Cornish Pirates face big challenge from weather before Exiles arrive
As torrential rain, strong winds and high seas batter Cornwall, Cornish Pirates director of rugby Ian Davies admits London Welsh on Sunday might be the least of their problems.
The weather has been a hot topic for the Pirates in recent days with their Championship match at Moseley postponed last weekend.
Conditions have not been favourable in west Cornwall since and Davies is concerned his side’s home fixture against promotion favourites Welsh could be washed out in similar fashion.
He said: “We know it is going to be a big challenge against London Welsh but maybe our biggest challenge this weekend will be getting the game to go ahead.
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“The weather conditions down here are atrocious and the pitch is pretty well saturated already and the forecast isn’t great.
“Our last home game against Ealing didn’t go very well, so the boys were pretty determined to get back on the field. It would have been Laurie McGlone’s first game back from injury and Alan Paver’s second.
“We were surprised we were the only game to be called off in the Championship. You obviously can’t control the whether but we hope the frustration and hunger from the players will come forward with them into this game.”
Davies is likely to give the same side another chance to run out this week. Experienced men such as back-row McGlone and front-row Paver could be key to Pirates improving on the 41-6 loss they suffered in the reverse fixture at the Kassam Stadium.
“We want to give the players a fair crack of the whip,” said Davies. “They beat us comprehensively up there.
“They are a Premiership team with a Premiership budget and we’re not – it’s as simple as that.
“We are at a different stage in our journey. They want an immediate return to the Premiership and have recruited a squad to do that.
“At the Kassam Stadium there were 17 players with Premiership experience and we had 12 guys who had never played at Championship level or above before this season.
“But we performed with a lot of intensity and endeavour. The young boys stood up but you can’t beat experience, size and that basic ability to win games.
“We will have a little bit more experience in our side on Sunday but we want to keep the passion the youngsters played with in October.”
The Exiles are certainly in the mood to punish any lack of composure from Pirates. They beat Rotherham Titans 47-16 last weekend but Davies says the performance was not quite as impressive as the result suggests.
“Rotherham made life very easy for London Welsh,” said Davies. “I don’t think people should look at it as though they beat top of the table by 40 points because it wasn’t the Rotherham side we have seen week in and week out this year.”