CORNISH REBELS 94 – 12 EXETER CENTURIONS
The Centurions were a much changed team from the team which lifted the South West Cup in June, but still with plenty of experience on the pitch they were well under-par and let in 17 tries including four from wing Alex Ducker and three from man-of-the match Darren Pellow to bring their chance of a treble-winning season to an unforgiving halt.
It look at first to be a well matched contest. The Centurions enjoyed plenty of possession and completed their sets well in the opening quarter. Some errors from the Cornish saw them giving cheap penalties and yards away, but thankfully a stunning defensive display meant that it was going to take far more than Exeter could offer to rack up a decent tally on the day.
The Rebels were spurred by stunning offensive displays from props Tom Cowan-Dickie, and Jess Tompsett who along with loose forward Martyn Lawrance had fun with the ball in hand finding plenty of room to break and gain yards on the opposition. The first try soon came after a neat ball down the line to Ducker, whose pace was too much for the Centurions to handle throughout the afternoon. Hooker Pellow dotted down for his first soon after and stand-off Jamie Prisk grabbed his first of a brace this time converting after missing the first two attemts. Pellow soon added another after a scoot from the play the ball saw him in space and then winger Lewis Thomas kept a cool head to finish a fine team move which saw the ball travel from one side of the pitch to the other to see twenty-four unanswered points on the scoreboard with half an hour gone.
Centurions were not deterred however and Stef Archer managed to power the ball over the Rebels line for their first try of the day to which Alex Edwards added the extras. After the kick-off however Ducker found himself with the ball in hand behind his own tryline and he showed the crowd the full extent of his pace by leaving the Centurions defenders behind him to immediately reply to their score with another. He converted before second-row Joe Martin finished another slick move for the Cornish and bagged his first try in yellow which Ducker also goaled
After the interval normal service was resumed fairly quickly with Ducker again converting his own try before vice-captain Prisk followed suit. Rebels stalwart Guy Pallett marked a standout performance with a breakaway try which he put under the posts and relative newcomer Olly Reynolds found the whitewash with an outstretched arm from a tackle during another convincing display alongside fellow forward Andrius Zachorouvas.
It was Rebels’ top try-scorer for the 2015 campaign Pellow who picked up the man of the match award but Rebels fullback Aaron Henry must have been a close second for his formidable shift throughout the day. He was instrumental in multiple tries and grabbed two for himself, back-to-back before scrum-half Sam Bristow showed his class to shrug two defenders and go through another to reach over and touch down.
Pellow and Ducker grabbed one more each with Pellow’s coming from providing his sure support to Henry who had broken the line and the number 9 had to take the offload and dive in under the posts to finish another fine team move. Centurions finally put together a late showing to get prop Ben Cowley over the line for their second. The last try of the day went to Josh Durant who caused lots of problems for the Centurions by gaining plenty of yards from the front row and Ducker completed his thirty point tally with the final conversion of the game.
The South West Rugby League calendar reaches its climax this Sunday at Teignmouth when the County of Origin third test takes place between Devon and Cornwall to decide the series.
Image credit to Dan Barbary
Final Score; Cornish Rebels 94 – 12 Exeter Centurions
Cornish Rebels – Aaron Henry, Alex Ducker, Decarlo Trerise, Guy Pallett, Lewis Thomas, Sam Bristow, Jamie Prisk, Jess Tompsett, Darren Pellow, Tom Cowan-Dickie, Kye Beasley, Matt Ballard, Martyn Lawrance.
Interchanges – Sam Scates-Veale, Olly Reynolds, Peter Mabbott, Josh Durant, Joe Martin, James Martyn, Andrius Zachorouvas, Calum Durant.
Tries- Ducker (4), Pellow (3), Henry (2), Prisk (2), Thomas, Bristow, Reynolds, Durant, Martin, Pallett. Cons – Prisk 6/9 Ducker 7/8
Tom Rushton, Ed Powell, Simon Hartrey, Dan Mountstevens, Alex Tolman-Edwards, Alex Edwards, Stef Archer, Ben Cowley, Scott Diack, Dave Walters, Rory Smith, Matt Jones, Alex Ford
Interchanges – Steve Brown, Tobey Tooley, Henry Lewin-Titt, Ben Tharme, Jon Newton
Tries – Archer, Cowley. Cons – Edwards 2/2.
Referee – A. Bickle