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Scottish to provide a big test for Pirates

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 23, 2014

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ANOTHER road trip awaits the Cornish Pirates this Saturday as they return to Greene King Championship action against London Scottish at the Richmond Athletic Ground (3pm).

The Pirates beat the Exiles when the two teams met at the Mennaye Field at the start of November, with scrum-half Tom Kessell scoring both of their tries but matches in the capital have a habit of being tight affairs.

Last season, a Phil Godman penalty saw the Scots win with the final kick of the match as they came back from 24-10 down to win by a single point. A year before in the first Championship meeting in London between the two sides, a Blair Cowan try on the stroke of full-time saw the Pirates squeeze home 25-23.

Going into this weekend, the fifth-placed Scots sit just two points and one place above the Pirates in the league table and head coach Ian Davies is expecting another big battle.

"They are a very good team and are serious top four challengers," he said.

"They have recruited heavily and have already taken scalps this season, but we played really well to beat them at the Mennaye on a night when some of their key players probably under-performed.,

"They have got threats all over the park, but Mark Bright is an absolutely massive player for them. On the times we have lost to them he has been a huge influence for their team."

But it was not just the former Redruth No8 who Davies singled out.

He added: "James Love is kicking goals for fun at the moment and Miles Mantella is the league's top try scorer.

"I have been a huge admirer of PJ Gidlow for a long time and Chevvy Pennycook is probably one of the best back rows in the Championship.

"We know plenty about Dave Lyons but he is in good form and then you have the likes of Mark Irish in their front row."

London Scottish bowed out of the British & Irish Cup last Saturday, going down narrowly to arch-rivals and neighbours London Welsh.

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