Ian Davies wants lights to go down on Friday nights style against Exiles
Cornish Pirates head coach Ian Davies hopes his side’s final Friday evening home game under lights will be one to remember against London Scottish on Friday night.
The Cornish side have chosen to revert the majority of their remaining home fixtures back to Sunday, after their Friday night attendance figures failed to meet expectations.
Pirates also head into Friday’s fixture aiming to avenge two defeats to the Exiles last season. Davies said: “Obviously, the experiment of playing under lights has come to an end, but the boys have enjoyed it and it did create a good atmosphere. We’re now hoping we can finish it on a high.
“We lost both games to London Scottish last year, but the previous year we beat them twice. They are normally tight affairs, so we are expecting a battle, hopefully the weather stays fair because both sides will want to play a bit.”
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Both side’s good recent form came to an end last weekend. Pirates lost 41-6 to London Welsh, while Scottish were frustrated by Rotherham.
Davies has often admired the former Redruth duo of Mark Bright and PJ Gidlow, and both are set to start for the opposition on their return to Cornwall.
“I think they will be disappointed by losing to Rotherham last Friday,” said Davies.
“They have a side that has been together now about three years. Mark Bright is a class act and is certainly a talisman and PJ Gidlow brings a lot of physicality. They have got a lot of experience in their pack as well.
“We weren’t a million miles away against London Welsh, to be honest. The score looks like a heavy defeat and when you come off the field with the opposition putting 40 points on you, it can be doom and gloom.
“There are certainly aspects of the game we need to be sharper on and I think the return fixture will be a good one.
“In terms of player development, a lot of the guys came through very well and know what it is like to play against Premiership players because they had a lot of guys who played at that level or international rugby.
“There are only a few sides who are able to get that quality of player, at the top end of the Championship.”
Davies has made six changes to the side that lost at the Kassam Stadium.
They will be without injured skipper Gavin Cattle as well as Canadian internationals Aaron Carpenter and Matt Evans, who have departed to play in November matches for their country.
However, Chris Morgan returns alongside Alan Paver, Darren Barry, Laurie McGlone and Kieran Goss and Junior Fatialofa.
“We factored in that Aaron and Matt would be away this week. It is not part of the international window, but both players were keen to be involved for their country so we allowed them to go. London Scottish and Bedford haven’t done that for their Canadians but we factored it in to our rotation.
“We also knew that Chris Morgan was going to become a father, but he is back on board now. Gavin Cattle was supposed to be playing, but his back injury will keep him out. Other than that, it is as we intended.”
Cornish Pirates: Holland; Pope, Riley, Fatialofa, Goss; Hallett. Kessell; Cahill, Channon, Paver; Graulich, Barry; Morgan (capt), Atkinson, McGlone. Replacements: Elloway, Prescott, Sandford, Cheeseman, Sinclair, James, Jones.