“The best set-piece performance of the season” was how Cornish Pirates High Performance Director Chris Stirling summed up his side’s performance against old foes Bristol at the Mennaye on a bitterly cold December afternoon.
Leading 9-6 thanks to three Rob Cook penalties against two from Bristol’s Adrian Jarvis, the Pirates made sure of the win and denied Bristol any solace by way of a losing bonus point with beautifully crafted try some seven minutes into time added on by referee Rob Debney. Fly-half Jonny Bentley’s grubber kick to the Bristol line was seized upon by replacement centre Drew Locke, Cook’s conversion giving the Pirates a vital 16-6 win to put them third in the Championship table.
It was a titanic struggle between both sets of forwards with a lot going on in the middle of it all, flanker Chris Morgan got the man-of-the-match award against his old club, fellow flanker Phil Burgess got through a lot of work himself, this young man is steadily making a name for himself with each peformance since stepping up from National 2 North side Loughborough Students this season.
So this weekend, weather permitting, the Pirates will head North across the northern english border to face Scottish Premier League side Currie in Balerno just west of Edinburgh as they start the defence of their British & Irish Cup so thrillingly won at Camborne last season against Munster.