Plymouth Albion 55 Cornish All Blacks 3
Sunday 10th August 2014
Match Report by Paddy Marsh
Plymouth Albion got their pre season fixtures off to a winning start running in a half century of points against the Cornish All Blacks but the gloss was taken off the win by the first half sending off of scrum half Ruairi Cushion.
Cushion, who this season taken on a new role of player coach, was dismissed along with former Albion player the All blacks hooker Jamie Salter by young referee Mathew O’Grady after an altercation near the home goal line.
O’Grady on the advice of an assistant referee sent off Cushion and Salter for punching and both players will now have to appear before an RFU disciplinary panel ahead of the new league season.
Albion head coach James Shanahan speaking about the dismissal of Cushion said, “The referee had to treat the match as if it was a league game and if punches were thrown he had to consider sending players off.
“I will however take a close look at the DVD of the game before deciding what to do next with regards to Ruairi.
Shanahan commenting on the match added, “It was good to get a competitive game under our belts. There is no substitute for playing a match and I was really pleased that we didn’t concede a try.”
A number of players in their first appearance in an Albion shirt will be pleased with their performances with No 8 Ali Bone standing out.
Albion included seven newcomers in their starting line up and a further eight on an enlarged replacements bench.
On a sunny but windy afternoon Albion took the lead in the seventh minute when Bone powered over from a five metre scrum.
Fly half Declan Cusack converted and then added the extras to Albion’s second try that was scored by Cushion after a quickly taken penalty.
Right wing Peter Homan, a summer signing from London Scottish, crossed for try number three with Cusack adding the simple conversion.
The All Blacks opened their account when fly half Kieron Lewitt put over a penalty from in front of the posts after Albion were penalised for not releasing.
From the kick off Albion centre Ben Woods charged down a kick by Jake Murphy and gathered the ball for his sides fourth try.
A great handling move by Albion ended with hooker Sam Matavesi going over in the corner .
Albion were then reduced to 14 when prop Tom Harrison was yellow carded and after a exchange of punches Cushion and Salter were sent from the field.
As it was a friendly match the referee allowed both teams to play the second half with 15 players which obviously didn’t include Cushion and Salter.
Leading 31-3 at the break Albion stretched their lead in the 51st minute when Homan got his second try of the game and Elliot Clements –Hill taking over the kicking duties converted.
The game went rather flat but picked up when replacement back rower Sam Simmonds seized on an All Blacks mistake by kicking ahead and re gathering for his sides seventh try.
Mark Kohler who joined Albion from Coventry was the next over the whitewash after cutting through the visitors defence.
Albion’s final try was scored by trailist Ben Foley, with Clements-Hill adding the simple conversion from in front of the posts.
The All Blacks although out classed deserve great credit for their defensive efforts particularly in the second half.
Plymouth Albion: E Clements-Hill, P Homan, T Howley-Berridge, B Woods, L Warner, D Cusack, R Cushion, T Harrison, S Matavesi, T Heard, T Jubb, N Patrick, I Grieve capt, E Grace, A Bone replacements all used T Stagg, T Fidler, L Chapman, D Pullinger, C Zeiss, B Beukeboom, S Simmonds, J Williams, J Shanahan, M Kohler, S Liley, B Foley, J Henry, P Kolakowski
Tries: Bone, Cushion, Homan 2, Woods, Matavesi, Simmonds, Kohler, Foley
Cons: Cusack 3, Clements-Hill 2
Yellow card: Harrison
Red card: Cushion
Cornish All Blacks: M Shepherd, K Speare, M Kneebone, J Murphy, C Chew, K Lewitt, R Friend, T Mathias, J Salter, S Naqasima, B Hilton, J Tripcony, M Davies, L Duke, BJ Chapman replacements all used B Pow, F Bulut, T Hurdwell, K Smith, D Parish, J Chisholm, S Chapman, C Swash, J Dawe
Red card: Salter
Referee: Mathew O’Grady (RFU)