Cornish Pirates stay top of Cup pool group after third victory
Cornish Pirates 27 Swansea 9
The Cornish Pirates remain top of Pool Three in the British & Irish Cup after recording their third successive win in the competition against Welsh Premiership side Swansea, writes Dick Straughan.
The match itself was a slow burner which never really caught fire and the Pirates had to do without a winning bonus point as they only managed to cross the try line twice against their dogged Welsh opponents.
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Flanker Joe Buckle forced his way over from a driving lineout in first half stoppage time and Number 8 Laurie McGlone claimed the second, also from close range, late in the game.
But apart from those moments of excitement for the home crowd the Pirates display was error-strewn and lacking intensity.
After a scrappy opening quarter on a chilly afternoon Swansea took the lead with a Sam Davies penalty and he and Kieran Hallett exchanged kicks to leave the score at 6-6 with a minute of the half remaining.
A yellow card for Swansea hooker Paul John for killing the ball allowed Hallett to edge the Pirates in front and Buckle`s try made it 16-6 at the interval.
Two more Hallett penalties either side of Davies` third successful place kick kept the Pirates in control until McGlone sealed the game from an attacking 5-metre scrum.
The two teams meet again on Saturday at St Helens (4.30pm) with the Pirates still needing to win to maintain their push for a quarter-final spot.
Cornish Pirates: Davies, Kilmartin, Bedford (Cheesman 58), Hill, Mercer, Hallett, Kessell (Cattle 58); Storer (Andrew 48), Elloway (Semmens 76), Joyce (Paver 66), Lyons, Barry, Tyas (McGlone 64), Buckle, Marriott (capt) (Hambly 73).
Scorers. Tries – Buckle, McGlone; Con – Hallett; Pens – Hallett (5).
Swansea: R.Williams, Jenkins, Harwood, Roberts (Brooks 50), Price, Davies, Cole (Lewis 74); Smith (Mason 66), John (sin-bin 39-49, Dobbs 68), I.Williams (Thomas 58), Kiley (capt) (Fox 69), Hughes, Dudley-Jones (McKenna 74), Bija (Dobbs 45-46), Baker.
Scorer. Pens – Davies (3).
Yellow card: John.
Referee: G MacDonald (RFU).