as if his legs just crumbled beneath him as he went for the glory of scoring, thankfully from the ensuing play we did manage to crash over ..... so predictions for next week.

Wales 24 Ireland 27

England 29 Scotland 17

Italy 20 France 35 (Expect a back lash from the French)

Interesting to read Will Greenwoods thoughts over the continuing absence of Danny Cipriani from the squad. Greenwood's thoughts are said to be that the player is disliked within the squad and that is why he is continually being ignored.

To be honest his form has improved of late and looking at the rate of change in the no 10 shirt he is due a go! England coaches John Wells and Graham Rowntree were quick to respond and said that being liked or disliked has nothing to do with selection, with Rowntree saying that Austin Healey was one who was always getting beaten up but was a player that everyone wanted in their side!!.

75-times capped England veteran Mike Catt has spoken of the 'arrogance' of youth after Danny Cipriani refused to shake his hand after Sunday's game. The Wasps fly-half apparently shunned his superior's hand following their 21-16 win over London Irish at Adams Park, which has left a sour taste in Catt's mouth. "Maybe the game's changing and maybe that's the arrogance of young players, I don't know," said Catt, speaking to the Daily Mail. "Before the Six Nations began, I was asked a question: 'Do you think Danny Cipriani is playing well enough to be in the England side?' I said no. "That's all I said. I didn't say he was a bad rugby player. I've been criticised numerous times in my career but these young guys don't really seem to take criticism, not that I criticised him in any shape or form.

"What he achieved last season was pretty amazing for a fly-half and I praised him to the hilt. But he's not playing well at the moment. "I have my opinions but I'll keep them to myself because I don't want to get into any bother. "If people want to make a big thing of what happened at the end of Sunday's game, that's up to them but I'm not. He can do what he wants, I don't give a stuff. It's no skin off my nose, believe me. I now understand what Will Greenwood was saying and I understand why Josh Lewsey knocked him out."

A couple of weeks back, at the Hellfire 100 dinner, whilst we were watching the France v Wales game, the camera panned around to the great full back Serge Blanco and we all commented how big he had gone. Therefore it was no surprise that I heard the he has undergone surgery in a private hospital in Biarritz after suffering a heart attack. The 50-year-old was taken into hospital on Sunday when he complained of having chest pains. Blanco made 93 appearances for France between 1980-1991 and played in the inaugural World Cup final against New Zealand in Auckland in 1987. These days Blanco is president of the Biarritz Olympique club, having recently stepped down as president of the Ligue National de Rugby (LNR) in France.

Teams were playing catch up this past weekend and both Cambridge and Birmingham pulled another 5 points back on us. The race is really on now and our final five games are the most important the club has ever had ..... It really does start this weekend with Waterloo and then a season defining trip to Tynedale followed by another equally demanding game at Cambridge. Launceston came a cropper at Cinderford and that goes some way to putting into perspective our game there last week. Many felt that we should of had the bonus point and I totally agree but to come away with a win was a result that in any other circumstance we would have gladly taken.

Look forward to catching up with you for the Players Patronís night on Thursday at the club. This kicks off at 7:30pm.

So that's about it for this week, don't forget Saturday's game at Redruth against Waterloo, we need your support!

Cheers for now

David Penberthy

Director of Rugby

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