Cornish Pirates – 02/09/2018

31Cornish Pirates

24Doncaster Knights

2:30 pm · September 2, 2018

The Knights started their 2018/19 Championship season with a narrow defeat to Cornish Pirates.

The 31-24 score line did not give the just rewards the Knights deserved after a hard fought performance.

A try nearly 25 minutes from time swung the balance in the favour of the Pirates, when Tom Duncan only just dotted it down, after the home side had been pegged back throughout the game.

It was an entertaining first half that turned into a back and forth battle between the Knights and the Pirates.

Tom James became the first Knight to score in the 2018/19 Championship season. The scrum-half was on the end of a number of great offloads involving Ben Hunter, Tyson Lewis and Steve McColl, after Cameron Cowell had made a superb burst into the Pirates half.

The Penzance side replied just two minutes later with Sam Matavesi, brother of Joel, barging his way over.

Cowell then turned scorer as his pace was an asset once again reacting to McColl’s chip inside the Pirates’ 22. McColl was barged off the ball, however, the Newcastle Falcons dual registered full-back was fast enough to beat any Cornish player to the bouncing ball.

Last season Cornish Pirates finished fourth and it was clear to see why. They continued to keep attacking and were fruitful in their efforts when Matavesi got his second of the afternoon.

Just a minute later the Knights scored their third try of the half, after a great Charlie Foley burst broke the defensive line, the centre had time to look left and right before Tom James came in support to score his second try of the afternoon.

Foley converted his third conversion to give the Knights the lead.

However, the lead lasted less than 10 minutes when Rory Parata dotted down to make it level at half time.

The second half began in just an exciting fashion and the Knights were handed the chance to grab the lead, when Foley had a penalty just inside the Pirates half. However, was unfortunate to hit the post and keep the score line level.

The balance of play possible turned when the Knights twice went close to scoring. First, Ben Hunter tried his luck alongside a number of great forward drives. This was soon followed by Matt Challinor barging over, only for Lloyd Hayes to have been judged to have thrown a forward pass.

Foley did however add to the score line with a penalty to make it 21-24 in favour of the Knights.

The Pirates were particularly good in the maul and showed their strength when from a lineout 10m from the Knights’ try line. Duncan was the lucky Pirate to dot down right on the line with a number of Knights tackling him.

Cargill added the extras to give the home side the lead.

In the dying embers, Cargill scored a penalty to make it 31-24. Despite the Knights best efforts the Pirates held on.

Match Statistics

Knights Starting Line up: 15. Cowell 14.McColl 13. Hayes 12. Matavesi 11. Lewis 10. Foley 9. James 1. Hislop 2. Hunter 3. Quigley 4. Challinor 5. Civetta 6. Eames 7. Hills 8. Ryan

Replacements Williams, Langdon, Sproston, Calladine, Morath, Dawson, Clark

Tries: James 2, Cowell Conversions: Foley 3 Penalty: Foley

Cornish Pirates Starting Line up 15. Moyle 14. Wedlake 13. Parata 12. Patterson 11. Evans 10. Cargill 9. Day 1. Judge 2. Matavesi 3. Andrew 4. Freeman 5. Beukeboom 6. Caulfield 7. Bolwell 8. Duncan

Tries: Matavesi 2, Duncan, Parata  Conversions: Cargill 4 Penalty: Cargill

Replacements: Frost, Gendall, Cutmore, Stevens, Schwarz, Skinner, Strong

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