Cornish Pirates' Ian Davies sad to lose prop Alan Paver for big games
Cornish Pirates head coach Ian Davies said he is disappointed to be without suspended prop Alan Paver for three important games.
The club took a decision to ban influential forward Paver for "an incident of foul play" during their 32-17 Championship win over Bristol on Tuesday.
Paver appeared to be involved in a confrontation with opposition prop Jason Hobson moments before the Bristol player was shown a yellow card.
The four-week suspension will mean Paver misses Pirates' British and Irish Cup games against Dundee High and Carmarthen Quins as well as their Championship fixture with league leaders Newcastle.
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Davies said: "After reviewing the footage of the game, we decided we needed to bring Alan before the disciplinary committee to answer some questions.
"We listened to his case and took into consideration the provocation that went on previously, prior to the third try being scored initially.
"We found there was no justification for what he did, so we banned him for four weeks."
Davies said Paver's absence will create opportunities for others to establish a place in the first team during a pivotal point in the season.
He said: "The two British and Irish Cup games against Dundee and Carmarthen are massive for us because we need to win them both to secure the home quarter-final.
"It will be a big blow for us to lose Alan because he is playing really well at the moment – probably one of the stand-out props in the Championship.
"We then go to Newcastle, having done very well up front against them earlier in the season. To lose someone of Alan's experience is a blow.
"But at the same time, we've got Ben Prescott, Ryan Storer and Peter Joyce all looking to take their chance and stand out."
Pirates' victory over Bristol saw them move into fourth place in the Championship, in the last qualifying spot for this season's play-offs.
Liam Middleton's Bristol are now in fifth place, two points adrift of Pirates, while Leeds are in sixth, level on points with Bristol and with tomorrow's home clash against Plymouth Albion in hand.
With nine league matches to go – including trips to leaders Newcastle and second-placed Bedford – Bristol have plenty of work to do.
Bristol's Marco Mama said: "It's going to be a really tough battle now to reach the top four, but with the squad we've got, I'm confident we can bounce back from a loss like this."