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Pirates cruise into last eight with fourth straight cup win

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 18, 2013

EVANS ABOVE:  Pirates fly half Matt Evans off-loads the ball, watched by Jersey counterpart Niall O'Connor during Saturday's British & Irish Cup tie at St Peter.   by David Fergus/Pinnacle.

EVANS ABOVE: Pirates fly half Matt Evans off-loads the ball, watched by Jersey counterpart Niall O'Connor during Saturday's British & Irish Cup tie at St Peter. by David Fergus/Pinnacle.

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FOUR games played, four wins and four bonus points have put the Cornish Pirates in the quarter-finals of the British & Irish Cup after a systematic demolition of a strong Jersey side in St Peter.

The Pirates top Pool 6 of the competition with two games to play and would almost certainly secure a top seeding and home draw in April's next stage by beating Scottish Premiership champions Ayr at the Mennaye Field next month.

Head coach Ian Davies reflected on what had been the most complete team performance of the season from his squad in terms of, as he put it: "Concentration and staying on-task."

He added: "It was a fantastic performance. We had spoken all week about how we had played Jersey twice this season and not had an 80-minute performance against them.

Dominate

"We should have won here in the league and they should have won last week at the Mennaye.

"But here you saw that 80 minute performance. It was a complete performance both in attack and defence, and to nil Jersey at home as well as picking up a four try bonus point was very satisfying indeed."

He continued: "We had talked all week about playing for 80 minutes and to a man did that here. I don't think there was a single facet of play we did not dominate."

After a tight opening quarter, in which the game remained scoreless, the Pirates exerted their power up front following the sin-binning of home prop Nick Selway for usage of a swinging arm at a ruck.

A loose downfield kick from Mark Foster was punished ruthlessly as Kieran Goss counter-attacked from deep and Kyle Moyle finished off the move before converting his own try. With Jersey pinned back and now behind on the scoreboard, Jack Andrew and James Phillips each helped themselves to scores before half-time and the Pirates went in leading 19-0.

Jersey, who had also lost skipper Alex Rae to the sin bin for a blatant obstruction on Gavin Cattle, changed their front row for the second half as they chased the game.

But Rae's knock-on close to the Pirates line and Mike Pope's steal set up Goss who raced the length of the field to kill the tie off with the bonus point try.

Davies added: "Mike Pope had the real presence of mind, after snaffling the ball, to get it out to Kieran and he has got serious wheels.

"It was a great score – Grant Pointer showed him the outside on halfway but unfortunately for him Kieran took it.

Fantastic

"We defended really well and when we got turnovers counter-attacked really well scoring a couple of fantastic tries.

"Also, the attacking intent was there and with a little more patience we could have scored a couple more tries at the end.

"The scoreline really was a true reflection of the game. We had dominance throughout."

And after a difficult evening at the scrum when the teams met in the competition seven days earlier the Pirates boss was happy that more effective policing of the set piece on this occasion by referee Andrew Jackson had rewarded his forwards.

He said: "The scrums were different here because they were square, stationary and well controlled by the referee.

"As a result, we saw Jersey going backwards and the penalties awarded to the Pirates."

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