22 December, 2017
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League / Cup
Returning to Greene King IPA Championship action this week, for the Cornish Pirates their second half of the campaign starts on Friday evening with a Round 12 encounter away to Bristol Rugby (ko 7.45pm).
Top dogs Bristol have won all 11 league games played this season, in the process scoring 470 points for and 216 against – giving a huge points difference of 254. As for the sixth-placed Pirates, their record reads 338 points for and 294 against, a points difference of 44.
After two weeks of playing in their respective British & Irish Cup pools, on a return to the Championship campaign both teams will be looking for good performances at Ashton Gate.
The Cornish Pirates are aware that an inevitably tough task lies ahead, however they pushed the unbeaten leaders really close before losing 31-29 when the two teams met at the Mennaye Field in September – the result Bristol Rugby’s tightest yet in the Championship this season.
In a side captained by centre Nicolas De Battista, for the Pirates there are returns to action for wing Alex O’Meara, flanker Alex Cheesman and prop for Marlen Walker, neither of whom featured again Scarlets Premiership Select last Sunday.
Speaking ahead of Friday’s encounter, coach Gavin Cattle has said:
Playing at one of the best stadiums in England, a game like this is one we are very much looking forward to. Obviously all the cameras will be there, as Bristol play an attacking brand of rugby that is exciting to watch. It’s a big challenge and something we’ll have to look to nullify, whilst also hoping for a chance to in turn express ourselves in attack.
Nicolas De Battista (c)