Swansea’s hopes of qualifying for the latter stages of the British and Irish Cup suffered a major setback in Cornwall as the Pirates comfortably beat the All Whites 27-9 in a largely scrappy affair.
It was almost the perfect start for the Pirates when their forwards mauled up to the line with David Lyons and James Tyas linking up well in midfield, only for winger JJ Kilmartin to lose the ball forward on the wing.
Whites fly half Sam Davies then made a break through the middle but his floated pass didn’t go to hand and the forwards were driven off the ball. The visitors got the first points when Pirates prop Ryan Storer was penalised for holding onto possession after the tackle – Davies kicked a penalty goal.
The home scrum was dominant throughout the match and it was thanks to a collapsed scrum that Kieran Hallett tied the scores at three apiece. A well weighted kick to the corner by Davies was taken by winger Liam Price but the Pirates defence killed the ball. Davies made them pay with a successful penalty.
Pirates were again back on level terms when offside at the ruck by the Whites’ forwards gifted Hallett three points. The fly half had another penalty chance moments later when the Pirates scrum drove Swansea 10 metres backwards, but he scuffed his effort wide.
Swansea hooker Paul John was sin-binned for entering a maul offside and this time Hallett converted the penalty. The Pirates scored their opening try four minutes into injury time when flanker Joe Buckle was driven over from an unstoppable maul. Hallett converted.
Half-time:- Cornish Pirates 16 Swansea 6
The home side should have added a second try immediately after the restart when centre Sam Hill made a break up to the twenty-two with Buckle and Hallett in support, only for them to be penalised for obstruction.
A break down the wing by Kilmartin set up another attack but Tom Bedford dropped what would have been a try scoring pass. Hallett then extended his side’s lead with a penalty goal after the Whites collapsed another scrum.
A powerful run by flanker Rob Dudley-Jones sparked an attack for the visitors and he was supported by Dan Baker before the Pirates were caught offside at the ruck. Davies successfully kicked the penalty.
Davies missed a drop goal attempt mid way through the second half and the Pirates hit back when Ben Mercer and Kyle Marriott drove through the middle before a Wes Davies break forced the Whites’ defence offside in midfield. Hallett converted the resulting penalty.
Yet another huge scrum by the Pirates sent the Whites backwards and this time Hallett spurned an easy three points to chip to the corner. The home side took a routine lineout and patiently went through three phases before replacement flanker Laurie McGlone crashed over for a try from close range.
Full time:- Cornish Pirates 27 Swansea 9
Referee:- Greg MacDonald
Weather:- Cloudy, 9C
Man of the match:- Joe Buckle
Cornish Pirates scorers:
Tries:- Buckle (40+4), McGlone (74)
Cons:- Hallett (40+5)
Pens:- Hallett (23, 30, 39, 48, 66)
Pens:- Davies (21, 28, 58)
Y cards:- John (39)
Cornish Pirates team:
15 Wes Davies
14 JJ Kilmartin
13 Tom Bedford (rep: Alex Cheesman 60)
12 Sam Hill
11 Ben Mercer
10 Keiron Hallett
9 Tom Kessell (rep: Gavin Cattle 60)
1 Kyle Marriott (rep: Paul Andrew 46)
2 Joe Buckle (rep: Darren Semmens 77)
3 James Tyas (rep: Alan Paver 66)
4 Darren Barry
5 David Lyons
6 Peter Joyce (rep: Laurie McGlone 64)
7 Rob Elloway
8 Ryan Storer (rep: Owen Hombly 74)
16 Paul Andrew
17 Darren Semmens
18 Alan Paver
19 Laurie McGlone
20 Owen Hombly
21 Gavin Cattle
22 Alex Cheesman
15 Rhys Williams
14 Nicky Harwood
13 Aled Jenkins
12 Ben Roberts (rep: Nathan Brooks)
11 Liam Price
10 Sam Davies
9 Jake Cole (rep: Aled Lewis 74)
1 Nicky Smith (rep: Aled Mason 66)
2 Paul John (rep: Ieuan Dobbs 70)
3 Ian Williams
4 Sam Kiley (rep: Ben Fox 70)
5 Rhodri Hughes
6 Rob Dudley-Jones (rep: James McKenna 74)
7 James Bija
8 Dan Baker
16 Ieuan Dobbs
17 Aled Mason
18 Nicky Thomas
19 Ben Fox
20 James McKenna
21 Aled Lewis
22 Nathan Brooks