SportStuff: Bill Hooper's Rugby PREVIEW – Pirates back in action

Cornish rugby preview 17th Feb 2017

By Bill Hooper

bill-hooper

The Cornish Pirates make the tip up to Leeds this weekend to take on Yorkshire Carnegie in the Championship.

When the sides met earlier in the season at the Mennaye it was the Yorkshire side that ran out winners 35-28. Currently they are second in the table on 56 points, whilst the Pirates are fifth with 34 points.

There are just two changes in the Cornish Pirates starting XV from the one featured against London Scottish last time out, and both are in the backs. Alex O’Meara slots in on the wing and Tom Hendrickson is selected at outside centre.

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Cornish Pirates coach Alan Paver is under no illusion that Saturday’s challenge will be none other than a tough one. Ahead of the fixture he has commented:

“They are a strong side, with good players who are well coached. It’s going to be another arm wrestle, with our guys knowing that another tough challenge lies ahead.

“Having said that, every team in this league can be vulnerable, so our aim will be to go up there and see what they’ve got and in no way make it easy for them.”

Cornish Pirates:   15 Toby May, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Tom Hendrickson, 12 Nicolas De Battista, 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Laurence May, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Tom Channon, 3 Paul Andrew, 4 Chris Morgan (capt), 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Dan Lee, 7 Alex Cheesman, 8 Tom Duncan.

Replacements:   16 Jack Innard, 17 Jack Andrew, 18 Josh Caulfield, 19 Jake Parker, 20 Mike Pope, 21 Will Cargill, 22 Max Bodilly.

In National League 2 South, Redruth will look to bounce back following their defeat at Cinderford 23- 21 last Saturday. It was the Reds’ first loss of 2017 and they will be keen to return to winning ways against fellow promotion/play-off contenders Old Elthamians. Redruth’s heaviest defeat of the season was at Old Elthamians 43-25 back in October.

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photo: Dan Barbary

Reds will be missing No.8 Kyle Marriott, who picked up an injury at Cindeford, BJ Chapman comes in to replace him. At centre Pale Nonu returns from suspension to partner skipper Sam Parsons. There is no Alex Ducker this week but Tommy Phillips returns to start at loose-head prop.

In National 3 SW, Camborne face a tricky trip to Newton Abbot who will be smarting from their loss at Launceston last Saturday. Town have made another signing with prop Mike Roach returning to the Cherry and Whites for a second spell.

Launceston buoyed by last Saturday’s fine win travel to league leaders Old Redfcliffians. You’d expect the Bristol side to be firm favourites for this game but Launceston’s improved form means they cannot be discounted.

In Western Counties West, Truro travel to Bude with both sides chasing points for different reasons. St. Ives have a home game against Burnham-on- Sea, home advantage should favour the Hakes.

St. Austell travel to Cullompton who are second in the table, it will be tough for the Saints but just the sort of challenge that their Director of Rugby Steve Murley will relish.

Wadebridge Camels make the trip to Wellington, never an easy place to win.

In London 2 SW, London Cornish travel down the A303 to Andover looking to maintain their promotion push.

In the Cornwall & Devon League, Falmouth take on the only side to have beaten them this season Plymstock Albion Oaks at the Rec. The Eagles will be keen to redress the result on their own patch and maintain their promotion push.

Saltash go to Tavistock looking to cement their second place in the table.

Penryn travel to strugglers Honiton, the Lacemen have shown some good form in recent weeks on their own patch, Borough have been warned!

Bodmin take on Plymouth Argaum, Lanner entertain Paignton whilst Pirates Amateurs travel to Topsham.

Camborne School of Mines travel to London this weekend to take on their old rivals Royal School of Mines in the 119th Bottle Match. Camborne won the bottle last season thanks to a 14-5 win at Penryn.

The game takes place at the Harlington Sports Ground in West London kick-off 2pm.

FIXTURES

GREENE KING RFU CHAMPIONSHIP

YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE – CORNISH PIRATES 3PM

NATIONAL LEAGUE 2 SOUTH

REDRUTH – OLD ELTHAMIANS 2:30 PM

NATIONAL LEAGUE 3 SW

NEWTON ABBOT – CAMBORNE

OLD REDCLIFFIANS – LAUNCESTON

TRIBUTE WESTERN COUNTIES WEST

BUDE – TRURO

CULLOMPTON – ST. AUSTELL

ST. IVES – BURNHAM

WELLINGTON – WADEBRIDGE CAMELS

LONDON 2 SW

ANDOVER – LONDON CORNISH

TRIBUTE CORNWALL & DEVON LEAGUE

BODMIN – PLYMOUTH ARGAUM

FALMOUTH – PLYMSTOCK

HONITON – PENRYN

LANNER – PAIGNTON

TAVISTOCK – SALTASH

TOPSHAM – PIRATES AMATEURS

TRIBUTE CORNWALL 1

HAYLE – VEOR

LISKEARD-LOOE – HELSTON

ST. AGNES – ROSELAND

TRIBUTE CORNWALL 2

LANKELLY-FOWEY – ILLOGAN PARK

PERRANPORTH – REDRUTH ALBANY

STITHIANS – CAMELFORD

TRIBUTE DUCHY LEAGUE

CAMBORNE RES – SALTASH RES

WADEBRIDGE CAMELS RES – LAUNCESTON RES

BOTTLE MATCH 2017

ROYAL SCHOOL OF MINES – CAMBORNE SCHOOL OF MINES @ HARLINGTON SPORTS GROUND 2 pm

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