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First XV - Match centre

Sat 7 Oct 15:00 - South West Division - Tribute Cornwall Devon Full time

Second Clean Sheet On The Bounce As Penryn Go Top

Ross Hancock reports on a great win at Hayle.

Penryn moved to the top of the table in the Cornwall/Devon League for the first time this season, continuing their unbeaten start with a comfortable 38-0 bonus point win at Hayle. With Honiton’s shock home loss to Lanner, Penryn strolled to the summit with another nilling of a Cornish rival.

It was a case of picking up where they left off last week for Penryn, against Cornish opposition in the driving rain, much like last weekend’s home success against Bude. Again, Penryn showed excellent control, with some sensible kicking options in the conditions.

Penryn were patient in their approach and although scoring opportunities were initially few and far between, they took the lead with a Tomas Oliver penalty goal. It seems silly to say that a three point lead would make such a difference, but Penryn really did appear to click into gear from that point on.

Hayle v Penryn 7 Oct 2017 by Mike Freeman
32 photos

Their set piece and general dominance warranted more than the scoreboard suggested, but it wasn’t long before things changed markedly. The Penryn driving maul had already caused Hayle problems early in the game and it was a weapon that brought Penryn great joy. In the tight exchanges, there was only one team who looked a threat and when John Followell touched down for Oliver to convert, Penryn confirmed it was the Borough who were in control.

AJ Stanfield continued his impressive try scoring form this season by adding a near identical score just before the break, which Oliver again converted. Penryn led 17-0 and were good value for it. It had been a long afternoon at this point already for Hayle, but it was about to get worse.

With the Borough defence as solid as a rock, they upped their attack game and started to get real change from it. The backs were putting Penryn in the right areas of the field, but it was the forwards who were linking up well to score the tries. Captain Grant Randlesome was next to go over for Penryn, with Oliver again converting.

Penryn were just one try short of a bonus point try that seemed to be a question of when, rather than if and again it was the forwards who finished things off. Paul Saberton made the incision from the break, but he popped the ball selflessly to the supporting Josh Goldsworthy who slid in for his first Penryn try. Oliver continued his impressive kicking display to put Penryn 31-0 ahead.

There was still time for another Penryn try and this time the backs got in on the action. It may not have been a surprise to those in Borough colours to see Andrew Seviour strolling over for Penryn’s fifth and final score of the afternoon. Oliver finished with 100% from the tee and Penryn were home and hosed.

It’s a week off now for the Borough, who will be happy with a successful first block of fixtures that sees them setting the pace in the Cornwall/Devon league. Up next is a hugely important home clash with Honiton.

Speaking after the game, Penryn coach Ian Morgan said: "Both myself and Toby Freeman are absolutely delighted that the side have gone a second week running without conceding a single point. The discipline shown was superb and the lads never really looked too stressed, and after settling in to the game took complete control, territory and possession."

Reflecting on the opposition, he said: "Hayle worked really hard in the tight areas but simply couldn't break our defence, which, again was pretty good."

Morgan was particularly pleased with the notable improvements seen from Borough's previous game against Bude: "We controlled both the areas of the field and the ball well. Last week, we tried to play too much rugby in our third of the field, and we have learned from that, and it showed this week as our kicking game was superb, especially in our own half."

The Borough coach pointed to the hugely significant return to the field of Penryn's second team this weekend: "Full credit to every single person at the club - it was great that we got two sides out today, with the Saracens back in action against St. Austell IIs as well. This has to happen on a regular basis, and it shows that we are moving in the right direction as a club. It was a real effort from the whole squad, and that's great to see. We don't see them as second team players, they are squad members not selected for the league game that week, which changes all the time as we have already used 28 players in the league this season, and this really shows our strength in depth, and we have recently picked up another two new signings."

Morgan ended by looking ahead to Penryn's next game, a huge clash against third placed Honiton in a fortnight at The Memorial Ground:
"The boys have a couple of weeks off now to enjoy next weekend, and hopefully by the time we play Honiton we will be fresh and buzzing to go."

PENRYN: Saberton, Chambers, Hitchens, Seviour, Mitchell, Strick, Oliver, Goldsworthy, Birkett, Patterson, Trevaskis, Followell, Stanfield, Hughes, Randlesome REPS: Oldfield, Jones, Hinchley
TRIES: Followell, Stanfield, Randlesome, Goldsworthy, Seviour

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Wellington 26 118
2. Saltash 26 109
3. Penryn 26 108
4. Honiton 26 94
5. Bude 26 84
6. Lanner 26 67
7. Withycombe 26 63

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