Perranporth 19 – Roseland 42

On Saturday Roseland travelled to Perranporth for the final “friendly” before the league and Tribute cup rugby kicks off.

The weather down at the home of the “Brewers” was more akin to a day out at the famous Perranporth beaches than a rugby match but both teams turned up with plenty of players so fresh legs were never going to be a problem.

Perranporth are another team who ply their trade in Cornwall One, a league above Roseland, and again held the upper hand with recent results favouring them however the Roseland boys are in no mood this year to allow the past to haunt them so entered the game with a new found buzz about them.

The game started as ever with ferocious tackles, some on the border line of legal, and direct running from both sides, both looking for chinks in each other’s armour. Roselands younger and smaller pack coped extremely well against the bigger and wiser Perranporth pack and at scrum time more than held their own and even started shunting the “Brewers” about. Line outs were a pretty fair contest in near perfect conditions.

Roseland struck first blood with a fine 3/4 length of the field try by winger Mike “Legs” Rushbridge. The ball being recycled quickly by the pack before swift hands along the backs created space out wide for Mike to race clear and score under the posts. Centre Matt Eddie converting.

Roseland gathered the restart and a few smart off loads by the forwards kept the ball alive and it was again shifted wide to Mike who beat several defenders to stretch his legs towards the line before a fine cover tackle came in but Mike had the calmness and wherewithal to off load neatly to the supporting Eddie who went in unopposed under the sticks. Eddie converted his own score.

Perranporth are not a team to give in, and with some strong running managed to work their way into the Roseland 22. Stout defence by Roseland and some over zealous clearing out of rucks by the “Brewers” created chances for Perranporth to work the ball wide but some excellent last ditch defence kept them at bay until after several close drives the “Brewers” forwards crept over the line and a fine conversion got the scores to 14-7.

With neither team willing to give an inch and plenty of play between the 22’s it was going to take something a bit different to open the game up. The Roseland back line of Shaun Eamer, Craig “Forrest Gump” Edwards, Matt “Eddie” Eddie, and Davo Williams, at full back, with wingers Sammy Glanville and Mike all running some fantastic lines and with some lovely handling created the opportunity for Sammy Glanville to show his finishing ability by stepping a defender before a strong hand off gave him the space to run in under the posts. Eddie converting again.

Before the end of the half Roseland had enough time for Legs to once again show his finishing prowess by getting the ball, beating a couple of defenders to again score under the posts to give Eddie the simplest of conversions.

The half ended with Roseland leading 28 – 7.

The second half simply called for more of the same. Keep the intensity levels high and keep the “Brewers” at bay.

The play was so even with both sides playing good rugby but being let down by simple errors, mainly dropped balls, practically inexcusable given the conditions. Both sides also started to use their replacements which as ever disrupted the flow until the new men had settled.

Roseland eventually broke the dead lock with a try by flanker James Palmer only for the score to be disallowed as the ball had shot out the tunnel of the scrum.

Perranporth responded to this by marching the ball upfield and scoring under the posts after a clever little move in the backs created the space to score. The conversion was good and the scores were now 28-14.

Undeterred Roseland battled on and with turnover ball deep inside the Perranporth 22, quick hands got the ball to Forrest Gump, with a disjointed Perranporth defence in front smartly ran his way thorough to score close to the posts, Eddie, enjoying a fruitful day with the boot, converted again.

Perranporth not to be outdone again battled their way into the Roseland half then into the 22 and with the Roseland defence scrambling worked the ball wide, and despite the best efforts of the last Roseland defender scored out wide to make the score 35-19.

However Roseland were to have the last laugh and from spilt ball in midfield Roseland regathered and reacted quickest to work the ball to “Legs” Rushbridge who evaded the Perranporth cover defence to finish under the posts and compete his hat trick. Once again Eddie converted to bring his personal tally to 17 points for the game.

Roseland though fell asleep in the final few minutes and were nearly punished with Perranporth gaining a scrum 5m out but the Roseland pack dug deep and the ball was cleared off the park to bring to an end a hard fought, and at times feisty, game of rugby.

Every player that pulled on a Roseland Jersey on Saturday gave 110% and have set there stall out for the forth coming season. So many players put in monumental performances that it would be unfair to single out any particular players but essentially Saturday’s commitment and intensity should be the minimum standard for the season and if done, Roseland stand a bloody good chance of a successful season.