Saturday 21st January 2017
British & Irish Cup Rd 6
Mennaye Field Penzance
A hat-trick of tries for Cornish Pirates' wing, Alex O'Meara, will no doubt stand out as a deciding factor in this relatively comfortable win for the hosts – as progress into the quarter finals was sealed with this seven try mauling of the Connacht Eagles.
But it was the unsung work of the likes of Man of the Match, Luke Chapman up front - that provided the platform for the 'girls' in the back line to eventually strut their stuff. This became even more apparent after a dominant second quarter from the Pirates, all but decided the outcome – as the Irishmen responded in the second half to deservedly earn a four try bonus point – to reward the clear enterprise they'd displayed from the outset.
This enterprise consequently, had limited the hosts to only a solitary Laurence May penalty in the 17th minute – until the floodgates opened - cosmically speaking – in the second twenty minutes of the first period, when the Cornishmen exploited their physicality superiority in devastating fashion. Tries from Morgan, O'Meara (2) and then Bartlett secured the vital bonus point – and left the visitors chasing their tails and only a solitary try from full back Byrne to show for their efforts.
Sadly both Byrne and Bartlett were to play no further part in the contest following their scores – as separate injuries forced their departure from proceedings soon after. The Pirates' centre worryingly had the luxury of a stretcher ride off the pitch – although his rib injury was played down afterwards by Coach Cattle as hopefully not being too serious.
After the break then – and things generally went a bit 'left field' as the two teams traded tries with abandon – in as open a half as the crowd may have enjoyed – but that the defence coaches will have winced at...once they dare remove hands from in front of eyes.
Cornish back row – Jake Parker – began the flurry with a try in the Old Western National Corner which was quickly cancelled out by Eagles' Lowndes.
Naughty Boys Corner soon had more to cheer about as the hosts abandoned any thought of structure in search of morale boosting scoreline. Irish flamboyancy lost them the ball, which Max Bodilly exploited well into the Eagles '22'. Scrum half Alex Day manfully did the rest and the half century was now in sight.
O'Meara's hat-trick, off the back of a slick reverse at the rear of the Pirates scrum duly delivered – but only after O'Keefe's opportunism had added five more points for the visitors.
An 8th Cornish try for Moyle - that had seen the Pirates run from deep with excellent interplay between Kyle and Bodilly was though chalked off. Marlen Walker instead, was invited to watch the remaining moments following an infringement at scrum time – while Irish hooker, Delahunt, completed the afternoon's scoring to gain his side some consolation for their efforts.
There was only time for one further moment of note – when de Batista produced a huge hit at the Newlyn End to illustrate this team's commitment to the end.
Are we seeing the signs that the Pirates are making things great again? Maybe we shall see next door to Kew Gardens next week....maybe...
15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Mike Pope, 13 Max Bodilly
12 Bar Bartlett (22 Nicolas De Battista 39), 11 Alex O’Meara
10 Laurence May (21 Will Cargill 51), 9 Alex Day
1 Luke Chapman (17 Marlen Walker 59), 2 Jack Innard (16 Tom Channon 50)
3 Paul Andrew (18 Jack Andrew 40), 4 Josh Caulfield (19 Brett Beukeboom 59)
5 Chris Morgan (captain), 6 Jake Parker (1 Luke Chapman 77-)
7 John Stevens (20 Sam Simmonds 46), 8 Dan Lee
Replacements: all used
Tries: Morgan (22), O'Meara (28,37,68), Bartlett (35), Parker (45), Day (60)
Cons: May (23,29,36,38,46), Cargill (69)
Pens: May (17)
Yellow: Walker 75-
15 Matthew Byrne (23 Joe Murphy 38), 14 Ed O’Keeffe , 13 Ciaran Gaffney
12 Kieran Joyce, 11 Adam Leavy (21 Morgan Codyre 48), 10 Luke Carty
9 Stephen Kerins (20 Conor Lowndes 56) , 1 Jamie Dever (16 Jack Dinneen 40)
2 Shane Delahunt (3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy 79-)
3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy (17 Saba Meunargia 53)
4 Cian Romaine (18 Peter Claffey 53), 5 Danny Qualter (captain), 6 Marc Kelly
7 James Connolly, 8 Eoghan Masterson (19 Rory Moloney 40)
Replacements: all used
Tries: Byrne (32), Lowndes (57), O'Keefe (63), Delahunt (78)
Cons: Codyre (58,79)
Referee: Matt Turvey
Assistants: Jonathan Healy & Christopher Bartlett
4th Official: Ben Russell
Performance Reviewer: Lloyd Jackson
Man of Match: Luke Chapman