Roseland lose thriller: Roseland 10 – Newquay 29

The first Saturday of 2017 saw the start of the new Tribute Cornwall One league campaign.

Having used September to December to determine which teams competed in Cornwall One and Two the start of the New Year was being highly anticipated by everyone.

Roseland had traveled to Newquay in early December and suffered a heavy defeat so were looking to put in a better showing on their own paddock.

Newquay kicked off the game playing down the slope and with the assistance of the slight breeze.

This was also the first game for both teams playing with World Rugby’s new directive on the punishment of “high tackles”.

The early exchanges were fairly even with both sides probing and running hard and being committed in defence.

The first meaningful act came as a result of the new directive. Roseland centre Mike “Legs” Rushbridge fell foul of the new sanctions and picked up a yellow card for a tackle that slid up above the shoulders. From the resultant penalty in the 22 Newquay tapped and went and scored under the posts after a simple dummy and missed tackle.

The score was converted and Newquay led 7-0.

The match was a real battle royale with neither side prepared to give an inch. There was some excellent breaks and excellent moments of defence from both sides. Newquay were also to fall foul of the referee and their centre picked up a yellow card for an arm around the neck during a ruck.

Unfortunately for Roseland the next score came from Newquay when they kicked a simple penalty to lead 10-0.

Both sides were soon back to a full compliment of players and the half rumbled on. Roseland turned the ball over deep inside their own half and spread the ball wide and skipper Andrew “Starky” Stark put in a lung bursting 50m run to bring his side up to the Newquay 22. The ball was well recycled and with the Newquay defence in arrears scrum half Tom “Dayer” Day spotted a gap down the blind side and scampered over from the 22 for a well earnt team try. Fly Half Davo Williams converted and the score was 10-7 and the half time whistle blew.

The second half was very much like the first with both sides going hammer and tong at each other and neither side prepared to give an inch.

Roseland worked their way deep into the Newquay 22 and won a scrum 5m from the try line. The scrums had been fairly even all game but this scrum the Roseland 8 got the upper hand and shunted the Newquay 8 back and were just about to get the ball over the line when the ref gave a hard sharp blow on his whistle. It appears that 2 opposing flankers had been exchanging pleasantries with each other and the ref, who was taking no prisoners, blew up and warned the the Roseland flanker for holding his opposite number but yellow carded the Newquay flanker for throwing punches.

From the penalty Roseland opted to scrum but unfortunately couldn’t replicate the previous scrum and although retained possession after several more phases had to settle for a penalty which Davo converted to level the scores at 10-10.

The game stayed level for the majority of the half with both sides determined to win.

With about 65/70 minutes up on the clock and both sides with a full 15 Newquay grabbed a vital try after a barnstorming break from their prop. The ball was recycled and they scored 15m in on the right of the posts. The conversion was good at it was 17-10. Roseland determined not to be undone battled back but struggled to break the resolute Newquay defence.

Roseland were to end the match with 14 players when full back Sammy Glanville picked up a yellow for an arm around the neck in a maul.

With about 8 minutes to go and Roseland down to 14 Newquay capitalised and scored a further 2 late tries and converted one to secure the try bonus point and the victory and crush Roseland.

For 65/70 minutes the game was nip and tuck. Both sides were unwilling to give an inch and the all 3 results were still on the table but in the end Newquays slightly superior fitness and rugby nous and experience in higher league rugby probably got them over the line.

Roseland should take huge heart from the contest and if they perform like this every week, with more players still due back from injury and other commitments, then they will do well in Cornwall One but it’s going to be 13 weeks of huge commitment and hard work and effort from everyone for one of the smallest clubs in Cornwall.