CABs set for derby day at Okehampton

By David Sillifant   |   Sports Reporter   |
Friday 1st October 2021 11:25 am
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Winger Martin Kneebone is recalled to the Cornish All Blacks’ squad for tomorrow’s trip to Okehampton in the South West Premier (3pm)

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ALL eyes will be on The Showground at Okehampton tomorrow as the Cornish All Blacks make the short trip up the A30 for what promises to be an enthralling South West Premier encounter.

Both sides have started the season slowly results wise, but both picked up their first wins of the season last weekend.

Okehampton earned a 19-15 victory over much-fancied Weston-super-Mare thanks to a late penalty try, while the Cornish All Blacks beat Ivybridge 26-22 at Polson Bridge, although two late tries from the visitors made the scoreline much closer than it should have been.

Since the start of 2017/18 season, the clubs have built up a healthy rivalry.

Having not played each for nearly 20 years due to the All Blacks spending the majority of that time in National League rugby, the two clubs have played each other six times with it currently being three wins each.

Okehampton pipped the All Blacks to the South West One (West) title in 2018/19, but Launceston were promoted anyway, winning a dramatic play-off against Old Centralians at Polson Bridge.

In the 2019/20 campaign which ended because of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Cornishmen won both encounters, and will start as marginal favourites.

To add even more spice to the occasion, this week Launceston announced the signing of back-row Dean Abrams from Okehampton while former Cornwall, Launceston and Taunton Titans number eight Barrie-John Chapman has also rejoined.

Both men start on the bench at the Showground as joint head coaches Ian Goldsmith and Ryan Westren make two changes from the Ivybridge game.

There’s just one change in the pack as number eight Rupert Freestone is injured and replaced by Brandon Rowley, while winger Martin Kneebone returns to the first team fold in place of Tom Sandercock.

Okehampton are forced into several changes, including the absence of front rows Ashlee Crouch and Pat Nash, lock Brad Curtis and winger Ollie Moody.

Their replacements are Nicky Martin, Jonny King, Jack Ogbourne and Matt Tichias.

Cornish All Blacks: Reuben Edwards, Martin Kneebone, Ryan Westren, Cameron Fogden, Dan Pearce, James Tucker, Tom ‘Gravel’ Sandercock; Alex Bartlett, Levent Bulut, Andy Knight, Dan Goldsmith, Adam Powell, Leion Cole, Lloyd Duke, Brandon Rowley.

Replacements: Dean Abrams, BJ Chapman, Charlie Tummon.

Okehampton: Gareth Espin, Brandon Horn, Richard Bolt, Matt Tichias, Leon Horn, Dan Fogerty, Joey Bruce; Nicky Martin, Jonny King, Tom White, Jack Ogbourne, Paul Lawrence, Saul Holliday, Kieran Coyle, Liam Sampson.

Replacements: Nathan Tompkins, Sonny Luxton, Joe Mawle.

Other South West Premier fixtures: Camborne v Weston-super-Mare, Drybrook v Brixham, Exeter University v Bournemouth, Exmouth v Royal Wootton Bassett, Hornets v Old Redcliffians, Ivybridge v Old Centralians.

Tribute Cornwall/Devon

BUDE travel down the A39 to Newquay Hornets aiming for a fifth straight win.

Angus Hodges’ side have beaten Withycombe, Cullompton and Liskeard-Looe at Bencoolen Meadow as well as a convincing victory at Hayle in their only away game.

Hodges is able to name a near-full strength side at the Sports Centre.

Finley Fry and Fred Saxton are both available and return alongside Hodges to make a strong back row, while there is a change at fly-half as Charlie Watton is given a go in place of Brad Thomas.

With Fry back, Ed Hilliam-Cooke reverts to his usual position at inside-centre with Kyle Speare switching to 13 in place of Will Pharo who is out injured.

On the bench, prop Simon Jeffery makes a welcome return for his first appearance of the season.

Newquay have had an indifferent time since promotion, including having to concede a home game.

However last week they showed they can compete at this level with an impressive 32-32 draw at Veor, and will quietly fancy their chances on the Cornish coast.

Bude at Newquay Hornets: Olly Denford, Rory Hodges, Kyle Speare, Ed Hilliam-Cooke, Zerran Hammond, Charlie Watton, Olly Mounce; Matt Williams, Jason Bolt, Chris Allin, Joel Troke, Will Kingdon, Angus Hodges, Finley Fry, Freddie Saxton.

Replacements: Simon Jeffery, Dan Statton, Brad Thomas.

Winless Liskeard-Looe face a tough task against Cullompton at Lux Park, but player/coach Lewis Elliott is able to recall centre Jacob Noel-Johnson and there’s a first appearance of the season from number eight Will Gouge.

From last week’s starting 15, lock Michael Prowse is set to come in for Jordan McKay.

Cullompton were edged out at Bude in their opener, but have won their two games since comfortably.

Liskeard-Looe v Cullompton: Kieran Underhill, Billy Wildgoose, Ieuan Evans, Jacob Noel-Johnson, Jordan Smith, Ollie Aggiss, Jay Mason; Mike Mander, Michael Porter, Kai Manning, Will Stuart, Michael Prowse, Aaron Rowe, Archie Doidge, Will Gouge.

Replacements: Ben Palmer, Jordan McKay, Callum Beaver.

Saltash were denied a first victory at Withycombe last weekend by a point, but will be targeting old rivals Tavistock to break their duck.

Tavistock picked up a superb 31-12 win over Plymstock Albion Oaks last weekend, but a derby date at Moorlands Lane could be the perfect tonic for Steve Down’s side.

Player/coach Steve Down is able to recall Ryan Rayner at hooker although prop Simon Nance is out.

Rob Down replaces Ryan Wilson on the left wing while number eight Steve Hillman comes into the pack for lock Mike Capstack.

That means Lewis Woolaway moves to the second row from six with skipper Phil Eatwell moving to openside-flanker.

Saltash v Tavistock: Ryan Cruickshanks, Devan Marshall, Andrew Walsh, James Smith-Jones, Rob Down, Kieran Down, Jack Pritchard; Chris Carpenter, Ryan Rayner, Ryan Simmons, Lewis Woolaway, Devon Bennett-Murray, Finlay Jones, Phil Eatwell, Steve Hillman.

Replacements: Colm Rich, Dale Thompson, Steve Down.

In Cornwall One, it’s derby day at Lankelly-Fowey as they welcome neighbours Bodmin.

Bodmin have won two from three so far with Lankelly winning one and losing one.

Lankelly’s trip to St Agnes was rescheduled meaning they didn’t play last week.

Bodmin travel off the back of a useful 17-7 win over Illogan Park, a result made better by previously unbeaten Helston’s defeat at Camborne School of Mines.

Bodmin head coach Dave Saunter makes …. changes from last week.

Chris Brown (centre) and Char Parker (wing) replace Andrew Coad and Paul Carter while Matt Hawken is given a start at scrum-half in place of Harry Roberts.

In the forwards, both props are out as Jack Rutty and Andy Trevarthen are replaced by David Hoskin and Jordan Edyvean.

Lee Taylor also comes in at number eight with Ollie Brooks moving to blindside-flanker in place of Lachlan Blacklaw.

Bodmin at Lankelly-Fowey: Max Cowling, Char Parker, Chris Brown, Ali McPhee, Matt Trethewey, Mark Trevarthen, Matt Hawken; David Hoskin, Macauley Read, Jordan Edyvean, Dom Cullip, Ollie Wendon, Ollie Brooks, Alec Lane, Lee Taylor.

Replacements: Harry Roberts, Chris Hutchings, Joe Kendall, Callum Carter, Macauley Lowe, Lachlan Blacklaw, Richard Edyvean, James Morrisey.

Other Tribute Cornwall One matches: Illogan Park v Camborne School of Mines, Roseland v St Agnes.

In Cornwall Two, Camelford welcome former South West One (West) outfit St Ives to Lane End.

St Ives folded a couple of years ago but are now back and will be hoping to climb the pyramid again.

Other Tribute Cornwall Two fixtures: Perranporth v Redruth Albany, Stithians v St Just.

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