Cornwall RLFC


Cornwall 0 Keighley Cougars 26 – Report

June 23, 2024

David Weetman in action against Keighley – Colin Bradbury

Cornwall were defeated by table topping Keighley Cougars, as the hosts overcame a horror start to restrict the visitors to just six tries.

The game should have been over as a contest at the turnaround with Keighley in complete control with an 18-0 lead, which should have been more had Jack Miller not had an off day from the tee.

Fourteen of the Cougars’ points haul came in the opening 20 minutes as they looked like they would run riot under drizzly skies, on a difficult pitch.

But Cornwall dug in and weathered the early storm with the Choughs conceding just two tries after the turnaround, despite playing up the Memorial Ground slope.

Despite failing to register on the scoreboard, Cornwall actually finished the game the stronger of the two sides after an incident involving Junior Sa’u and Aaron Small lit the blue touch paper, eight minutes from time.

A verbal exchange between the former Super League and NRL star with Small and Cornwall skipper David Weetman led to a stoppage in play. When calm was restored by referee Adam Williams, Sa’u, unsurprisingly took the first carry, running straight at Small and Bailey Black, with the Australian landing an absolute bellringer on Keighley’s number four.

This incident saw both team rush in and a melee broke out which resulted in Small and Alex Bishop spending the rest of the game in the sinbin. Keighley were awarded the penalty and once again, Sa’u carted the ball forward and Black stood firm to dislodge the ball.

Cornwall then rumbled forward in search of a try that their endeavours would surely have merited, but Keighley kept them out and a brilliant break by Oscar Thomas almost resulted in a seventh try with the last play.

If Thomas had scored, his effort would have seen Keighley finish the game exactly how they started, by crossing the whitewash.

Harry Boots runs at the Keighley defence – Colin Bradbury

The outstanding Ryder, got the Cougars’ ball rolling inside the opening 60 seconds when he broke free down Cornwall’s left edge and powered through two would-be tackles to dot down. Miller hit the woodwork with his first conversion but Keighley were ahead.

With less than 10 minutes on the clock, Ben Blackmore attacked down the same side of the ground and he bagged a debut score which went unconverted.

Miller did temporarily find his kicking boots when Ryder bagged his second of the afternoon before Cornwall came within a whisker of registering. Nathan Conroy’s dab in behind saw Cameron Brown just a fingertip away from downward pressure on the ball.

A fourth visiting try duly arrived 14 minutes shy of the break when Sa’u, powered his way over on the last as Miller missed the chance to add another two on again.

After the break, Brown was shown a harsh yellow card for delaying the restart and whilst a man light, Ellis Robson bagged the first of his two tries. It was a fortunate try, too, as Cornwall felt the away side had knocked when held up over the line.

The referee ruled differently and a kick in behind saw Coby Nichol slip, as Robson picked up to dot down. Another missed kick at goal from Miller saw him relieved of his duties from the tee for the final try of the game as Robson ran onto a flat ball to score.

Thomas took over as goal kicker but he struck the steelwork with his only effort of the afternoon, 12 minutes from time.  

Cornwall: Brown, Nichol, Small, Mitchell, Aaronson, Conroy, Black, Ross, Collins, Boots, Cullen, Simpson, Weetman. Interchange: (all used) Campbell, Rhodes, Lloyd, Dimech.

Sinbin: Brown (48) – delaying the restart, Small (74) – running in

Keighley: Thomas, Blacmore, Ryder, Sa’u, Walkley, Bishop, Millet, Maher, Kesik, Revell, Robson, Lanskey, Parkey. Interchange: (all used) Dean, Flanagan, Hatton, Ioane

Tries: Ryder (1,18), Blackmore (8), Sa’u (26), Robson (50, 68)

Goals: Miller 1/5, Thomas 0/1

Sinbin: Bishop (74) – running in

Referee: Adam Williams