Archives 05/10

Archives 2005/10

Cornish Pirates Archives 2005 to 2010


Cornish Pirates Archives

Valiant Pirates Go Oh So Close

Cornish Pirates 23 Leeds Carnegie 25
Sunday November 16th

Phil Westren


Stunned to go 12-0 down with just four minutes on the clock, the Cornish Pirates showed their mettle and kept their composure to valiantly work their way back in this match.

Indeed, in a week when the RFU decided that a 12-team 'Championship' would be introduced next season, it was a game such as this which confirmed that for Cornish rugby and its supporters, what a great loss it would surely be if the county went without having a team representing them at such a prestigious level.

Falmouth Marine Band

With supporters having buoyantly soaked up the pre-match atmosphere, which was one enhanced by the presence of the inimitable Falmouth Marine Band, when the game eventually started, what immediately followed seemed somehow surrealistic.

The kick-off from Cornish Pirates fly-half Rhys Jones was gathered by Leeds Carnegie's athletic lock Kearnan Myall, who bounded on a run which saw him stride all of 60 metres plus to score a try at the posts which was converted by fly-half Alberto Di Bernardo, who, of course, was a former Pirates favourite at the 'Rec'.

Did it all really happen? Could we start again? No, it was real.

From an imperfect beginning, what was to follow in just the fourth minute further stunned when he squeezed in for an unconverted try on the right.

It would have been no surprise if the Cornish Pirates were numbed to a man, but their response showed anything but. Playing with confidence and enterprise, after a promising build up they soon posted their first points of the afternoon when Jones slotted a penalty in the eighth minute.

Falmouth Marine Band

From the restart the Pirates again took the play to their opponents, with forwards and backs controlling possession effectively and forcing Leeds into making errors, and after Argentinean prop Juan Gomez was yellow-carded, Jones fired over a second penalty.

Leeds looked to up their game and took play threateningly into the Pirates '22', but were foiled by good work on the ground from Pirates hooker Darren Dawidiuk.

A scrummage was awarded the Cornish team's way, and the mounting danger was further eased when scrum-half Nicky Griffiths made yardage on the right.

Di Bernardo had a penalty opportunity to extend the visitors lead, but his effort went to the right. In contrast, however, Jones shortly after made no mistake with a chance which came his way which he kicked from 40 metres out.

The determination now witnessed in the Pirates performance was immense, and a sudden 20 metres dash by Griffiths took him to within inches of the Leeds line. The pressure applied forced Leeds to to lose their composure once more, it resulting in centre Rob Vickerman being their second player of the afternoon to be directed to the sin bin by referee Nick Williams. Jones kicked the resultant penalty and the scores were now amazingly level.

It was a great fight back by the Pirates, who had so commendably clawed their way back into the match, but it was not long before they went behind once more. Firstly, Di Bernardo was on target with a penalty, and this was followed by a converted try on the left for wing Tom Biggs.

With the scoreline now reading 12-22, it was vital that the Pirates dug deep to show their character and score next, which on the stroke of half-time they thankfully did, when Jones successfully kicked his fifth penalty of the afternoon.

After the referee's whistle blew for half-time, the home crowd lifted as one to applaud the Cornish Pirates team. It was clearly to commend their efforts for having recovered from a disastrous beginning, and to also help give them the belief that a win was within their grasp.

Back to action after the break, it was unfortunately the visitors who initially dominated, with them going further ahead with a penalty kicked by Di Bernardo.

The Pirates had to withstand a sustained period of pressure, it one ultimately eased when wing Marika Vakacegu rifled the ball upfield. Jones was off target with a lengthy penalty attempt, but a break on the right by full-back Adryan Winnan turned the screw back on their opponents.

Man Of The Match Darren Dawidiuk

A superb backs move ended with wing Brian Tuohy being hauled down on the left, but the Pirates maintained their territorial advantage. From a line-out they drove with some speed to the Leeds line, it a push ending with a try deservedly scored by man of the match Dawidiuk.

The conversion missed, but in terms of winning the game the Pirates were very much in with a 'shout'.

With play entering the last quarter, decibels levels suitably rose, as both sides worked hard to create try-scoring opportunities, all of which were foiled.


Man Of The Match Darren Dawidiuk

A sixth penalty by Jones narrowed the deficit to just two points, but it was to prove the last score of the afternoon, in a match that had been highly competitive throughout.

As for the Pirates immediate future, it continues to look much brighter, with there opportunities in the coming weeks for them to further enhance the view that theirs is a resurgent side that is just getting better and better. Certainly the bonus point was deserved, it also helping left the Pirates one place in the league, as they leapfrogged Plymouth Albion into seventh place.

Cornish Pirates:
A. Winnan (capt), M. Vakacegu, P. Devlin (M. Ireland 68), T. Luke (S. Winn 66)
B. Tuohy (R. McAtee 66), R. Jones, N. Griffiths, B. Bedes (M. Evans 58), I. Motusaga
C. Morgan (S. Betty 51), B. Gulliver, H. Senekal, S. Heard (D. Seal h/t)
D. Dawidiuk, A. Paver.

Replacement (not used): P. Cook.

Leeds Carnegie:
L. Hinton (J. Goodridge 75), R. Welding, R. Vickerman, H. Paul (S. Barrow 67), T. Biggs
A. Di Bernardo, S. Mathie, R. Oakley, H. Fourie (T. McGee 17-25), C. Clark
K. Myall (J. Pendlebury 63), E. Lund, J. Gomez (T. McGee 51), R. Rawlinson (capt, P. Nilsen 80), F. Pala'amo (J. Gomez 70)

Replacement (not used): D. Paul

Yellow cards: Gomez, Vickerman.

Referee: Nick Williams (RFU)

Attendance: 3,853

Man of the match: Darren Dawidiuk