Cornish Pirates completed a well deserved double over Swansea at a rain soaked St Helen’s. In a match that mirrored the encounter the previous week, the home side kept the Pirates honest until they had a player sin-binned – this week it was flanker James Bija who was the culprit.
It was a perfect start for the Welsh side when prop Nicky Smith claimed a loose ball on the ground and fired out a pass to scrum half Aled Lewis who raced in to score from 50 metres. Sam Davies converted.
Offside at the ruck by the home forwards gave the Pirates a penalty chance but Keiron Hallett missed his effort at goal. Four minutes later prop Peter Joyce was held up over the line.
The visitors scored their first points through a Hallett penalty goal after the Whites’ forwards were penalised for collapsing a scrum on their own five metre line. Pirates centre Junior Fatialofa set the tone with a bone crunching tackle on Nicky Harwood, although on this occasion nothing came of the turnover ball.
Pirates scrum half Gavin Cattle sparked a counterattack and found flanker James Tyas in support on his shoulder but Hallett was squeezed into touch inside the twenty-two. Whites flanker Bija was then sent to the sidelines for 10 minutes for deliberate offside at the maul.
The numerical advantage told straight away when Tyas collected a lineout and was driven over the line by a powerful maul. Hallett converted.
Half-time:- Swansea 7 Cornish Pirates 10
Hallett kicked his side six points ahead three minutes after the interval with a penalty goal when the Swansea pack were caught offside at a ruck. A clever short restart by Davies was pounced on by centre Ben Roberts with captain Paul John powering through the middle only for the Pirates’ defence to kill the ball. Davies kicked the resulting penalty goal.
Fatialofa made a typical burst through the middle with the Whites’ defence stepping offside to prevent him from breaking away. This meant Hallett was able to restore his side’s six point lead. A superb break by Kyle Marriott was well supported by Tyas but the flanker was bundled into touch a metre short of the try line.
After an excellent drive by the Pirates forwards Cattle fired the ball out wide for Tom Bedford to score. Hallett converted. Two minutes later the game was effectively over when Bedford sprinted down the wing before Tom Riley showed great handling skills to flip a pass to the grateful Rob Elloway, who strolled in for a try. Hallett converted.
The Pirates had lock Darren Barry yellow carded in the dying seconds but it made no difference to the result.
Ian Davies, head coach of Cornish Pirates Rugby Club, was pleased with the manner of his side’s victory.
“I thought it was a pretty good game in atrocious conditions,” he said.
“Both sides tried to play expansive rugby but I felt our forwards’ dominance was the difference between the sides in the end.
“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t pick up the bonus point but if you’d have given me a 30-10 scoreline this morning I’d have taken it.”
Full time:- Swansea 10 Cornish Pirates 30
Star man: James Tyas
Referee: Nigel Correll
Tries: Davies (2)
Cons: Davies (3)
Pens: Davies (46)
Y cards:- Bija (31)
Cornish Pirates scorers:
Tries: Marriott (31), Bedford (64), Elloway (67)
Cons: Hallett (32, 65, 68)
Pens: Hallett (25, 44, 53)
Y cards:- Barry (80+4)
15 Rhys Williams
14 Nicky Harwood
13 Liam Price (rep: Aled Jenkins 68)
12 Ben Roberts
11 Nathan Brooks
10 Sam Davies
9 Aled Lewis
1 Nicky Smith
2 Paul John (rep: Ieuan Dobbs 72)
3 Ian Williams (rep: Nicky Thomas 51)
4 Ben Fox
5 David Blyth (rep: Tristan Herdman 51)
6 James McKenna
7 James Bija
8 Dan Baker (rep: Rob Dudley-Jones 63)
16 Ieuan Dobbs
17 Matthew Norman
18 Nicky Thomas
19 Tristan Herdman
20 Rob Dudley-Jones
21 Will Batcup
22 Aled Jenkins
Cornish Pirates team:
15 Wes Davies (rep: Kyle Moyle 71)
14 Tom Bedford
13 Tom Riley
12 Junior Fatialofa
11 Ben Mercer
10 Keiron Hallett
9 Gavin Cattle (rep: Tom Kessell 76)
1 Paul Andrew (rep: Alan Paver 65)
2 Rob Elloway (rep: Darren Semmens 68)
3 Peter Joyce (rep: Ben Prescott 58)
4 David Lyons
5 Darren Barry
6 James Tyas (rep: Owen Hambly 71)
7 Kyle Marriott
8 Laurie McGlone (rep: Alex Cheesman 65)
16 Alan Paver
17 Darren Semmens
18 Ben Prescott
19 Owen Hambly
20 Alex Cheesman
21 Tom Kessell
22 Kyle Moyle