Peter Gavin previews Redruth v Worthing Raiders


Redruth v Worthing Raiders

5th January 2019 Kick Off….2pm

For the first fixture in 2019 Raiders head to Cornwall to make their 7th visit to the Recreation Ground in Redruth for a National League 2 (South) fixture. ‘The Reds’ are amongst our longest standing league opponents with the matches between the clubs usually tense, close encounters, although their visit to Roundstone Lane in September ended up as a win for Raiders 68-21. (In previous matches the biggest winning margin was 3 points!)

Background stuff

Redruth RFC was founded way back in 1875, the same year as a number of other clubs in the region including Taunton and Plymouth. The club’s centenary tome can be viewed on-line.

A number of international players have represented the club, Richard Sharp a dashing outside half, who gained 14 caps for England and 2 for the Lions in the 60s, is probably the most famous. He scored a memorable try against Scotland in 1963. (It’s on You-tube!)

The ‘Lamb and Flag’ emblem is used by Redruth Council as well as the Rugby club. The mark was originally used on ingots within the extensive tin industry of which Redruth was at the centre.

The Rugby club is at the heart of the Town and was considered the top Cornish side for most of the last century. The move to the Recreation Ground in the 1930s provided a facility for 12,000 spectators (600 seated) and at the time was the third largest rugby ground in England. Fixtures against touring sides were staged. The ‘All Blacks’ played South Western Counties there in January 1973 winning 7-30. ‘Hell-Fire Corner’ must have been electric!

Rugby is a way of life to many in Cornwall, especially when Trelawny’s Army get on the march to support the ‘Black and Gold’. An unbelievable 17 charabancs (1500+ crowd!) turned up at Worthing in April 1999 for a county match against Sussex.

The Reds have been in the National League since the system started. Promoted to level 3 in 2005, despite travelling the length and breadth of the country, they remained at that level until 2011.

 Fixtures with Raiders over the years…..

Worthing visited Redruth in the cup, 1988 & 2004, the home side progressing on both occasions.

The record for the League encounters so far is:


2011-12  W 27 – R 25 R 37 – W 22 Final positions in league the Worthing 3rd Redruth 6th
2012-13  W 27 – R 26 R 26 – W 22 Worthing 2nd Redruth 4th.Worthing promoted to level 3 after play-off
2014-15  W 12 – R 10 R 22 – W 17 Worthing 5th Redruth 7th
2015-16  W 8 – R 10 R 24 – W 16  Worthing 11th Redruth 4th
2016-17   W 27 – R 29 R 33 – W 29 Worthing  12th Redruth 5th
2017-18   W 46 – R 43 R 20 – W 19 Worthing 7th Redruth 5th
2018-19  W 68 – R 21    

(Generally the spoils follow the home side, although the Reds have broken that mould a couple of times!)

15th September 2018 Worthing Raiders 68 Redruth 21 (Wow!)

Pre-match discussion favoured the visitors who were unbeaten (2 from 2), having seen-off Titans (29-27) the previous week. (Raiders lost in Taunton in the first fixture 62-24). Either way all pundits expected a tight encounter….and so it proved for the first half as oranges were taken at 14-14…some felt the visitors had a slight edge…… Raiders blitzed the opening 8 minutes of the second half with four tries of exceptional quality….in all they scored 8 tries in the second half with forwards and backs linking together in a scintillating display.

Raiders: Maslen, Boyland, Richards, Forrest J, Barnes, McLean, Walsh, Birch, Luke, Gatford, Spurgeon, Lake, Whittall, Dawe, Perkins.

Bench: Gearing-Grief, Cook, Sassone, Sims, Dingle.

Tries: Dawe (4 min), Spurgeon (29 min), McLean x2 (41 & 48min), Maslen x2 (43 & 79 min), Forrest (45 min), Walsh (65 min), Barnes x2 (59 & 79 min), Conversions: McLean x 9.

Redruth: Simmonds, Janes, Simmons, Gilbert, Cornish, Kevern, Stevens, Salt, Barnes, Williams, Prisk, Hattam, Clemson, Grubb, Howe.

Bench: Bonds, Tompsett, Hodge, Harper, Tucker.

Tries: Clemson (15 min), Salt (33 min), Penalty (52 min). Conversions: Kevern x2.

Last season   W16 /L14…..89 points (5th) Another satisfactory season…..Top of the middle!

The Reds had another solid season. But for defeats on the road, (LIWG 39-32, Barnstaple 29-24, Wimbledon 33-28), they would have edged closer to Taunton Titans who finished 4th on 101 points. In reality Cinderford & Chinnor were vying for the top two spots for the last few months of the season. As usual ‘The Rec’ form was rock solid with only the aforementioned teams leaving with a W.

Top points scorer was Richie Kevern with 140 points. Joint top try scorer with 9 was hooker Richard Brown, who was top of the appearance league with 29. They used 38 different players during the campaign.

So far this season…..P16 /W7 /D1…..37 points (Raiders 7th 39 points)

A good start with 6 wins in the bag by mid-October including a win at ‘The Rec’ against high-flying Canterbury (14-10). The only reversal at this point was to Raiders! Defeat on the road at LIWG (33-28) and at the Rec to Hawks (16-22) followed. A draw at the Rec against BSE (20-20) and a good win at Barnes (12-14) saw off November with ‘The Reds’ handily placed in 6th with 35 points. Since then they have lost to Rams (14-31), TJs (22-7), Old Redcliffians (17-27) and Titans (35-33), although they clawed their way back to lead 30-33, before Titans grabbed a winning try 3 minutes from no-side. Further disappointment followed in the annual Boxing Day match for the RODDA’S Milk Cup (a milk churn), when they lost to local rivals  Camborne (14-17). A few 1st XV regulars were missing, but Reds much prefer to win this one, it is amongst the oldest annual club matches still in existence (1,586 through the gate though!).

The players……….

As usual a list of players used in their last fixture against Titans, along with a few more players used in previous matches is provided, along with detail of their credentials. Centre three-quarter Connor Gilbert has started in all the fixtures, with back-row forward (sometimes scrum-half) Sam Stevens also featuring in every match. Experienced prop Craig Williams and hooker Richard Brown have only missed a couple of matches, with half backs Jack Oulton and Ritchie Kevern along with centre/wing Jack Simmons on the start sheet most weeks. Aaron Simmonds who has been a regular at full-back, has missed the last couple of matches with a muscle strain endured whilst representing Cornwall U20s.

Another interesting fixture awaits the Raiders as they strive to improve on last season’s agonising 20-19 defeat………..

Cornwall is quite a long way to travel, but what better way to recover from a hectic Christmas/New Year than a trip down to enjoy the invigorating fresh air of the Cornish countryside and to add your touchline support to the Raiders efforts……….Your support, if you can make it, is greatly appreciated by the boys!


Name/Age *played v Raiders 15th Sept Apps 2018-9 Total Apps Join Points Honours Position/Previous Clubs             *previously played v Raiders
Team v Taunton           22nd December LOST 35-33
Tom Notman (28) 8/3R 126 2010 3T Cornwall         R Navy Full Back: Camborne
Jack Simmons* (23) 15 38 2017 3T Cornwall Wing: Drybrook, Camborne
Connor Gilbert* (20) 16 39 2017 1T Cornwall Centre: Redruth Youth, Chiefs U18
Matt Bowden (31) 1 83 2008 Cornwall         R Navy Centre:
Bradley Janes*(22) 9/1R 26 2015 4T Cornwall         R Navy Wing: Truro College, Chiefs Academy
Richie Kevern* (27) 14/1R 37 2010  2017 1T/15C/4P Cornwall Fly Half: Clifton 3
Jack Oulton (23) 14 49 2016 5T Cornwall U20 SH: Truro College, Chiefs, Pirates 7, CAB*15.
Tipiloma Kivalu (31) 7/1R 32 2017   LH Prop: Navan, Chinnor, Coventry 23, Otley 24
Richard Brown (32) 12 229 2008 4T Cornwall Hooker: Truro, Cheltenham
Craig Williams* 13/1R 145 2006 Eng Counties Cornwall TH Prop: Macclesfield 39, St Ives
Ed Pascoe (26) 10 35 2016 Cornwall         R Navy Lock: Gosport & Fareham, Pirates 5.
Jake Clemson* (21) 8 17 2017 1T Eng C U18 Cornwall Lock: St Ives Youth, Chiefs, Pirates
Matt Gidlow (33) 5/6R 141 2007 1T   BS Wing Forward: Sheffield Tigers 15
Sam Stevens* (22) 13/3R 46 2014 4T   OS Wing Forward: Pirates Youth
Ben Fox (31) 10/1R 54 2007 4T Royal Navy No 8: Stalwart
Jess Tompsett* 6/3R 87 2013 Cornwall LH Prop: Brighton
Jack Hodge* (21) 3/6R 28 2017 1T Cornwall U20 LH Prop: Redruth Youth
Palepoi Nonu (40) Head Coach 0/3R 51 2015 Cornwall Centre: Launceston*48, Rotherham Titans 49, Pirates 67
Jack Heazelton 5/2R 7 2018 Cornwall Lock: Truro
Ashley Hosking (28) 0/2R 73 2012 4C Cornwall Fly Half: Hayle, Brescia Italy, Truro
Played recently         Last Played  
Dean Bonds* (26) 7/4R 112 2011 3T  Cornwall     15th Dec Wing: Redruth Youth
Shea Cornish* (19) 7/3R 10 2018 1T Cornwall U20 15/12 Wing: Penzance Youth, L Irish Exiles U18
Aaron Simmonds* (18) 13 13 2018 2T/14C/10P Eng C U18    8th Dec Full Back: Penryn, Newquay Hornets, Truro College
Alex ‘AJ’ Cant (19) 2/1R 19 2017 8th Dec Wing: Truro College, Chiefs Academy, Pirates 4
Todd Prisk*(23) 4/1R 40 2014 1T  Cornwall      8th Dec Lock: St Ives, Fylde 8, Plymouth Albion 9.
Eliot Salt* (18) 1/5R 12 2018 1T Cornwall U20 8/12 LH Prop: St Austell, Chiefs U18
Luke Barnes* (19) 2/3R 5 2018 Cornwall U20 1/12 Hooker: Camborne
Mark Grubb* 12 43 2016 Cornwall 24th Nov OS Wing Forward: Wadebridge Camels
Luke Hattam* (23) 7/2R 69 2015 Cornwall     24th Nov Lock: Redruth Youth, Chiefs U18
Brad Howe * (23) 7/3R 76 2014 1 Cornwall    7th Nov No 8: Pirates, Helston, Chiefs Academy