Davies wary of favourites tag against 'dangerous' Moseley
THE Cornish Pirates will look to extend their unbeaten home record against Moseley on Friday night when the Midlands side travel to the Mennaye Field for their Championship clash (7.45pm).
With two wins from their first three games the Pirates will again start as favourites to maintain Moseley's misery in Cornwall but the Cornish side will have to be on their mettle following the Birmingham outfit's last display in the south west.
A fortnight ago Moseley trailed Plymouth Albion at Brickfields by 31-6 just before half time. The game ended 34-all and Pirates head coach Ian Davies is well aware that you write Moseley off at your peril.
"Moseley are a fantastic Championship side and always gnarly with a really good and underestimated pack," he said. "Ben Evans and Mike Powell have been around the game a long time.
"They have also got a lot of gas out wide and we saw against Plymouth that if you give them a sniff they know how to score tries."
"They have picked up some good players during the summer and are still very much the same dangerous team that they have always been."
Yet to register a win themselves this season following two defeats to Rotherham Moseley are under pressure to perform well before the Championship makes way for a fortnight of British & Irish Cup action.
But the Pirates have their own objectives for Friday night and Davies wants to see his team put in a more efficient and clinical performance, following last weekend's away victory at Ealing (match report, page 78).
He said: "We are getting good starting points and creating lots of chances but we are not executing them. When we become more efficient we will score more points."
The Pirates will be forced to make changes to their team after Gary Johnson and Matt Bolwell both picked up injuries in London last weekend.
Lock Johnson damaged an ankle in the pre-match warm-up whilst Bolwell, a second half replacement, sustained a fractured skull during his nine minutes of action. The young flanker will now face surgery and a period on the sidelines.
Other casualties were James Sandford (knee) and James Tincknell (hamstring) and both are expected to miss the Moseley game, while Max Bodilly and John Stevens sustained knee injuries playing on loan for Redruth and have returned to the Mennaye Field.
On the positive side skipper Gavin Cattle, wing Matt Evans, and forwards Joel Conlon and Alex Cheesman could all be back in contention for selection. Laurie McGlone has also recovered from a knock picked up at Ealing.
Two other loanees, Peter Joyce (Taunton) and Joe Atkinson (Bournemouth), are expected to return to the Pirates in time for the start of their B&I Cup campaign against Ulster next week.
Cornish Pirates (from): Evans, Fatialofa, Goss, Hallett, Hendrickson, Holland, James, Jones, Kessell, Moyle, Conlon, Pope, Riley, Sinclair, Tincknell; Andrew, Barry, Carpenter, Channon, Elloway, Graulich, Johnson, McGlone, Morgan, Patrick, Paver, Prescott, Stevens, Sandford, Davies, Cattle, Cheesman.
More local rugby, page 79.