Helston 50 – Roseland 12

Helston prove too strong

On Saturday afternoon Roseland travelled down to Helston for the third fixture of their Cornwall One campaign in almost perfect rugby conditions.

Having put in two massive performances at home and coming away with a loss and a win Roseland were hoping to carry the momentum into a tough clash against Helston. Over the years the pair have shared the spoils of victory fairly evenly. Roseland held the current advantage with a big 50-7 win at Philleigh pre-Christmas.

Roseland kicked the game off playing “up the slope” on the wide and fairly flat pitch.

Neither side, as ever, were prepared to give an inch in the early exchanges. The lineout and loose play were pretty equal but in the scrums Helston held the advantage with their bigger pack and wise heads. But in the tight exchanges Roseland probably held the upper hand.

Much of the first half was an arm wrestle between the teams. Roseland spent a long time camped on the Helston 22 but credit to Helston they defended resolutely and kept Roseland at bay.

The first score came from a Roseland mistake and Helston capitalised to score.

Roseland battled back hard and finally get on the board. After pinning Helston in their own half an overthrow by Helston was gathered by No8 Nathan Chapman who made early inroads before offloading to flying flanker Will Rundle who evaded the final defenders to touch down. Full Back Davo Williams missed the conversion.

With the scores tight and the game evenly matched neither side wanted to give the other the advantage but unfortunately a mistake by Roseland again gifted Helston another score.

Roseland again fought there way back down the pitch to inside the Helston 22 and with just moments to go until half time Roseland were desperate to score but in their desperation they again made another uncharacteristic mistake and Helston again capitalised to score another score and deflate Roseland somewhat with the half time score 21-7.

At half time Roseland made a few changes, some enforced and some tactical. Determined to bounce back from that late first half score Roseland nearly made the worst possible start but they regathered themselves and pressed hard. Helston had other ideas and scored the first points of the half with the bonus point try to lead 26-7. They then started to assert themselves and although Roseland valiantly defended and attacked themselves, Helston played their game and their pitch and scored a further two tries, one of which was converted to give Helston a comfortable 38-7 lead.

Roseland were determined not to give in though and kept battling hard. Forwards and backs both made hard yards and half breaks. Roseland finally worked their way deep into Helston’s half and after a quick tap penalty made more hard yards. However the Helston 9 was sin binned for cynically stopping the penalty. Roseland had a penalty 5m out and decided to run the ball and after the forwards made several attempts on the line second row Will “Figgy” Martin found himself in a gap and thought he was over but was hauled up just short and once the ball was recycled Ed “Jellybean” Llewellyn crashed his way over for a well deserved try. The try was converted by scrum half Tom Day.

With just 10 minutes remaining Roseland were determined to score again but Helston had other ideas and scored another converted try.

Once again Roseland kept battling but there were lots of tired bodies on the Roseland side having put in a monstrous effort and limited with substitutions to rotate players. Helston had kept things fresh with fresh legs and good rotation.

With the final play Helston had a scrum and Roseland were keen to turn it over however credit to Helston who retained possession spread the ball one way and then spread it the other and squeezed in for a final sucker punch try right at the death. The score was unconverted but it took Helston to 50 points. So the final score was 50-12.

Roseland are home next week to Veor and will be determined to bounce back to winning ways.