Whether it was still the effects of French hospitality from my lightning trip acoss the channel for the opening game of RWC 2007 on Friday night at the Stade de France or a lack of sleep over the previous 48 hours but at half-time on Sunday there was a sense that this could be the day that the Cornish Pirates turned over one of the big boys on their own turf. with score 19-10 to the Pirates courtesy of four Gareth Steenson penalties and a try scored by hooker Rob Elloway converted by Steenson you could sense that this time they might just pull it off.
Adryan Winnan had another stormer for the home side his vision creating the Pirates opening try when he chipped the ball ahead, Winnan was impeded in his chase by Saints winger Paul Diggin not once, nor twice but three times which should have seen the Saints’ winger spending 10 minutes in the ASK Secruity sin-bin.
The illusion was shattered soon after the start of the second half by Northampton as their fly-half Barry Everitt scored a fine try which he converted to pull his side back to within two points. The game then turned as the Pirates kicked a penalty to the corner and then launched from the lineout a massive assult on the Saints line. The period of pressure and resulting penalties were repulsed by the Saints pack who turned the ball over and set off downfield for Diggin to rub salt into the Pirates wound with a third try, now they trailled 24-19. It must have soul destroying for the home side, the Saints sensing the moment grabbed the try scoring bonus point with a fourth try from Dutchman Tim Visser for a 32-19 lead. James Moore on for Rhodri McAtee scored a second try for the Pirates which Steenson converted to leave the Pirates with a losing bonus point at 32-26, but even that slim reward was snatched away as the Pirates transgressed towards the end for Everitt to kick his third penalty of the game to leave the Saints 35 – 26 winners.
Almost 6,500 saw a great game.
The Cornish All Blacks made the long trip to Doncaster and had to give second best to the Knights 26-8. Matt Jess with a try and Stuart Alred scored the CAB’s points. Next week’s home game against Sedgley Park Tigers is one that the Cornish All Blacks will hope will kick-start their season.
With no games in National League 2 due to England Counties participation in the FIRA-AER Festival in SW France, Mount’s Bay once again stole the limelight with another impressive display in National League 3 South winning 42 – 18 at Bridgwater & Albion. With another five tries scored Bay now top the table with maximum points
News this week that Joff Rowe coach of the County side has stepped down from the position just weeks after having been confirmed in the post for a second season! Interesting to read conflicting reports from both camps as to the reasons why Joff Rowe resigned!!
Apologies for the lack of a review of our SW league clubs on the opening day of their league season, due to trips to the Rugby World Cup, once the tournament is over it will be back to buisness as usual.