Cornish Pirates v Connacht Eagles Preview

By Phil Westren

Saturday 21st January 2017
British & Irish Cup Rd 6
Mennaye Field Penzance
Gates - Food - Bars Open 12:00 / Kick Off 14:00

Winning their penultimate Pool 3 game in the British & Irish Cup away to Ospreys Premiership Select last weekend gives the Cornish Pirates added focus to this coming Saturday’s home encounter against Connacht Eagles (ko 2pm).

Another bonus point win against their first time visitors would give the Pirates a likely good chance to progress to the quarter-finals stage of the competition as one of the three best runners-up across the five Pools.

There are just two changes in the Cornish Pirates starting line-up from the one that won well in Wales last Saturday, and both are in the pack. Club captain Chris Morgan returns to skipper the side and will partner Josh Caulfield in the second-row, whilst prop Paul Andrew also makes a welcome return from injury.

Looking ahead to this weekend coach Alan Paver has commented:

“Pipped in a close game away to London Irish in December we were a little bit dejected. However, we were at the same time keen to stay positive, bounce back and put in performances that would give us a chance of squeezing through to the quarter-final stage.

“The win last weekend away to Ospreys Premiership Select was obviously massive for us, and we’ll now go all guns blazing against Connacht Eagles on Saturday in an effort to progress in the competition.”

Co-coach Gavin Cattle is also naturally keen to make it to the quarter-finals. He has said:

“Our approach to the game will be similar to last week but hopefully in better weather. We are obviously going for the win first and foremost and if we can seek that bonus point then it might secure a quarter-final place.

“In terms of research on our opposition it doesn’t provide a true picture because they have had an inconsistent selection, and have been a fairly young team. However, in these type of games it is important not to be complacent and to focus on yourself and let them worry about us rather than the other way around.”

The Cornish Pirates full selection is as follows:-

Cornish Pirates: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Mike Pope, 13 Max Bodilly, 12 Bar Bartlett, 1 Alex O’Meara, 10 Laurence May, 9 Alex Day; 1 Luke Chapman, 2 Jack Innard, 3 Paul Andrew, 4 Josh Caulfield, 5 Chris Morgan (captain), 6 Jake Parker, 7 John Stevens, 8 Dan Lee.

Replacements: 16 Tom Channon, 17 Marlen Walker, 18 Jack Andrew, 19 Brett Beukeboom, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Will Cargill, 22 Nicolas De Battista.

Referee: Matt Turvey

Assistants: Jonathan Healy & Christopher Bartlett

4th Official: Ben Russell  

Performance Reviewer: Lloyd Jackson

To view footage of the Pirates preparing for this week’s game and to also listen to coach Alan Paver’s pre-match thoughts, link to www.cornish-pirates.com

Also note that tickets for the game versus Connacht Eagles on Saturday (ko 2pm), will be available at the gates on the day or in advance can be purchased on-line. For further information please visit www.cornish-pirates.com/tickets

Will was joined on the phone by Alan Paver, Joint Coach of the Cornish Pirates for a preview of the match against Connacht Eagles. You can hear the full preview below.