The Cornish Pirates will on Saturday (ko 4.15pm) welcome a
Leeds side to Cornwall who they played at Camborne in 2006 and in 2008, but it
the first time that they will have played them at the Mennaye Field.
Matches against the men from Leeds Carnegie have generally
been incredibly close. The Pirates have played them five times – winning one,
drawing one and losing three – and as for a highlight moment, for the Cornish
club it has to be their 18-17 points EDF Energy National Trophy match win away
in February, 2007.
Saturday’s visitors were, of course, relegated from the
Premiership at the end of last season, when it all went down to the last day.
They put up an admirable fight at Northampton before losing 31-24, whilst
Newcastle Falcons, who went down 42-12 at Bath, survived by having a superior
Neil Back resigned following relegation to be replaced by
former Academy Manager Diccon Edwards, and a total of 17 players exited Leeds
Carnegie. Theirs is still, naturally, a strong outfit, but their Championship
campaign has got off to a mixed start. In their opening game they lost 26-13 at
home to London Welsh, and they then went down 22-18 at Rotherham Titans just a
week later. However, last Sunday saw them win 12-11 at home to a strong Bristol
side, when they showed their true pedigree by suitably recovering after being
11-3 down at half-time, and the Pirates can be assured of the sternest of tests
this weekend in front of what will hopefully be a large and enthusiastic crowd.
With their backing and resilience, and with a record of producing quality
Academy players, despite their mixed start there’s a feeling that Leeds
Carnegie will inevitably be right in the mix come the season’s end, and it’ll
be interesting to monitor their progress.
Also on Saturday everyone present will be delighted that
Paul Wickes and the Falmouth Marine Band will make their presence heard, as
will the always popular Cadgwith Singers.
Tickets for Saturday’s game can be purchased on-line at
www.cornish-pirates.com until 10am on Saturday, and they can also be bought
from various Warrens bakers outlets about the county, besides being available
on the day.
The Cornish Pirates side named for Saturday shows a number
of changes from the team that played in the Championship match at London
Scottish last Saturday, including a return at scrum-half for skipper Gavin
Cattle and a first Championship game of the season for Chris Morgan who has
returned to full fitness and enjoyed some welcome game time in Wednesday’s
British & Irish Cup match win against Bristol. Wing David Doherty and
fly-half Ceiron Thomas will also be facing a club they have both previously
Cornish Pirates: R. Cook, W. Davies, G. Pointer, D. Locke, D.
Doherty, C. Thomas, G. Cattle (capt), B. Cowan, P. Burgess, C. Morgan, I.
Nimmo, L. McGlone, A. Paver, D. Ward, C. Rimmer.
Replacements: R. Storer, R. Elloway, R. Brits, M. Myerscough, C. Walker-Blair, J. Doherty, T.
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU) Assistants: Ross Campbell & Steve Leyshon
Official 4: Andy Bickle TMO: Tony Spreadbury
Match Day Sponsor: Treswithian Downs Crematorium