Cornish Pirates into last eight of Cup as win is piece of cake
Cornish Pirates 34, Dundee High 14
Six tries from the Cornish Pirates eased them into the quarter-final of the British & Irish Cup as they brushed aside the challenge of a spirited but out-gunned Dundee High side at the Mennaye Field, writes Dick Straughan.
The Pirates now need to avoid defeat in Wales next Saturday against Carmarthen Quins to earn a home draw in the final eight of this season's tournament, and will be firm favourites to extend their six-game winning run.
An early try from centre Sam Hill gave the Pirates the perfect start as he latched on to Kieran Hallett's grubber kick to score alongside the posts after just two minutes, and Hallett converted for a 7-0 advantage.
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However, Dundee fought their way back into the game with two Jack Steele penalties midway through the half although the Pirates were denied a second try only by a Ben Mercer knock-on.
Hallett then took control of the game again defeating the on-rushing Scottish defence with a cheeky grubber kick and he won the race to touchdown in the Clubhouse Corner out-pacing James Johnstone.
The Pirates fly-half then linked well with Wes Davies down the left flank to carve out a path to the line and Phil Burgess took the scoring pass for a simple run-in.
A missed penalty and the loss of scrum-half Robbie Lavery further disrupted Dundee and then five minutes into the second-half the Cornish side made the game safe and secured the bonus point with a fourth try. This time it was Davies profiting from Hallett's perfectly weighted chip kick to the corner and the Pirates led 24-6.
Steele added a third penalty before Pirates lock Dave Lyons drove over the Scottish line from close range on the hour for try number five.
But Dundee's resilience and refusal to give in was finally rewarded with five minutes left as replacement prop Gav Robertson replied in kind with a similar try.
With two minutes remaining Davies claimed his second try of the afternoon as he gathered a huge midfield mis-pass wide on the right before selling an outrageous dummy to wrong-foot three defenders.
With a clear path to the line he raced clear of two more would-be tacklers to put the gloss on a solid afternoon's work from the Cornish Pirates.
Cornish Pirates: Davies, Mercer, Riley (Fatialofa 46), Hill, Bedford, Hallett (Duncan 48), Kessell; Storer (Joyce 51), Semmens, Prescott (Andrew 58), Lyons (Cattle 64), Johnson (capt), Maidment, Cheesman, Burgess (Tyas 63). Replacement (not used): Elloway.
Tries: Davies (2), Lyons, Hallett, Burgess, Hill; Cons: Hallett (2).
Dundee High: Urquhart, McLean, Duthie (capt) (Bowie 48), Steele, Johnstone, Laursen, Lavery (Dymock 36); Longwell, Russell, Brown (Robertson 64), Redmayne, Hawkins (Linton 54), Levison, Wilson, McIver. Replacements (not used) – Whittaker, Milne, Gray.
Try: Robertson; Con: Steele; Pens: Steele (3).
Referee: N Perkins (WRU).