29 October, 2017
All the Latest News & Fixtures...
League / Cup
The Cornish Pirates return to Greene King IPA Championship action this weekend with an away game on Sunday against Doncaster Knights (ko 3pm).
For this third versus ninth in the league clash, ‘Donny’ will head into the fixture in likely buoyant mode, having last Sunday defeated previously unbeaten Championship leaders Bristol Rugby in the British & Irish Cup. The Knights not only put in a fine performance to win 33-22 away from home, but in the process made it three wins in a row at Ashton Gate.
As for the Pirates, they also have cause to feel encouraged, arriving at this Round 7 league fixture on the back of two excellent Cup wins away to Hartpury RFC and home to Ulster A.
Doncaster Knights impressed to finish fourth in the league last season, although it will be remembered that the Pirates (who ultimately finished sixth) emerged victors from their two encounters – 35-26 away at Castle Park and 34-17 at home.
A return to Championship action also sees a return to Pirates colours this week for three players who are dual-registered with Exeter Chiefs, namely centre Pete Laverick, No. 8 Tom Lawday, and flanker Josh Caulfield. Included on the bench is back-rower Chris Fuca, who is on loan from Redruth. Man-of-the-match against Ulster A last Sunday, he will now be keen to get a first taste of Championship rugby.
Coach Alan Paver is looking forward to Sunday’s contest, saying:
The spirit in the squad is good and we have had a good training week ahead of our journey up north. Yes, it has been frustrating to have lost certain games by narrow margins this season, but having won two Cup games on the trot our hope now will be to achieve a winning habit in the Championship.
Alan further commented:
We have addressed certain issues within our game that it was felt needed attention, so now onwards and upwards, although always realising that there is no way we can just turn up at Doncaster and expect to win. The Knights are a strong outfit under the direction of Clive Griffiths and his coaching staff. Well-oiled, they have been together a long time now, have a good infrastructure and stayed near the top during the past couple of years. However, that said we went up there last year and beat them in front of the Sky cameras, which we must aim to repeat this week. The guys will inevitably be a little more excited with the cameras on them, and playing at a good ground where there is excellent support we expect it to be a cracking day.