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1 March, 2020
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League / Cup
The Pirates certainly won’t – after a spirited fightback from Nottingham came dangerously close to upsetting the hosts’ apple cart. A vehicular mode that with half an hour remaining, had been more like a purring Jag. By the time Cargill ended the communal nail biting thirty minutes later – any pleasing sound effects had been replaced with something more akin to a spluttering misfire.
But the old adage about a win being a win etc – should still apply. Four points instead of five is certainly better than one or none – and 3rd spot in the Greene King IPA Championship – six points behind Ealing – was still consolidated.
Proceedings turned dramatically around the 52nd minute – with the Pirates surely about to add that crucial fourth, bonus point try. Pirates Man of the Match – Rory Parata had gone agonisingly close to adding to his first half score. While moments later in the same period of play – No 8, James McRae had done similar.
Then in the blink of an eye and with Nottingham’s line less than 5m away – the pill was spilled – and the visitor’s own No 8, Jordan Coughlan, had gathered and was galloping over the halfway line. What followed was the complete opposite of that which had preceded it.
Until that point the Cornish side had not only mastered everything placed in front of them – conditions and opposition alike. The level of attacking flair belied the difficult surface and the remnants of Jorge’s efforts to thwart the match even going ahead in the first place.
In the first period – the home side had shrugged off a first minute scare, when Nottingham thought they’d got off to a flyer. The apparent dot down – following the first of three early lineout steals by the visitors – being scrubbed for offside by Sara. This blip immediately erased from all memory when Parata opened the scoring seven minutes in – off the back of Moyle’s blistering 40m break to set up the attack.
Carg’s converted and added two more faultless kicks – when Wilson & Frost both scored for the second week running – to seal a dominant first period by the Pirates.
After the break – it all appeared to be panning out in a similar fashion – until Coughlan’s turnover. From this point – the whole complexion of the game changed. And then some!
The initial charge by the Green & Whites was halted by some scrambled rearguard action. But with Nottingham setting up camp in the Pirates 22 – this would have to be backed up by something more concrete defensively.
A series of scrums close in however – had the home defence creaking. When Tiga took the rap from Ms Cox for a series of penalties – David Williams’ score out wide had inevitable all over it. Fly half Shane O’Leary was unable to add to his first half penalty – an upright denying him the extra two points.
21-8 then, still read Nottingham being at an arm’s length. But their tails were up and the Pirates didn’t seem to be able to reverse this trend.
Tiga returned – but this levelling of numbers wasn’t enough to prevent Notts’ second row, Danny Qualter from setting up a nervy last ten minutes – with his try this time converted O’Leary.
Enter Pirates’ vice Captain – Nico de Battista – to return from long term injury and hopefully steady the Cornish ship. To some degree it did – but not without a scare or two along the way. At least until one final attack from the Midlanders was snuffed out and the ball kicked ahead by replacement scrum half, Alex Schwarz.
With time up – the Pirates briefly sniffed if there was any chance of ending the game on a high. Quite sensibly though – with no significant ground gained – Will gave every Pirates fan the gift of breathing again. A week’s break (3 till the next home game) now seems a welcome opportunity to re-group. Both for the players – and the pitch.
Nicolas De Battista)
Brett Beukeboom (c)
Antonio Kiri Kiri)
Antonio Kiri Kiri
Javier Rojas Alvarez
Nicolas De Battista
Jamie Jack )
Luke Cole (c)