Stithians 3 – Roseland 29

Roseland remain top after win

With 2016 now well underway Roseland finally got some rugby under their belts after a month off.

Minus the regular Boxing Day fixture versus Truro, Roseland hadn’t played a competitive fixture since Camelford on 19th December. However Roseland blew out the cobwebs with a well deserved 5 point victory over Stithians.

On a dreary day and with a heavy pitch underfoot Roseland were happy to boast a strong 15 and a strong bench on a day where legs would tire.

Roseland started strongly and for the first 20 minutes had Stithians firmly on the back foot and opened up a 12-0 lead early with two well worked tries for winger Andy Harris with Davo Williams converting one. The remainder of the half was a nip and tuck affair and with Roseland falling foul of a high penalty count Stithians dragged themselves back into it by slotting a long range penalty. Roseland replied with a penalty of their own, kicked by Davo, to lead 15-3 at half time.

The start of the second half was very much like the end of the first with Stithians probably holding the upper hand slightly. With about 10 minutes gone Roseland made use of their strong bench to freshen things up to try and wrestle the initiative back. Will Rundle replaced the mad dog of Ryan Harris. Martin Kneebone bulked up the front row along with Gebil Martin who replaced Ant Thomas and Jonathon Goodenough. There was a welcome return to the engine room for Josh Little who replaced Roselands very own “Gypsy”, Joe Warren. Finally Tom Day replaced Dave Morgan,at scrum half, who made his first appearance after recovering from a nasty blood clot.

With the injection of fresh legs Roseland started to regain the momentum and once the new players settled things started to click. Several good breaks were made by forwards and backs a like but alas the finishing touch was missing. Stithians started to creak and found themselves on the wrong end of the referees whistle and from one penalty Roseland kicked to the corner. A well taken line out by Little led to a strong forwards drive with Martin Kneebone peeling off to score a try that effectively sealed the contest. Davo converted and Roseland led 22-3.

Roseland smelled blood and went in search of the golden fourth try and the extra bonus point. A valuable point with St Just so close to them in the table. Again lots of good breaks were made but silly errors and good defence kept Roseland at bay. Stithians however were not in favour with the ref and quickly lost two players to the sin bin. Roseland took advantage of the extra men and finally bagged the fourth try. No8 Nathan Chapman bundling over the line from close range. With Davo having a good day with the boot he converted and the score was 29-3.

Stithians never gave up, and once back up to a full 15 put the brakes on Roseland scoring again.

The final whistle went and Roseland had the victory. A rare victory over Stithians at Stithians as its not been the happiest of hunting grounds for Roseland over the years.

League action takes yet another break now. Roseland have a scheduled fixture versus St Austell 2nds at St Austell on Saturday before a home cup game versus Lankelly Fowey on 30th January to coincide with the annual Sponsors Day event.