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HAMPSHIRE UNDER 20s 14 CORNWALL UNDER 20s 61
Jason Leonard Under 20 County Championship Division 1 Pool 4 - at Havant RFC


Report by Richard V Isaacs



A clinical performance from a talented Cornwall Under 20s side condemned Hampshire to their heaviest defeat in six years as they ran out 61-14 victors to end the home sides' Under 20 County Championship aspirations.


Forced into making seven changes from the side that lost to Gloucestershire a fortnight ago, Hampshire gave a good account of themselves for parts of the game but were powerless to stop the Cornish running in nine tries in total.

In fact, it was the home side that dominated the early passages of play and kept Cornwall tried deep in their own half for the opening ten minutes but they couldn't find a way through.

Once Cornwall scrum half Owen Davey (Truro) opened their account against the run of play, there was no looking back and four tries in the space of nine minutes clinched a bonus point and took all of the momentum away from the hosts.

Redruth prop Jack Hodge barged his way over after good retention of the ball from the Hampshire restart and he was at it again with a speculative hack ahead which allowed Connor Gilbert (Redruth) to win the foot race to the ball.

The bonus point was grabbed within 19 minutes.  Hampshire's defence was all at sea and Penzance and Newlyn youngster Mawgan Osborne was on the end of a superb passing move which was all too easy for the Black and Golds.

Further tries from Gilbert, Aden Brassington (St.Ives) and Osborne were collected before half time as, whenever Hampshire came hard, Cornwall answered in the best possible way by producing an impressive move in response and scoring a try to deflate the home side even more.

Hampshire did have something to cheer just before the break when second rower Balazs Magda (Chichester and University of Chichester) tore through the Cornwall defence after a good restart and carried a number of tacklers a full 20 metres to score next to the posts with skipper Nick Blumlein adding the extras to cut the arrears to 49-7 at half-time.

Much like the first half, Hampshire started the second with the bit between their teeth and spent much of the first ten minutes in the Cornwall 22 but, once again, a simple error gifted Jake Penprase (University of Bath) an interception and he sprinted the 95 yards to score unopposed under the sticks to clock up their half-century.

And it was another error - a knock-on this time - which gave Cornwall a scrum in midfield and replacement James Tucker of Redruth found space down the right wing to score with ease but, for the first time in eight attempts, Aaron Simmonds was unable to add the conversion extras having superbly slotted all of the previous seven.

To their credit, Hampshire did not give up, taking advantage of the sin binning for Camborne's Noah Stanier-Smith, the only blot on their copybook all day.

Hooker Tom Mew flew over the line but was called back for a forward pass and Hampshire crossed again shortly afterwards but that was cancelled out for a knock-on at the line out.

Inbetween them, however, they did score and it was an excellent scrum against the head and a lovely drive close to the Cornish line, controlled by George Cotterell, playing number eight, which allowed Alton's Ollie Burden his second try in successive matches to give Hampshire a smile - Blumlein adding the extras again.

Hampshire can be encouraged by the second half showing as they showed a lot of endeavour to keep the scoreline moderately respectable but they will be disappointed in conceding seven of the nine scores in the opening 40 minutes, which knocked the stuffing out of them and the game.

They have a chance to end their campaign on a high when they travel to Ivybridge on March 17 to play Devon, who also haven't secured a point in this year's Championship in what will be, sadly for both sides, a dead rubber.


HAMPSHIRE UNDER 20s team: Cameron McDonald (Bracknell), Ross Fraser (London Scottish & St.Mary's University), Ollie Fielder (Alton), Cameron McGuigan (Havant), Alex Gooch (University of Loughborough), Nick Blumlein (Petersfield, capt), Ollie Burden (Alton); George Cotterell (Bracknell), Tom Mew (Bracknell), Mike Gorry (Trojans & Oxford University), Toby Warburton (London Scottish), Balazs Magda (Chichester & University of Chichester), Will Owen (Havant), Karter Whittock (Alton), Pita Koroi (London Scottish).  Replacements: Alex Hankins (Alton & University of Portsmouth), Sam Walker (Trojans), Adam Richards (Basingstoke & University of Portsmouth), Luke Spring (Richmond), Josh Prior (St.Mary's University), Will Matthews (Petersfield & University of Portsmouth), Charlie Atkinson (Worthing Raiders).

CORNWALL UNDER 20s team: Aaron Simmonds (Redruth), Reuben Edwards (Launceston), Jake Penprase (University of Bath), Connor Gilbert (Redruth), Charlie Levick (Penryn Colts), WIll Trewin (Cardiff Met University), Owen Davey (Truro); Jack Hodge (Redruth), Rory Mead (Bude), Chae Jenkins (Launceston), Dan Goldsmith (Launceston), Mawgan Osborne (Penzance and Newlyn Colts), Harry Lightfoot (Launceston) Aden Brassington (St.Ives), Torin Clarke (Launceston, capt).  Replacments: Luke Barnes (Redruth), Cain Worley (unattached), Eddy Hall (Cornish Pirates Amateurs), Noah Stanier-Smith (Camborne), Jamie Murray (Redruth), Alistair Harding (Falmouth), James Tucker (Redruth).

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