Cornish Pirates suffer massive blow to play-off hopes with defeat at Leeds
Leeds Carnegie 37 Cornish Pirates 25
A strong second half performance from Leeds Carnegie at Cross Green all but ended the hopes of the Cornish Pirates in reaching this season's RFU Championship play-offs as they conceded 25 points and slipped to 6th in the table, writes Dick Straughan.
Both teams went into the game knowing that a win was essential in their quest for a toip four finish and after Leeds went ahead with a first minute penalty the Pirates roared back with a Paul Andrew try.
Kieran Hallett then added a second try after just 13 minutes as he capitalised on turnover ball in the home 22 and his conversion gave the Pirates a nine point lead, but a rising penalty count again hurt the Cornish side and on-loan Harlequins fly-half Rory Clegg steadily edged Leeds back into the game.
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The Pirates led 15-12 until the 50th minute but the warning signs were clear to see as Leeds dominated much of the second half. Former Pirates lock Matt Smith crashed over to score their first touchdown and Clegg's boot kept the scoreboard ticking.
Another of last season`s Pirates, David Doherty, rounded off a fine blindside move to score on 74 minutes and Smith scored again in the fourth minute of stoppage time from a strong driving lineout.
With the final play of the game Pirates wing Matt Evans scored his 11th try of the season converted by Penberthy but it was all too little and far too late.
McColl, Clark (Currie 37-47), Goss, Burdon, D.Doherty, Clegg, Hampson (J.Doherty 64); Harris (Imiolek 72), Nilsen (Freer 48), Tussac (sin-bin 37-47, Currie 72)), Green, Smith, Baldwin, Rowan (capt), Burrows (Walker 64)
Replacements (not used) – Phillips, Walker, Ford
Tries – Smith (2), D.Doherty
Cons – Clegg (2)
Pens – Clegg (6)
Yellow Card –Tussac
Pointer, Smith, Riley, Fatialofa (Cattle 54), Evans, Hallett (Penberthy 65), Kessell; Andrew (Storer 27), Elloway (Semmens 65), Prescott (Joyce 60), Lyons, Johnson (Barry 60) Burgess, Cheesman, Marriott (capt) (Tyas 65)
Tries – Andrew, Hallett, Evans
Cons – Hallett, Penberthy
Pens – Hallett, Penberthy
Referee – J.Meredith (RFU) (T.Foley 65)
Attendance – 1,363