4 March, 2023
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League / Cup
With the past weekend a reserve one in the fixture list, following their recent Cup encounter away to Ampthill the Pirates will next face the Bedfordshire side away at Dillingham Park once again, but on this occasion in the league. Scheduled for this Saturday, the 4th March, the two sides will contest a 9th versus 8th Round 15 encounter that kicks off at 2pm.
The teams have already met three times this season, the Pirates winning 15-13 at home in the league in October, whilst also emerging victorious from two Cup games played – 27-18 at home in November and then 23-14 away in February.
Changes in the Cornish Pirates XV from the one that faced Ampthill last time out sees Arthur Relton selected on the wing and AJ Cant moved to full-back, with Garyn Smith also returning to partner Rory Parata in the centre. In the forwards there are starts for props Jack Andrew and Matt Johnson, hooker Will Crane, and flanker Alex Everett, whilst fresh faces on the bench include experienced prop Marlen Walker and fit again scrum-half Ruaridh Dawson. For replacements Steele Barker and Jarrard Hayler, should they get a call to action then it will be their first appearance in a Championship league game.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s contest, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle has commented:
“Playing Ampthill only recently there were lessons for us to learn from that contest. We know they are very physical at the breakdown and are overall very tough customers, as we also found out in other games this season when they pushed us close.
“So, knowing what to expect, it will be another challenge when we must be ready to go again.”
“Naturally, the league will be our focus for the next couple of months, and holding a belief that our actual league position belies our potential we will inevitably be striving to achieve results that will hopefully see us climb the league ladder into the top half of the table.”
John Stevens (C)