Jersey 0 Cornish Pirates 24


Jersey 0 Cornish Pirates 24
December 14th, 2013
British & Irish Cup, Pool 6
words by Tom Innes; pics by William Church

Pirates domination of their British & Irish Cup pool was reflected with an emphatic win over Jersey.

The Cornishmen were left sitting pretty with the only 100% record in this season's competition, delighting Head Coach Ian Davies.

Pirates Cup

"We got the win at home last weekend but Jersey could have won it and the boys under-performed," he said. "That made them determined to put in a better display, and I thought we were the dominant team in all facets of the game today.

"We only take part in two competitions and so the British & Irish Cup is very important to us - we want to get a win against Ayr next month and a home quarter-final in April."

Having conceded a number of early tries this season, Jersey started well and could have taken the lead when Mark McCrea burst towards the line but was unable to off-load a scoring pass to supporting team-mate Grant Pointer.

The game was evenly poised until mid-way through the first half when a blatant swinging arm by Jersey's Nick Selway as he hurled himself into a ruck earned the prop a yellow card. The indiscipline was then compounded by one of Jersey's most common failings this season - a loose clearance kick by Mark Foster was claimed by Kieran Goss. The Pirates' full-back countered with intent before feeding Kyle Moyle who accelerated through the home defence to score.

Jersey went back up to 15 men after Selway's return, but almost immediately skipper Alex Rae was sin-binned for preventing quick ball as Pirates attacked, and from the resultant penalty kick to touch, the visiting pack took the line-out ball and rumbled over the line with prop Jack Andrew claiming the try.

Deep into added time the Pirates spurned a kickable penalty and opted for another forward drive against Jersey's seven-man pack. The initial drive was repelled, but a further wave of attacks culminated in James Phillips ploughing over. Moyle's conversion was the final kick of the half.

The home team changed their entire front row during half-time and looked the likelier of the two teams to score when the action resumed. Foster kicked over the Pirates' defence but was denied by the bounce of the ball.

Jersey attacked with a series of forward drives, but Rae became isolated as he surged towards the Pirates line and the ball went loose. Mike Pope was first to react, seizing the ball, haring forward and then finding Goss. The full-back tore up the wing, beat a tackle from former team-mate Pointer on the half-way line and then cruised onwards to score the bonus-point try.

Jersey had conceded four tries in 25 minutes either side of half-time, three of them while defending with only 14 men. Both sides could have scored in the closing stages, but in the event the final half-hour was a scoreless period.

Jersey's Interim Head Coach Steve Boden said he was very disappointed with his side's display.

"We had plenty of possession, but our execution was really poor," he said. "We'd talked about combatting the way that the Pirates defended and worked on this in training but then we failed to put this into practice today.

"I'll look at my own contribution as well, but until I look at the recording, I think the execution is the area where we gave ourselves the most problems.

"Our kicking from hand has been an area where we've been punished all season, the number of tries we've conceded from loose kicks is far too many at this level."

Jersey: Locke (Burroughs 65), Pointer, McCrea, Bishop, Foster, O'Connor, Dudley (Williams 54); Fidler (McCarthy 41), Felton (Taione 41), Selway (YC 20) (Young 41), Markham, Rae (capt) (YC 33) (Campbell 54), Makaafi (Young 20-30), Silcock (Voss 54), Maidment.

Pirates: Goss, Pope, Riley, James (Dancer 75), Moyle (Sinclair 65), Evans, Cattle (capt) (Kessell 79); Andrew (Davies 79), Elloway (Channon 51), Prescott (Davies 13-24), Graulich, Sandford (Barry 35), Morgan, Cheesman (Atkinson 75), Phillips (YC 76).

Referee: Andrew Jackson (RFU)

Attendance: 1,638
Star Man: Kieran Goss (Cornish Pirates)
Half-time: 0-19

Cornish Pirates
Tries: Moyle 26, Andrew 35, Phillips 40, Goss 51
Conversions: Moyle 26, 40

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