Cornish Pirates down to earth with bump
London Welsh 41 Cornish Pirates 6
The Cornish Pirates were brought back down to earth with a bump at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday night as London Welsh ended their four game unbeaten run with a five-try bonus point win, writes Dick Straughan.
The Welsh remain unbeaten in their quest to secure promotion back to the Premiership at the first attempt and were good value for their victory against a young Cornish Pirates side.
Two early Gordon Ross penalties gave the Welsh some breathing space before good work by prop Nathan Trevett set up full-back Seb Jewell for the opening try after 18 minutes.
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The Pirates stuck to their task defending and scrummaging well but the power-game of the hosts and strong midfield running of former international centres Tom May and Sonny Parker was already causing problems.
Kieran Hallett slotted a penalty for the Pirates but flanker Carl Kirwan quickly responded with a second Welsh try from close range and Ross converted to make it 20-3. Hallett added a second place kick for the Pirates to complete the first half scoring.
The Welsh kept up the onslaught adding a third try early in the second half from scrum half Rob Lewis and secured the bonus point on 65 minutes after a puzzling series of scrummages in front of the Pirates posts in which the Cornish side were repeatedly and harshly penalised.
Hooker Andy Titterell claimed the all important bonus point try and they completed the victory when May stole an interception on half-way and raced in to score three minutes from the end.
London Welsh: Jewell (Awcock 67), Stegmann, May (capt), Parker, Scott, Ross, Lewis (A.Davies 60); Trevett (sin-bin 35-45, Moss 65)), Titterell (K.Davies 65), Edwards (Tideswell 65), Lees, P Browne, Thorpe (Corker 35, Moss 37-45), Kirwan, D Browne (Pienaar 53-65).
Scorers. Tries – May, Kirwan, Jewell, Lewis, Titterell; Cons – Ross (5); Pens – Ross (2).
Yellow card: Trevett.
Cornish Pirates: Holland, Pope, Riley, James (Hendrickson 78), Evans, Hallett (capt) (Sinclair 78), Kessell; Cahill (K.Davies 68), Channon (Elloway 73), Joyce (Prescott 70), Graulich, Patrick (Sandford 50), Parker, Atkinson (Cheesman 73), Conlon.
Scorers. Pens – Hallett (2).
Referee: I Tempest (RFU).