I finally had the chance to pop down to the Mennaye on Sunday to see the Cornish Pirates in action against Rotherham Titans.
I am not going to spend too much time talking about the game itself – you can read the excellent reports by Woll on the Pirates website or the match report in today’s Western Morning News by Bill Sobey.But if you haven’t managed to venture down west yet then I really do recommend you make an effort one Sunday soon. On a beautiful sunny autumnal afternoon with virtually clear blue skies and hardly a breath of wind; there aren’t many better places in Cornwall to watch rugby than the Mennaye. My preferred vantage point is down at the Newlyn End; you get a great view and can certainly appreciate the running angles and set moves from the players. However, the rest of the ground has been well spruced up with plenty of seating installed at the Penzance end as well as uncovered and covered seating opposite the main stand.
Ground tickets are £15 on the day of the match, but don’t forget if you buy them early from Warrens Bakers for £13 or direct from the club again at £13.
Sunday’s game against Rotherham, which the Pirates won 40-15, had seven great tries with the Pirates bagging five. Full-back Rob Cook – who just seems to get better and better each time I see him play – amassed twenty five points in an impressive scoring spree, two tries, three conversions, two penalties and a drop-goal. Wingers Rhodri McAtee and Wes Davies were industrious, along with centres Steve Winn and Matt Hopper, half-backs Jonny Bentley and skipper Gavin Cattle buzzed around, whilst in the pack, flanker Phil Burgess caught the eye with hooker Dave Ward and lock Laurie McGlone rampant.
After the match Pirates High Performance Director Chris Stirling was happy with the result, although parts of the performance will be looked at during the week. “You’ve got to be patient and build phases and when we did we created space and we probably could have scored another four or five tries, however Stirling conceded that they still have much to do with re-starts “We are working on it but it’s probably the one area of our game that we haven’t made forward progress, we will continue to work on that aspect and look to improve”.
But overall Stirling was happy with his side’s overall performance “Our game isn’t really centred on hammering away at the breakdowns we did get sucked into it a little bit (early on) maybe with hindsight wrong options, but if we’d scored it wouldn’t have been, I think we mixed our game up really well today we kicked, kept it close and drove a few times, we sucked them in and created some space, which we attacked through, then we weren’t afraid either to go from off the top and out to the mid-field and then quickly move the ball from there, From the balance of tight play and wider expanse we pretty much got it right today”.