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There is a patch of turf in front of the Naughty Boys Corner, that will never have to buy a beer again. Ever. Poor young Tulloch-Bird – the Ealing replacement winger, will be haunted by it – as twice he came unstuck with the line beckoning in a frantic finale to a pulsating advert for Championship rugby. RFU take note.
In fairness – and despite a late surge by the Trailfinders to almost snatch victory – the Pirates were well worth their win. Maybe Big G is a Cornishman at heart – but this performance was in complete contrast to last week’s relatively lame loss at Hartpury. For 75 minutes they fought tooth and nail when not in possession – whilst playing with flair and confidence when with the pill tucked under their arms.
From the get-go they pressurised their visitors, whose discipline creaked as a direct consequence. Cue De Wee’s spell in the can for a dangerous hit at a breakdown with only four clicks gone. It wrecked their early initiative which the Pirates drew strength from.
Their penalty try was suitable reward for an effort that created a chance or two in it’s lead up. But could they follow up? Yup they could – but not with any additional points as the half progressed – despite their command in every other aspect.
Concern then perhaps as Ealing finally threatened around the half hour. A penalty & kick to the corner saw Ealing’s maul neutralised – but Al-Jaboori found space, broke a tackle, and comfortably dived under the posts. Willis easily levelled things and collective Cornish breaths were held.
And then released with gusto – as the response saw Dunks twinkle-toe down the right wing and set up prop Schickerling for a weavy 20m run inside Ealing’s 22. We thought he’d done it too – as another squaring up of the packs suggested in the aftermath. Sadly a knock on denied Patrick the glory he warranted. But a marker was laid down to take into the break.
Resumption after, underlined this line in the sand, as Robson brilliantly found touch to earn his team a lineout inside Ealing’s 22 in the second period’s opening minute. Courtesy of the new 50-22 rule.
Pressure mounted instantly and Cutmore’s dot down had inevitable all over it. Arwell’s conversion skewed right of the posts in the tricky cross wind – but he made amends ten minutes later – from a far more difficult penalty. Extending the advantage to crucially two scores with only the last quarter to see out.
In between – it bizarrely rained at the Newlyn End. Only. And heavily too. Whilst the opposite end of the park was bathed in dry sunshine. This was Big G preparing us for that grandstand finish wasn’t it? Ealing’s second yellow didn’t help either – as Sara pointed touchwards to Hampson – for a deliberate knock on.
That last five minutes then will go down in Pirate history as one to remember – and recall with candour.
Ealing found that kitchen sink that so often needs finding to throw. Wing Kernohan burst through some fierce Cornish defence to set things up nicely – even if Willis couldn’t add the extras. The fly half probably still reeling from missing two touches from penalties in it’s lead-up.
This mattered not. Trailfinders had their tails up – and their hosts were well and truly pinned with their backs to the wall. Ealing’s pack pounded the line to soften things up – they certainly weren’t going to pierce the line via this route. Hence spinning the pill out wide left to their wingman in space…..
Best leave it there I guess.