7 May, 2022
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League / Cup
Pirates Need to Be at Their Best
Travelling to play Bedford Blues this Saturday in the 2nd Leg of their Championship Cup quarter-final tie, the Cornish Pirates know they will need to be at their very best if they are to secure a result that would see them progress to the semi-final stage in the competition.
The Cornish Pirates emerged narrow 38-37 winners from the 1st Leg of the quarter final played at the Mennaye Field last Saturday, and so hold just a narrow one-point advantage to take to Goldington Road, where a packed home crowd is expected. Kick-off on Saturday is at 3pm.
Changes to the Cornish Pirates starting line-up this weekend sees a return for Alex O’Meara on the wing, with Arwel Robson and Tom Kessell named as the half-backs. Following the retirement of Tom Channon, the hooker berth will be filled by Syd Blackmore, who in his 11 appearances off the bench has to date scored four tries. Injury prevents this season’s ‘Players’ Player of the Year’, Josh Caulfield, from appearing this week, however for prop Jack Andrew the game will proudly mark his 200th appearance for the club. Two new names on the bench are those of hooker Morgan Nelson and backrower Rusiate ‘Rus’ Tuima. Nelson arrives from Cardiff Met and has already signed for next season, and Tuima is dual registered with Exeter Chiefs.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s important contest, Cornish Pirates’ joint head coach Alan Paver has commented:
“Firstly, last Saturday’s game saw it break up and be a little frantic, which is not really our style. Having said that, I thought it was a good arm wrestle and it went back and forth.
“Early doors it looked as if we were going to just canter on, but then it changed, and that’s the learning, because playing any Bedford side you need to be aware that it is in their DNA to attack. If you show them a glimpse, then they will happily take advantage.
“As for this week, they will again have quality across the board and will look to impress in front of an expected big home crowd. They are also very keen to progress in the competition, so we’ll need to be at our best to contain them and to give ourselves any chance of achieving the right result.”
Nico De Battista (C)
Jack Andrew (200)