Cornish rugby preview
By Bill Hooper
Just five days after locking horns at a wind-swept Mennaye the Cornish Pirates once again face off with the Jersey Reds, this time in the British and Irish Cup at Jersey’s rue des Landes ground. Kick-off tonight is 7:45 pm.
It’s a quarter-final tie of the tournament so brilliantly won by the Pirates in 2010 at Camborne against Munster A.
The Cornishmen will be looking to overturn their slim loss 7-5 back in Penzance last Sunday, if they produce a performance like the one up at Yorkshire Carnegie then they will be in with a great chance of making the last four.
The Pirates will fly to Jersey with a team that shows five changes in their selection from the one that started against the Reds on Sunday. In the backs, Bar Bartlett and Nicolas De Battista will form the centre partnership, with Will Cargill slotting in at fly-half. As for the forwards, Jack Andrew is named at tight-head prop in place of his brother Paul, and Brett Beukeboom has returned from international duty with Canada to form a second-row partnership alongside Jake Parker.
Scrum-half Alex Day, who has been all but ever present in his two seasons with the Pirates, is about to proudly make his 50th appearance for the club.
Looking forward to Friday’s game, Cornish Pirates’ coach Gavin Cattle commented. “It’s not very often you get the chance to play a team two weeks on the trot, so we’ll be looking to right our wrongs from last weekend for what should be an atmospheric occasion as Jersey hosts a quarter-final in the competition.
“The Reds showed they are a big set-piece team but we must focus on ourselves and strive to get a foothold in the game. It will be about us getting parity or even the upper hand.”
The Cornish Pirates full selection is as follows:
Cornish Pirates: 15 Toby May, 14 Alex O’Meara, 13 Nicolas De Battista, 12 Bar Bartlett, 11 Kyle Moyle, 10 Will Cargill, 9 Alex Day; 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Jack Innard, 3 Jack Andrew, 4 Jake Parker, 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Alex Cheesman, 7 John Stevens, 8 Tom Duncan (c).
Replacements: 16 Paul Andrew, 17 Luke Chapman, 18 Alan Paver, 19 Dan Lee,
20 Mike Pope, 21Laurence May, 22 Alex Dancer.
Match commentary on BBC Radio Cornwall from 7pm tonight (Friday)
On Saturday, Redruth entertain Clifton at the Recreation Ground, kick-off 2 pm.
The Reds will be looking to back up their fine win at Canterbury last Saturday, which took them back up to fourth place in the table.
Redruth will be without hooker Matt Gidlow who picked up a red card during the game, however Richard Brown makes a welcome return to the bench following injury.
Cornwall Under 20 player Jack Hodge is also named on the bench as prop cover.
Camborne and Launceston are both on the road this weekend in National League 3 SW.
Following their defeat last Saturday to Old Redcliffians, Camborne travel to Bournemouth, who also lost by 8-7 at Launceston.
A win for the Cherry and Whites will keep their play-off chances alive. David Mankee should be fit to return this week, which is timely with Taron Peacock injured.
Launceston make the trip to Bracknell looking to keep their fine run going, with games running out they need the win to keep the pressure on Lydney above them in the table.
On the win against Bournemouth coach Jimmy Tucker said: “It was a good performance by the whole team. Special mention must go to the scrum and in particular Greg Thomas who made his first appearance at prop and he did an excellent job.”
Another side needing a win are Truro who travel to Crediton in Western Counties West. The City boys know a win will keep them in the hunt for a play-off place.
St. Ives have a tasty looking Cornish derby with Wadebridge Camels at Alexandra Road. St. Ives won the first league fixture 22-18 at the Molesworth Field, so the Camels will be looking to right matters against the inform Hakes.
St. Austell travel to league leaders Exeter University, while Bude will be desperate for points away to Wellington.
The champagne will be on ice for London Cornish this weekend if they get a bonus point win their London 2 SW game at Old Tonbridgians they will be confirmed champions.
Falmouth may have to wait until the 25th of March before confirming their Cornwall & Devon League title, though they should have little worries in overcoming Tamar Saracens on Saturday. The Eagles won comfortably at Sarries a couple of weeks ago in a re-arranged game.
Second placed Saltash should have too much for a Bodmin side who are struggling for form to keep the pressure on Falmouth for another round.
Penryn travel to Paignton, with the Devon Cherries needing the points to keep pressure on Saltash for the second promotion berth.
In form Lanner entertain Pirates Amateurs at St. Day, in what should be an entertaining derby game.
Hayle entertain Newquay Hornets in what is virtually a title decider between the top two in Cornwall 1. Liskeard-Looe could close the gap on a play-off place at home to St. Agnes. Veor entertain Roseland and Camborne School of Mines are home to Helston.
In Cornwall 2, leaders Lankelly-Fowey face a tough trip to Stithians, whilst second place Illogan Park should have too much for Redruth Albany. Perranporth host St. Just.
WATCH: Matt Evans Reviews & Previews Games With Jersey
Matt Evans looks back at Sunday’s game at the Mennaye with Jersey Reds and looks forward to the away British & Irish Cup Qurter Final at St Peter on Friday – FROM CORNISH PIRATES WEBSITE