17 March, 2018
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League / Cup
Returning to Hartpury RFC on Saturday for a third time this season, the Cornish Pirates are expecting a very competitive 9th versus 7th clash in the Greene King IPA Championship. The match at Hartpury’s Gillman’s Ground kicks off at the earlier than usual time of 1pm.
It will be remembered that the teams have met three times already this season, with the Cornish Pirates winning 35-19 and 41-0 away in British & Irish Cup encounters, and 25-13 at home in the league. The second Cup fixture for the Pirates should have been played at home, however, because of pitch conditions prevailing at the Mennaye Field the game was switched to Hartpury.
The Cornish Pirates side shows two changes, both in the backs, from the team that started against Doncaster Knights last time out. A fit again Matt Evans returns on the left wing, and selected at fly-half is Laurence May, who replaces the injured Will Cargill.
Named again on the bench is player/coach Alan Paver who has commented:
We have played Hartpury three times now and have managed to come out on the right side of the score on each of those occasions. The last, most recent encounter, was a memorable one, as we had to go up there in the Cup when the fixture was reversed because of pitch conditions at the Mennaye. We put in a particularly spirited performance, and with emotion behind us and a chance for a path to go forward in the competition, we won well.
As for this weekend it will be a lot different because both sides are looking to continue their development and improve their position in the league, so we are expecting a very competitive fixture. Fingers crossed conditions will allow for another fast game on their field and having hit a little bit of form following two good wins at home we’ll naturally be looking forward to continue that. On the other hand, in turn we know they’ll be looking to get the scalp of an in-form side, so can likely expect a high tempo and abrasive affair, and as always it will probably come down to a few crucial decisions.
Nicolas De Battista (c)