Matt's hat-trick gets Cornish Pirates off to a winning start
Jersey 6 Cornish Pirates 20
Three tries from Canadian wing Matt Evans helped the Cornish Pirates to an opening day win at St.Peter`s at the RFU Championship season got underway, writes Dick Straughan.
The newly promoted Islanders started strongly and went ahead through an early Ross Broadfoot penalty only to be pegged back by a Kieranb Hallett strike for the Pirates.
Having withstood the early Jersey storm the Pirates began to assert themselves more on the contest and spurned several good scoring chances before they finally took the lead late in the half.
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With a minute of stoppage time played pressure and patience paid off as the ball went wide to the left wing and Evans finished with a try in the corner.
But Jersey were again fired up as the second half began capitalising on a sloppy restart to earn a penalty converted by Le Bourgeois.
Now trailing 8-6 Jersey had momentarily put the game in the balance until Hallett`s sublime grubber kick released Evans for his second try down the left flank. The Pirates fly-half then converted it with a sublime touchline conversion.
Hallett and Le Bourgeois both missed penalties before Jersey hooker Steve Boden was sin-binned for fighting.
Then with the game again going into stoppage time Evans completed the scoring after Ryan Storer had made a mess of a home scrum.
Bryce, Cooper, Bishop (Le Bourgeois 38), Sanders, Dawson, Broadfoot (Copsey h/t), Griffiths; Barrington (McCarthy 50), Boden (sin-bin 69-79), Evans, Hannay (capt)(Markham 50), Anderson, Thompson (Nihill 72), Vaioleti, Trower (Felton 72)
Replacement (not used) – O`Brien
Pens – Broadfoot, Le Bourgeois
Yellow Card – Boden
Pointer, Bedford, Riley, Fatialofa (Cheesman 78), Evans, Hallett (Penberthy 80+1), Cattle (capt) (Kessell 76); Andrew, Elloway, Prescott (Storer 76), Barry (Lyons 61), Johnson, Marriott, Burgess, Maidment
Replacements (not used) – Semmens, Paver
Tries – Evans (3)
Con – Hallett
Pen – Hallett
Referee – S.Lee (RFU)
Half-time – 3-8