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Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4LY

Tel: 01736 331961 Email: info@cornish-pirates.com

Rotherham Titans 27

Cornish Pirates 24

27 January, 2018

News & Fixtures

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League / Cup

Greene King IPA Championship Rd 14

Stadium

Clifton Lane

Attendance

Home

Rotherham Titans 27

Away

Cornish Pirates 24

Phil Westren

Returning to Greene King IPA Championship action on Saturday, the fixture for the Cornish Pirates away to Rotherham Titans always had banana skin potential, and so it proved.

After 13 rounds played in this season’s Championship campaign, the Titans arrived at this fixture yet to taste victory, however in recording two British & Irish Cup wins at the start of 2018 their apparent resurgence was given added incentive to record another encouraging result.

Playing against a side that is propping up the league, the Pirates were aware they could take nothing for granted on their visit to Clifton Lane, plus it was remembered, that when the teams met at the Mennaye Field back in September the high-scoring match proved a closely-fought affair, with the Pirates ultimately pleased, following three defeats suffered in their opening games, to secure a 62-47 result.

Lock Chris Morgan skippered the Pirates for their trip ‘Up North’, the side missing a number of their dual-registered players. Nico Coronel was named on the wing and a fit again John Stevens selected at open-side flanker. Listed among the replacements, Paul Andrew, now fully recovered from injury, was keen to make his first appearance of the season.

A bright start for the Pirates saw hooker Sam Matavesi run impressively, and fly-half Will Cargill then achieve success with his second penalty attempt at goal.

All looked promising, before in the space of just three minutes the hosts hit back with two well-taken tries scored by wingers Will Thomas and Drew Cheshire. Both were converted by fly-half Lee Millar.

A line-out by the Pirates gifted the Titans a chance to build for a third score, and with scrum-half Rhodri Davies a lively competitor it wouldn’t have come as a surprise. Indeed, further points in the match did materialise, but they were ones thankfully acquired by the Pirates. Wing Coronel latched on to Cargill’s well-weighted kick, ran strongly and then fed centre Nicolas De Battista who crossed for a converted try.

Overall, after a difficult period, the Pirates had recovered well, only for their good work to be spoiled when Rotherham’s team extended their lead through full-back Caolan Ryan, who became their third back-three player to register a try, it once again converted by Millar.

Cargill was unable to pull three points back with a penalty miss, as to their credit the Titans ended the first forty having taken their chances to deservedly hold a 21-10 points lead.

Into the second half, it was veteran Chris Morgan who sprightily showed a clean pair of heels to score near the posts, with Cargill’s conversion bringing the Pirates further back into contention.

The momentum appeared to be changing, and especially so when Titans skipper Tom Calladine was yellow-carded. The Pirates, however, made ‘errs’ at crucial times and they were unable to take any immediate advantage.

Home supporters held hope of holding on for that elusive first win in the Championship, whilst for the Pirates their travelling faithful urged their team on.

A break by scrum-half Alex Day took play close to the Rotherham line, and it was No 8 Tom Duncan who then made it over. The try saw the Pirates back in front, leaving Cargill to add the extra two points with his last deed of the day.

Unfortunately, for the visitors, a 21-24 scoreline would in the final few minutes see a reversal in fortune, as two late penalties saw the Titans to victory. Millar stroked the first clean through the posts to draw the scores level, and at the end Ryan’s controlled effort delivered the bounty.

Ultimately, it would be a mini-miracle if the Titans were to avoid relegation – their people and traditional pie & peas will be missed! However, you never know and the moment was deservedly theirs to enjoy.

Speaking after the game, and in his town of birth, Cornish Pirates coach Alan Paver said:

It’s disappointing for us but Rotherham were worthy winners and against the grain early on took their opportunities well. We fought hard to get ourselves back into a position to push our nose ahead, however towards the end, when there was all to play for, our game management wasn’t quite enough to secure the sought-after result.

Knowing they were on a roll It was always going to be a tough game for us, and the psychological aspect is something we had talked about. We will take a closer at the game, as ever, because there are always things to learn from ahead of next weekend’s rescheduled Cup fixture against Hartpury.

Match Officials

Referee:

Fergus Kirby

The Line Ups

Rotherham Titans Starting 15

15

Caolan Ryan

14

Drew Cheshire

( 21

Ben Foley)

40

13

Jamie Cooke

12

Joe Barker

11

Will Thomas

10

Lee Millar

( 22

Jake Henry)

78

9

Rhodri Davies

1

Toby Williams

2

Jonny Murphy

( 16

Luke Cole)

49

3

Andrew Foster

4

Rob Louw

5

James Lasis

( 19

Nic Dolly)

67

6

Adam Peters

7

Charlie Maddison

( 18

Tom Burns)

73

8

Tom Calladine (c)

Substitutes

16

Luke Cole

17

Thomas Williams

18

Tom Burns

19

Nic Dolly

20

Dan Grange

21

Ben Foley

22

Jake Henry

Tries

Will Thomas

12

Drew Cheshire

15

Caolan Ryan

33

Conversions

Lee Millar

12

Lee Millar

15

Lee Millar

33

Penalties

Lee Millar

77

Caolan Ryan

79

Yellow Cards

Tom Calladine

55

Cornish Pirates Starting 15

15

Toby May

14

Kyle Moyle

13

Dan Koster

12

Nicolas De Battista

11

Nicolas Coronel

( 22

Alex O'Meara)

10

Will Cargill

( 21

Laurence May)

9

Alex Day

1

Marlen Walker

( 16

Jack Andrew)

2

Sam Matavesi

3

Christian Judge

( 17

Paul Andrew)

4

Chris Morgan (c)

5

Toby Freeman

( 19

Dan Lee)

6

Rupert Cooper

( 18

Josh Caulfield)

7

John Stevens

8

Tom Duncan

Substitutes

16

Paul Andrew

17

Jack Andrew

18

Josh Caulfield

19

Dan Lee

20

Mike Pope

21

Laurence May

22

Alex O'Meara

Tries

Nicolas De Battista

23

Chris Morgan

47

Tom Duncan

68

Conversions

Will Cargill

23

Will Cargill

47

Will Cargill

68

Penalties

Will Cargill

7