Ian Davies praises attacking intent of Ayr as well as his Pirates side
CORNISH PIRATES head coach Ian Davies was philosophical after missing out on the fourth try for the bonus point against Ayr in the British and Irish Cup.
The Pirates won 28-21 against the Scottish champions in Penzance on Sunday with three tries – through Jack Andrew, Aaron Carpenter and a penalty try.
Davies praised the spirit and attacking intent of both sides following an entertaining game in poor conditions at Mennaye Field.
He said: “I think both sides tried to play a little bit of rugby. I was talking to their coach before the game and we both agreed a nice dry day would have been perfect for both sides.
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“The crowd were still entertained. There were lots of mistakes, which you would expect with a greasy ball, but there were some good tries scored.
“First half, against the elements, to only go in a point down was really good. We could have scored a couple more tries with a little more composure. It was similar in the second half as well. Loose passes and ball retention were the disappointing things.
“We wanted the five wins and five bonus points and we had enough field position to do that. Our scrum was really powerful, but then we had two key scrums where we didn’t control the ball and that could have been the bonus point try.
“I think overall we probably deserved the bonus point but, having said that, even a draw would not have been too disappointing because Ayr came to play and showed a lot of spirit.”
The Pirates have secured a home quarter-final with a game to spare. Their final Pool Six game takes place against Ulster in Belfast on Friday.
Although Davies expects to make significant team changes, he insists the game will not be a dead rubber for either side.
He said: “We’re trying to go unbeaten now and winning is a habit. Ulster lost this weekend and they have said they will have a point to prove against us. They will come out all guns blazing, so we have to make sure that we try and win the game.
“We’ll have a few guys coming in and a few guys going out for a rest. We had a sickness bug going through the squad this week, so hopefully those guys can play next week.
“The most important thing will be that we go out to win the game.”