Roseland 31 – Camelford 17 Roseland Go Undefeated

[the final report of the season from Vice Captain Tom Day:]

On the final day of the 2015/16 rugby season a strong crowd filled the sidelines despite the weather at Philleigh on Saturday to watch Cornwall Two Champions Roseland try and go undefeated in the league against Camelford.

Camelford traveled to Roseland with only 13 players but in the spirit of the sport, Roseland lent them a couple of players and also Camelford honoured the fixture.

The game started with Roseland playing up the slope but unusually playing with the wind. Camelford kicked off and almost regathered straight away. The first 15 minutes were very even with both teams testing each other and adapting to the muddy conditions after the heavy rainfall during the previous 36 hours.

Roseland opened the scoring when winger Mike “Legs” Rushbridge gathered the ball and beat several defenders to dot down for his 10th try of the season. Davo Williams converted.

Roseland were playing a fast open game and because of this, mistakes were made and turnovers conceded and from these mistakes Camelford kept a toe in the game.

From the quick tempo Roseland were playing at though the chances kept appearing.

From a quick break and with the ball spread across the park Legs nearly scored again but was tackled short and offloaded nicely to flanker Will Rundle who scored his first try for Roseland. Davo’s conversion hit the upright.

Despite being 12-0 up Roseland never really got a stranglehold on the game. There was impressive moments from various players, centre Craig “Forest” Edwards made several impressive breaks, skipper Andrew “Starky” Stark carried well as did prop Martin Kneebone, there was also an encouraging display in his first start from second row Nick Johns.

However it was Nicks second row colleague James Palmer who grabbed the next try. Collecting the ball mid way in the 22 he spotted half a gap and put the after burners on to power his way over the line. Davo converted to bring the score to 19-0.

Roseland were slowly starting to dominate and wrapped up the try bonus point following another good break from Forest, who was stopped short of the line, the ball was recycled quickly and passed to winger Sammy Glanville who scored his 8th try of the season. Matt Eddy converted.

With half time looming, Roseland were deep into Camelfords 22 and looking to score however the ball was turned over and Camelfords winger raced 80 metres to score. The conversion was missed and the half time score was 26-5 to Roseland.

At half time the Roseland players that helped Camelford came back and a couple others went across to help, including a couple of Truro players who had answered the call for help. For Roseland Figgy Martin replaced Nick Johns and Jonathan Goodenough replaced prop David “Gerbil” Martin.

The second half was a very even affair with the majority of the play between the 22s.

The game went from the chance of a cricket score being possible to a real classic dogged affair. With the influx of the Truro boys and the Roseland lads and the wind Camelford found another gear. Camelford scored 2 fortuitous tries from Roseland mistakes. Roseland were trying to play too much rugby in the wrong areas of the pitch and from one to many offloads and a slightly mis placed pass Camelford scored their tries, one was converted.

Roseland were to have the final score though when they stretched the Camelford defence to create space for Davo Williams to score near the posts. Matt Eddy experienced a rare charged down conversion attempt.

The game ended much as the second half had been played with neither side dominating.

The final score of 31-17 was probably a fair result and from Roselands point of view the correct one as it meant they completed the “Grand Slam” of Cornwall Two and can look forward to next season in Cornwall One with some confidence.