Archived Report

Pertemps Bees 8 Pirates 17


2006 Ends With Real Wet Weather Rugby

Pertemps Bees 8 Pirates 17
Saturday December 30rd 2006

Woll's Match Pictures

Delighted Pirates coach Jim McKay was full of praise for his side as they brought the curtain down on 2006 with a 17-8 victory over the Pertemps Bees.

In atrocious conditions at Sharmans Cross Road, the Pirates quickly banished the disappointment of their pre-Christmas defeat by Plymouth Albion to record their 13th league win of the season.

A try in each half from recalled No.8 Tim Cowley, plus the boot of Argentinian fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo ensured success for the visitors, who remain firmly in the division's title race as they head into the New Year.

McKay made four changes to the side defeated by Albion, all of them coming in the pack.

In the front-row Grant Anderson and Nick Makin were handed rare starts, while behind Iva Motusaga and Cowley were brought into the back-row at the expense of Chris Cracknell and Matt Evans.

There was also a welcome return to action - albeit on the bench - of Cornishman Adryan Winnan, who had been forced to sit out the games with Leeds and Albion because of a hamstring injury.

With rain lashing down from the outset, this encounter was never going to be the prettiest. However, it was the Bees who were the first to show, the home side gaining two penalties inside the opening five minutes. On both occasions, though, they opted for a kick to the corner, rather than a shot at the posts.

Good defence from the Pirates kept the Birmingham-based club at bay during those initial raids, although when the Bees finally found a way through, a forward pass ruled out hooker Matt Miles' try on 14 minutes.

It was the Duchy's finest who then had the next chance to break the deadlock, but sadly Di Bernardo's 35-metre penalty on 21 minutes sailed wide of the right post.

As both sides continued to slug it out with each other in the heavy conditions, it took a mistake from Pirates full-back Duncan Roke to offer the Bees their opening score. Roke's intended clearance sliced off his right boot into the arms of Miles, he fed full-back Jon Goodridge, whose kick over the top saw winger Mat Nutthall win the race to the line to score. Brad Davies, however, was unable to convert the tough touchline kick.

The Pirates response was immediate, though, centre Henry Barratt carving a lovely line through the home defence, only to be halted just short of the right corner by an excellent cover tackle by Fijian forward Akapusi Qera.

It was the first real move of any significance by the visitors, but it showed them the way forward. Indeed, more good work from Barratt just before the break saw him link with fellow centre Duncan Bell, who despite being stopped yards from the try-line was able to feed the ball to Cowley to score, Di Bernardo's conversion made it 7-5 at the break to the Pirates.

The second half started as the first finished with the Pirates firmly on the offensive. A box kick from Gavin Cattle released Rhodri McAtee down the left, the Welshman hacked forward before creating a maul from which Cowley burrowed over from close range, Di Bernardo again converting.

As conditions continued to deteriorate, it was the Bees who reduced the arrears with a Davies penalty just on the hour mark. However, despite a valiant last quarter from the home side, it was Di Bernardo who wrapped the game up for the visitors with an injury-time penalty.

Jim McKayMcKay said afterwards: "That was a very good win for us and I'm stoked for the boys.

It was a real good contest, real wet weather rugby, and we had ground out a win under difficult circumstances.

"Of course there were areas where we made mistakes, but I'm not going to dissect the performance too much, simply because it was very tough going out there."

He added: "It was a good response after the Plymouth game, but last week has gone now.

It's about what you do each week, it was a mud heap out there so we'll happily take the four points and the win."

Pertemps Bees 8
Try - Nutthall; Penalty - Davies

Cornish Pirates 17
Tries - Cowley 2; Conversions - Di Bernardo 2; Penalty - Di Bernardo

J Goodridge; R Spee (S Martin 48), D Knight, B Davies, M Nutthall; J Higgins (R Petty 80)
M Baxter; M Long, M Miles (S Pearl 72), E Lewis (N Fowkes 62); A Davidson, M Cornwell (capt)
D Tuohy, A Qera (D Miller 80), W Matthews (L Halafatou 40).

Replacement (not used): M George.

D Roke; R McAtee, H Barratt (A Winnan 72), D Bell, J Hylton; A Di Bernardo, G Cattle (capt)
G Anderson, N Makin (V Ma'asi 58), S Heard (D Seal 57); H Senekal, J Beardshaw; S McKeen, I Motusaga (M Evans 80), T Cowley (C Cracknell 68).

Replacements (not used): J Moore, S Winn.

Referee: R Draper (RFU)

Attendance: 612