The Cornish Rebels opened their home account in the South West League in style with an emphatic rout of reigning champions Devon Sharks at Redruth`s Recreation Ground.
Rugby league history was made as the Rebels took the field for the first ever league fixture on Cornish soil and a crowd of around 200 turned out to watch.
The Rebels side featured several faces from the local rugby union scene including five from the Camborne club and lock Ashley Lawton who represented Cornwall a week ago at Twickenham. And their playing style of combining league physicality and aggression along with a union handling skills and a deft ability to keep the ball alive quickly had the Sharks in trouble.
Lawton made his own bit of history as he scored the Rebels` first try powering over from close range after nine minutes and although a converted try from Chivers quickly levelled the scores, the Cornish side kept up the offensive.
Grant Thirlby raced in from 55 metres to put the Rebels back in front only for poor defending to let Josh Boaller into level the scores again on the half hour. But just before half-time Lawton set up centre Tom Wilkinson and Johnny Platt`s third conversion gave the Rebels a deserved 18-12 interval lead.
The second half was pretty much one-way traffic with Platt`s grubber kick releasing full-back Darren Pellow to scoot through a pedestrian Sharks defence for try number four. Ethan Pattison added a fifth try before Pellow struck again on the hour as he popped up on the left wing to finish a strong midfield break.
Centre Llocryn Williams raced in from 40 metres as Devon Sharks faded in the sunshine with only a consolation score from Jack Keiller to show for their second half efforts. The scoring was completed 8 minutes from the end as Rebels wing Paul Saberton rounded off a fine individual display as he went 70 metres down the right wing outpacing a desperate Sharks defence.
The Rebels travel to Somerset Vikings next week looking to extend their winning run to three now having fired a massive broadside across the bows of the rest of the league.
1. Pellow, 2.Saberton, 3.L.Williams, 4.Wilkinson, 5.Bristow, 6.Thirlby, 7.Randall; 8.Pattison, 9.Platt, 10.M.Williams, 11.Lawton, 12.Gaskell, 13.Beasley
Replacements – 14.Moore, 15.Bartle, 16.Keverne, 17.Pallet, 18.Ford, 19.MacIntyre, 20.Jones
Tries – Pellow (2), Saberton, L.Williams, Wilkinson, Thirlby, Pattison, Lawton
Cons – Platt (7)
1.Winfield, 2.Collyer, 3.Ansimoz, 4.Boaller, 5.Keiller, 6.Knapman, 7.Rowlands; 8.Chivers, 9.Cartwright, 10.Smerdon, 11.Curtis, 12.Wolke, 13.Monnington
Replacements – 14. Easson, 15.Pozniak, 16.Roberts, 17.Morris, 18.Carlisle, 19.Bramley
Tries – Chivers, Boaller, Keiller
Cons – Rowlands (3)