Davies expects a mighty backlash from Quins
THE Cornish Pirates complete the group stage of this season's British & Irish Cup on Saturday when they travel to Wales to take on Carmarthen Quins at Carmarthen Park (2pm), writes Dick Straughan
Victory against Dundee last weekend ensured that the Pirates have already qualified for the quarter-final of the competition scheduled for the first weekend in March, and now they need to avoid defeat against the Quins to guarantee a home tie.
For the Welsh Premiership side their interest in the cup ended with that Pirates win on Sunday despite their own hard fought success at Swansea where they scored a last minute try to seal a 17-8 win.
But the Quins go into the game on a three-game winning streak including a notable league success at Llandovery and twice led against the Pirates when the two teams met at the Mennaye Field in October.
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They scored four tries that day in a 44-32 defeat and Pirates boss Ian Davies knows that his team still have a job to do this weekend.
He said: "Carmarthen will be really dangerous. I know that they started thinking about this game quite early on and I have been told that they are gearing up to prove that they should have beaten us at the Mennaye.
"They are claiming that they only lost because of the yellow card for Darren Daniel which allowed us to get in front, so it is going to be tough."
He continued: "We will have to assess our injuries and I would suggest that there will be a few changes for the game which makes our life tougher again.
"We want the win because we want that home draw in the quarter-finals."
Davies agreed that the Pirates are a better team now than they were in October but believes that the fact that Carmarthen are out of this season's competition now makes them a bigger threat.
He said: "They can do what they like now. They can throw the ball around if they want and that makes them even more dangerous. We need to go there, give them the respect they deserve and do a professional job."
The Pirates rested several players for the Dundee game including Laurie McGlone, Darren Barry and Kyle Marriott. Tom Duncan made his debut at No.8 as a second half replacement and hooker Darren Semmens had a solid game in only his second start for the club.
But injuries to Tom Riley and Kieran Hallett could pose a selection dilemma even though Matt Evans and Grant Pointer are on the verge of a return.
Prop Ryan Storer tweaked a hamstring against the Scots.
Cornish Pirates (from): Kilmartin, Riley, Fatialofa, Hallett, Bedford, Andrew, Elloway, Prescott, Lyons, B.Maidment, Storer, Semmens, Barry, Kessell, Cheesman, Joyce, McGlone, Mercer, Davies, Cattle, Marriott, Tyas, Hambly, Duncan, Hill, Evans, Pointer, Johnson.