Cornish Pirates 15/4/23

13Doncaster Knights

14Cornish Pirates

2:30 pm · April 15, 2023

Agonising Finish Sees Pirates Take One-Point Victory Margin

It was a hard one to take at full time for the Doncaster Knights squad as Cornish Pirates took a 13-14 victory at Castle Park in Round 20.

A tackle off the ball brought about a penalty just a minute into the game and, wanting a foothold on things, Alex Dolly immediately called for the tee to be brought on and got the scoreboard ticking.

There was some lovely interchange of play in the quarter that followed, along with fluke skill – including a moment when Joe Margetts flicked the ball off the floor with the back of his heel into the waiting hands of his centre partner Connor Edwards.

A second penalty came on 14 minutes for the Knights, allowing Dolly to double the score.

Pirates were the first try scorers of the day. The Cornishmen moved off their maul well. AJ Cant took the ball to carve a line and as he slipped a good tackle attempt from George Simpson, he managed to get the ball away to Arthur Relton who himself broke Billy McBryde’s tackle to dot down.

Arwel Robson then secured the conversion to put the away side a single point ahead.

And that would be how the score would remain for the rest of the first half as both sides put on good displays, but each time an opportunity arose, they were either thwarted by their own discipline or their opposition.

After a competitive and lively first half, the second 40 minutes was more of a dog-fight in comparison.

The home crowd was over-joyed when the Knights took the lead on 67 minutes. Nice interchange of passes and soft hands from the backs made vital territory before the forwards got involved for the recycled phases.

Spotting his winger in clean air in the wide channels, Sam Olver put a chip out to Maliq Holden. The latter did brilliantly to break the tackle on the line from Pirates whilst simultaneously avoiding touch to score in the corner.

A beautiful conversion from the touchline courtesy of Dolly secured the extra points.

Pirates scored their own try with 9 minutes left to play. After breaking into the Knights 22, and having Margetts and John Kelly made a pivotal tackle in the corner, repeated short carries on the Donny line had the visitors crashing over through Jarrard Hayler.

With Bazalgette’s extras, the travelling side once more pulled ahead by a single point.

Small mistakes and infringements ultimately cost the Knights the chance at adding to the score board in the closing minutes and as soon as the clock hit red, Bazalgette tapped the ball into touch to end the game.

The Knights will re-access and adapt game plans in the week to come as next weekend sees them travel to Caldy for the very first time.

Match Statistics

Starting XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 George Simpson, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Evan Mintern, 6 Martin Sigren, 7 Robbie Smith, 8 John Kelly.

Replacements | 16 Will Holling, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Jake Armstrong, 19 Thom Smith, 20 Sam Daly, 21 Will Yarnell, 22 Alec Lloyd-Seed, 23 Jack Metcalf.

Pens: Dolly 2

Tries: Holden

Cons: Dolly


Cornish Pirates XV | 15 AJ Cant; 14 Robin Wedlake, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Garyn Smith, 11 Arthur Relton; 10 Arwel Robson, 9 Ruaridh Dawson; 1 Jack Andrew, 2 Will Crane, 3 Matt Johnson, 4 Cory Teague, 5 Will Birtton, 6 Alex Everett, 7 Will Gibson, 8 John Stevens.

Replacements | 16 Max Norey, 17 Marlen Walker, 18 Hayden King, 19 Steele Barker, 20 Jarrard Hayler, 21 Tom Kessell, 22 Harry Bazalgette, 23 Joe Elderkin.

Tries: Relton, Hayler

Cons: Robson, Bazalgette


Referee: Joe James

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