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Rugby: Truro College

By West Briton  |  Posted: April 10, 2014

  • CHAMPIONS: Truro College celebrate their dramatic 30-27 win against Filton College in a thrilling AASE Plate final at Allianz Park in London.

  • GOLDEN BOYS: The Truro College squad who who gold at the British Colleges championships. Back row from left: Harrison Cully, Tom Hendrickson, Jack Simmons, Matt Bolwell, Brad Janes, Konnor Ewudzi, Tom Holdsworth. Front row: Jake Woodward, Noah Sixton, Joel Matavesi, Jack Innard and Matt Butler.

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A PENALTY with the last kick of the game by Truro College full-back Connor Swann, gave them a 30-27 win against Filton College in a thrilling AASE Plate final at Allianz Park in London, the home of Saracens.

It was a meeting of two contrasting styles – the power and control of Truro, against the fast and loose running game of Filton.

Truro dominated possession and territory for the first half hour, and were rewarded with a healthy 15-3 lead, thanks to tries from scrum half Matt Butler and centre Jack Simmons.

But a four minute Filton spell just before the break turned the game on its head.

First, full-back Adams Francis snuck over from close range, before Filton scored the try of the match two minutes later when centre Chay Smith showed a genius piece of skill with a no look pass to send fellow centre Josh Daly galloping over to give Filton an unthinkable 17-15 half time lead.

After a few reassuring words from coaches Marek Churcher and Tom Rawlings, the second half followed a similar pattern to the first. Truro came out and controlled matters from the off.

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Hooker Tommy Lee Southworth wrestled the lead back from Filton with a short range try, then ten minutes later Truro were awarded a penalty try after Filton collapsed a maul close to their line. But Filton mustered some energy once again and fought back to add drama to the denouement.

A penalty from Kieran Hill brought them back to within one score, before a try by scrum half Andy Uren levelled the scores after a brilliant touchline conversion by Scott Daley.

At 27-27, Truro would still take away the trophy having scored more tries, but a Swan penalty with the final play ensured the trophy was gathered with a win.

Truro College captain Joel Matavesi said: "I was struggling to watch with that kick at the end. We were both practising our kicks in the warm up, and I was slicing a few so luckily Connor was there to take it.

"It's great to go out on a win, it was quite an emotional changing room before the game with a few tears shed, but it was great to finish on a high."

Coach Marek Churcher hailed his team's maturity and overall performance. He said: 'These boys have done everything we have asked of them against a free running Filton side.

"This result is testament to how much effort these boys have put in throughout the year. We train more than some professional teams and it is the commitment off the field that has led to this performance."

The AASE (Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) league is the highest standard of rugby at U18 level in the country and Truro College has been a stepping stone for rugby players to go on and play Premiership and Championship rugby.

With the likes of Jack Nowell and Luke Cowan Dickie performing regularly on both the international and Premiership scene, the Exeter Chiefs Academy has continued the trend and its latest crop of talent has been awarded with full time contracts with the Exeter club.

Jack Oulton, Jack Innard, Tom Hendrickson and Max Bodilly will all try to emulate their predecessors and represent the College and Cornwall on the big stage.

TRURO COLLEGE v Filton: Tommy Phillips, Tommy Lee Southworth Billy Keast, Luke Hattam, Brad Howe, Tony Pellow, . Jack Innard, Neil Stanleick, Matt Butler, Joel Matavesi, Harrison Culley, Tom Holdsworth, Jack Simmons, Noah Sixton, Connor Swan. Replacements: Luke Trewhella, Jack Stanley, Ollie Bennett Hughes, Oskar Fields, Angus McLean-Brown, Jake Woodward, Brad James and Jack Willey.

There was little rest for the boys with a quick turn around and back up the M5 for the British College Championships at the University of Bath, where they won gold in the sevens.

Th squad included 10 members who were part of the winning team from the AASE finals just two days previously, including Tom Hendrickson and Matt Bolwell.

The team brushed aside some strong opposition and their efforts over the two days were rewarded by going seven games unbeaten and only conceding four tries in the whole tournament as they claimed the British Colleges sevens Championship.

After a hectic few weeks, covering nearly 3,000 miles, the players have a well earned break but when they return from the Easter holidays it will be straight back into training in preparation for next season.

The College Rugby Academy would like to thank their kind sponsors Sams Cornwall for their support and generosity.

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