Cornish Pirates – 13/03/2016

38Cornish Pirates

19Doncaster Knights

3:00 pm · March 13, 2016

The Knights exit the British and Irish Cup following a 38-19 defeat to a determined Cornish Pirates side at their Mennaye home.

The Knights changed twelve of the starting XV that beat London Scottish a week earlier to secure play-off berth with a number of young players given the opportunity to show what they could do in the starting role. They met an experience Cornish Pirates outfit who battled hard to run away as comprehensive winners in the late stages of the fixture.

On what was a lovely afternoon in Penzance the hosts started brightly and had plenty of early success with their kicking game; regularly finding space and purchase downfield. Having pinned the Knights into their own 22m with a lineout an error was forced to turnover possession and the Pirates made it pay as Tom Riley entered the line at pace and was able to fight through some below par tackling to touch down. Laurence May missed the extra points.

Only a couple of moments passed before the Pirates were in again.

Having attacked brightly from the restart they pinned the Knights back into their own territory but knocked on as they tried to interrupt a Donny lineout. The home pack produced a dominant shove at the resulting scrum to pinch possession and attacked down the blindside, a nice chip was delicately sent ahead of winger Matt Evans who won the foot race to dot down. May put the conversion wide but the Knights trailed by ten with as many minutes played.

This Knights side has made fighting back against the odds something of a character trait but even so the opening stages were concerning. Thankfully, following a bizarre series of phases, George Catchpole was able to profit from broken play and showed some quick thinking to register the Knights first score. The move began when Brad Field took a quick tap downfield and fed Andy Bulumakau, frantic offloading followed before Ollie Bryant managed to get a half pass away to Catchpole. The Centre got his laces to the loose ball that was bouncing towards him before chasing it down and scoring. Dec Cusack converted the try, 10-7.

The remainder of the first half saw improvement from the Knights but neither side were really competing at the level they demonstrated a fortnight previous in the Championship clash at the same venue and the sides returned to the sheds for half time without adding to the score.

The second half started with a bang, unfortunately that was due to another Pirates score with the game barely restarted. Home Captain Alex Cheesman did well to retrieve the restart and drive forward, the back rower handed on possession and the Pirates pack accelerated into a fearsome rumble forward through a series of potent carries. With the line in sight number eight Tom Duncan spotted an opportunity to fight his way through and this time May made sure it was a seven point score.

The Knights did improve following the score and the coaching staff began to make use of the subs bench with some familiar faces entering the fray however the improvement did not immediately translate into points. Indiscipline costs the Knights as the game crept toward the hour mark, a succession of penalties gave the hosts a lineout deep in the Donny 22m and following a nicely-formed driving maul hooker Rob Elloway put the ball down. May’s conversion made the score 24-7.

In typical fashion, just as all looked lost, the Knights hit back. A yellow card to Pirates lock Brett Beukeboom allowed a numerical advantage up front which was capitalized on with a patient score from a driving lineout; skipper for the day Alex Shaw with the score.

With just over ten minutes to go Dec Cusack added the extras and it seemed that there might be a chance of another dramatic comeback but, in a frantic end to the game, the Pirates pulled clear to run out deserved winners. A second Shaw try was sandwiched around two home scores from Sam Simmons and Rheon James and it might had been more if it weren’t for some impressive goal line defence, notably from Tyson Lewis.

A disappointing result for the Knights who now can focus solely on the final four rounds of the Championship; starting on Easter Sunday vs Bristol.

Match Statistics

Cornish Pirates; 15) Toby May, 14) Kyle Moyle, 13) Tom Riley, 12) Tom Hendrickson (Rheon James 71’), 11) Matt Evans, 10) Laurence May (Will Cargill 72’), 9) Stuart Townsend (Alex Day 72’) 1) Marlen Walker, 2) Rob Elloway (Tom Channon 62’), 3) Alan Paver (Tyler Gendall 55’), 4) Jake Parker (Marcus Garratt 77’) 5) Brett Beukeboom, 6) Alex Cheesman (capt), 7) Sam Simmonds, 8) Tom Duncan (Joe Atkinson 62’).

Replacements; 16) Tom Channon, 17) Tyler Gendall, 18) Marcus Garratt 19) Joe Atkinson, 20) Alex Day, 21) Will Cargill, 22) Rheon James.

Tries; Riley 7’, Evans 10’, Duncan 42’, Elloway 57’, Simmonds 72’, James 79’

Conv; May 43’, 57’, 72’ 79’


Sin bin; Brett Beukeboom 65’

Doncaster Knights; 15) Ollie Bryant, 14) Andy Bulumakau, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Bevon Armitage (Davie McIlWaine 61’), 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Dec Cusack, 9) Brad Field (Michael Heaney 61’), 1) WillGriff John (Richard List 55’), 2) Ted Stagg (Vili Veikoso 53’), 3) Joe Sproston (Tiziano Pasquali 40’), 4) Joe Maksymiw (Matt Challinor 64’), 5) Tyler Hotson, 6) Glen Young, 7) Will Owen (Michael Hills 55’), 8) Alex Shaw ©

Replacements; 16) Richard List, 17) Vili Veikoso, 18) Tiziano Pasquali, 19) Matt Challinor, 20) Michael Hills, 21) Dave McIlwaine, 22) Michael Heaney.

Tries; Catchpole 17’, Shaw 66’, 77’

Conv; Cusack 17’, 66’


Referee: Fergus Kirby

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