This top of table of clash was always going to be an encounter of high intensity, excitement and passion. As the game progressed it also turned into a battle of wills as well as physicality, writes Allyn Chetland. With a number of regular team members away skiing, The R&Bs were dealt further blows when James Weeks & Brad Field both fell foul of the sickness bug that is currently doing the rounds withdrawing during the morning of the game. This resulted in Chris Batts moving from wing to centre with Jamie Hayman making his first appearance on the wing this season and Tim Jenkinson taking Hayman’s place on the bench.
Playing away from the clubhouse the R&B started brightly in what was dogged first half between the two teams. For much of the 1st period the R&Bs had the majority of territory & procession spending a good percentage of the half camped deep in Penryn’s territory but only had 3 points to show for all of this effort via a penalty from fullback Alex Davey after the visitors from Cornwall had infringed at a scrum. The R&Bs created numerous try scoring chances but were thwarted by valiant and tenacious defence from Penryn and being guilty of taking the wrong options with Penryn’s line begging. The visitors did have their moments during the 1st half and levelled the scores on the stroke of halftime when the R&Bs were penalised for a piece of foul play. Halftime score 3 points each.
The visitors started the second period with renewed vigour putting the R&Bs under pressure for the first 15 minutes of the half, however the R&Bs stood firm and soon started to once again to grip on proceedings. An attacking lineout 5m out from Penryn’s line was easily claimed and an impressive unstoppable rolling maul ensued, but Penryn did stop it illegally. The result was a penalty try to give the R&Bs a 10-3 lead. The pace and physicality of the game was starting to take its toll and Penryn exploited the R&Bs going down to 14 players, due to injury, to score a converted try to even the scores with 15 minutes of the game remaining. Tempers frayed and the game boiled over with both teams enjoying getting to know each other a little bit better. The R&Bs dug deep and their efforts were rewarded when they crashed over for another try following another excellent driving lineout. Replacements Josh Hancock and Tim Jenkinson both claimed the try but Jenkinson was eventually credited with the 5 pointer after a polite conversion in the bar afterwards. Davey made no mistake with extras to make the score 17-10 to the R&Bs. Spurned on by this score the R&Bs doubled their efforts and were soon once again camped deep into Penryn’s territory. Following a number of impressive forwards drives that the visitors found difficulty in dealing with, Jenkinson exploited a hole in Penryn’s defence to crash over for his second and his team’s third try of the match. Davey again made no mistake with the extra points to make the score 24-10 to the R&Bs. Penryn tried valiantly to get a consultation score but were denied by stout defence by the R&Bs and final score remained 24-10.
A hectic game of rugby played at high pace throughout, the 2nd half only contained one scrum, and that was deep into injury time. Both sides experienced numerous injuries with players from both sides also succumbing to muscle cramp injuries. The referees Go_Pro watch indicated that he ran over 11km during this match which gives an indication on how far the players would have run also.
A character building win that the 18 players in the squad can once again be proud of in what was an excellent win against one of the top teams in the league. Hooker Joe Dyke caught the eye and was named man of the match in the clubhouse afterwards. Jamie Hayman looked good on his 1st appearance of the season and special mentions must go to prop Lee Wadham who bravely battled through the game despite feeling unwell and to Tim Jenkinson who valiantly stepped up to plate playing in the unfamiliar position in the pack when he replaced Harry Ramsay, who took a heavy blow on his neck, at half time. Other injury concerns are Micky Norman (groin) and Ryan Marke (calf). Norman’s injury looks like it will keep him out of action for a number of weeks but it is hoped the Marke’s injury will not be as serious.
Next week the R&Bs make their longest away trip of the season travelling to Pirates Amateurs who based in Penzance. Away games are always difficult and this encounter will be no different. Pirates are a much changed side from the one that travelled to The Athletic Ground earlier on in the season only narrowing losing to Penryn 6-0 in recent weeks.
Team: R.Marke, J.Dyke, L.Wadham, R.Walker, C.Kitto, L.Phillips, H.Ramsay, M.Norman, C.Jenkinson, P.Jarman(C), J.Hayman, G.Hodgson, C.Batts, T,Hart, A.Davey, J.Hancock, T.Jenkinson, M.Walker