Cornish Pirates 30 Jersey 12


Jersey went down to a disappointing defeat in Cornwall in their first outing of 2015.

The Islanders held a narrow edge at the break after a 40-minute arm wrestle that was shaded by the visitors - Jonny Bentley landed four penalties shots at goal to take his side ahead of the hosts, for whom Kieran Hallett landed his three penalty kicks.

Try-scoring opportunities were rare in the first period, although Jersey may well have scored after good work from Bishop and Williams, only for Robling's handling to let him down, and a great run by Grant Pointer was also close to yielding a try.

Pirates' most threatening period came in the closing minutes: Bentley made a fine catch of a high ball in his 22 but was scragged by the Pirates' defence and lost the ball forward. A series of scrums ensued, and a penalty try looked possible, but Jersey regrouped, won a penalty and the half-time whistle blew.

The second half began badly for Jersey, with Paula Kaho fumbling the kick-off and the home side taking advantage for a wave of pressure from the forwards which culminated in Neale Barry being driven over.

The game was still in the balance when Sam Lockwood was sin-binned after 52 minutes. Jersey centre David Bishop had to be sacrificed while replacement prop Nacho Lancuba came on, and the Pirates' backs took advantage, unleashing a well-worked move in which Max Bodilly and Craig Holland worked Alex Dancer over.

Hallett's conversion was his fifth consecutive success and put his side 23-12 ahead. Jersey still had a chance to get back into the game, especially once restored to 15 players, and were pressing hard for a try when disaster struck: Kieran Goss spotted what could have been a scoring pass and intercepted, racing almost the entire length of the pitch to score.

Pirates couldn't add a bonus point try, but were nevertheless well-pleased with their second win of the festive season, which moved them up to fifth in the Greene King IPA Championship table. Bedford's 15-23 win at Moseley took them up to seventh, ahead of Jersey who dropped one place to ninth.

The Islanders will welcome league leaders Bristol to St Peter next Saturday - kick-off is at 3pm.

Jersey: 15 Pointer, 14 Locke, 13 Bishop (Lancuba 53-63), 12 Robling, 11 Foster, 10 Bentley (Penberthy 77), 9 Glynn (Dudley 66); 1 Lockwood (YC 52) (Lancuba 69), 2 Buckle (Selway 79), 3 Williams (Herriott 69), 4 Rae (c), 5 Campbell (Markham 69), 6 Kaho (Haining 49), 7 Hodson, 8 Noone.

Pirates: 15 Bodilly, 14 Goss, 13 Riley, 12 Dancer, 11 Holland, 10 Hallett, 9 Kessell; 1 Ford-Robinson, 2 Channon, 3 Deformes, 4 Carrick Smith, 5 Barry, 6 Morgan (c), 7 Atkinson, 8 McGlone.
Reps (all used): Elloway, Davies, Graulich, Bolwell, Townsend, Hendrickson, May.

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU)
Attendance: 1,727
Half-time: 9-12

Penalties: Bentley 2, 15, 24, 32

Tries: Barry 43, Dancer 54, Goss 63
Conversions: Hallett 43, 54, 63
Penalties: Hallett 7, 19, 28

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