Cornwall RLFC 10 Doncaster 44 – Match Report
July 10, 2022
Cornwall were eased aside by Doncaster in Betfred League 1 at the Memorial Ground with the home side’s cause hampered by Luke Collins’ 12th minute red card.
Collins returned to the starting line-up after missing the win at West Wales and last outing at home to Hunslet. The hooker came into Cornwall’s starting line-up at the expense of Sam Gilder, who dropped out of the 17 altogether.
Hull Kingston Rovers loan duo Adam Rusling and Nathan Cullen both came into the starting line-up for Joe Purcell and Sam Snell. Scrum-half Purcell was named at interchange alongside Bradford Bulls pair Marcus Green and Sam Arundel, under the dual registration agreement between Cornwall and the Championship outfit.
The Choughs’ recent recruit from Keighley Cougars Myles Tate would aslos start the match on the interchange bench.
For Doncaster, in the searing Duchy heat, their fourth victory on the spin further strengthens the promotion push for Richard Horne’s side who, on this evidence alone, look well-placed to erase the memories of play-off final heartache in 2021.
For Cornwall, their hopes of a maiden home triumph were over within the first quarter when Australian raised hooker Collins was sent off by referee Aaryn Belafonte.
The match official was some distance from Collins when play was stopped but without hesitation he reached for his back pocket and Cornwall’s number nine was sent packing for dissent.
By that stage, Cornwall were already behind thanks to Watson Boas’ fifth minute try. The Papua New Guinea international, who caught the eye playing for his country against Great Britain in 2019, glided through the home rearguard straight from a scrum.
After Collins’ dismissal, it was the 12-men of Cornwall who scored next through former Castleford academy prop Jack Ray. A powerful surge from home skipper Jamie Prisk saw Cornwall camped on the Doncaster line. Aaron Jones-Bishop, in at dummy half, fed Rusling and the Hull Kingston Rovers loan star’s delightful reverse pass found Ray who crashed over.
With Rusling adding the extras, Cornwall led 6-4 but just before the scheduled water break due to the heat, Doncaster went ahead with Boas’ delayed ball finding Aaron Ollett-Hobson who did the rest.
Boas took over the kicking duties from Robinson but missed again and Doncaster led by just two points.
Once play resumed after the mid-half stoppage, Doncaster simply blew Cornwall away with four tries in 11 minutes.
Boas was the destroyer-in-chief for Doncaster as they ruthlessly exposed Cornwall’s man disadvantage. All four tries came down the home side’s right edge with veteran Ben Cockayne the first man to profit as he supported Ben Johnstone to dot down.
Straight from the restart, Doncaster scored again as Johnston went from provider to finish off winger Travis Corian’s break. Boas then grabbed his second of the afternoon when he raced through unopposed from half-way.
There was a sense of anticipation every time Boas got the ball from Doncaster’s visiting supporters as half-time approached while those of a black and gold disposition feared another four points.
And so it proved when Boas broke free again to find fellow countryman Jason Tali on his shoulder and Doncaster had their sixth try of the opening half.
The final word before the turnaround did go to Cornwall however as Cockayne popped the ball straight into Rusling’s hands and he raced 70- metres to score. His conversion attempt from out wide hit the post and Cornwall took the momentum gained from that late try into the second stanza.
For 25 minutes, the hosts defended their line with gusto as Doncaster failed to prise the home rearguard open. It begged the question as to how the game would have panned out if Collins had stayed on the pitch and the Cornwall defensive efforts had been improved leading up to half time.
Doncaster did finally break through again in the final quarter as Johnston jinked his way over from close-range but the Cornwall floodgates never opened.
Indeed it wasn’t until after the full-time siren had sounded that Doncaster stretched the 12-men and Tom Halliday finished off a flowing move to complete the scoring.
Cornwall: Whitton, Aaronson, Jones-Bishop, Ashton, Trerise, Conroy, Rusling, Hartshorne, Collins, Ray, Cullen, Bodman, Prisk. Interchange: (all used) Purcell, Green, Arundel, Tate.
Tries: Ray, Rusing. Goals: Rusling 1/2
Sent off: Collins (dissent)
Doncaster: Robinson, Halliday, Stoery, Tali, Corion, Johnston, Boas, Fella, Burnes, Foster, Ollett-Hobson, Smeaton McConnell. Interchange: (all used) Cockayne, Petersen, Roberts, Ruan.
Tries: Boas (2), Ollett-Hobson, Cockayne), Johnston (2), Tali, Halliday
Goals: Robinson 5/6 Boas 1/2
Referee: Aaryn Belafonte; Touch-judges: Cameron Charnock and Sam Jenkinson; Reserve referee: Guy Pallett