Pirates set sights on second spot as Moseley visit the Mennaye
By Dick Straughan
The Cornish Pirates go into the final round of fixtures in Stage One of the Championship on Saturday (2pm) knowing that they need a bonus point win against Moseley at the Mennaye Field to stand a chance of claiming second place in the table ahead of Bedford Blues.
With final standings ahead of the play-offs worth extra points in the next phase of the competition the Cornish side will be expected to beat the relegation threatened Midlanders on their home turf.
Bedford meanwhile have a much more difficult test ahead of them as Nottingham travel to Goldington Road.
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But with the injury list at the Pirates as long as it ever has been this season, the coaching team have been forced to draft leading try scorer David Doherty into the outside centre berth.
With Andy Short, Grant Pointer, Drew Locke and Andrew Suniula all sidelined and Sam Hill on England Under-20 duty this weekend, Doherty will partner Tom Cooper in the midfield.
Matt Evans will take his place on the wing with Darren Daniel coming in for Pointer. The side will be led by Gavin Cattle with Aaron Penberthy restored at fly-half.
In the front row, where hooker Dave Ward makes his 100th appearance for the Pirates, Alan Paver and Ryan Storer make way for Carl Rimmer and Lloyd Fairbrother while fit-again Mike Myerscough partners Ian Nimmo at lock.
A powerful back row sees Dave Ewers and Chris Morgan link up with Ben Maidment who this time last year was wearing the colours of Saturday`s opponents.
Moseley travel to the far south-west for their last match in the regular Championship season with a side showing several changes to that which lost at home to Bedford Blues last week. On that occasion Moseley showed good team spirit, but were unable to stop Bedford from achieving a bonus-point victory.
Coach Kevin Maggs is using this match to try some new permutations after a month in which his team will have played against the top three sides.
Cornish Pirates: R Cook, D Daniel, D Doherty, T Cooper, M Evans, A Penberthy, G Cattle (capt); C Rimmer, D Ward, L Fairbrother, M Myerscough, I Nimmo, D Ewers, C Morgan, B Maidment. Replacements: A Paver, T Cowan-Dickie, R Brits, M Smith, P Burgess, J Doherty, C Thomas.
Moseley: M Gadd, A Caves, C Voisey, D Sanderson, P Spivey, J Tyas, M Ellery, C Pennycook, S Brown, B Davies, W Robinson, A Reay, G King, A Carter, O Thomas. Replacements: C Quigley, A O'Donnell, D Lyons, M Maltman, B Pons, J Adams, R de la Harpe.
Referee: Ian Tempest (RFU). Assistants: Tom Foley & Roger Baileff.
Mascot: Ben Watson.
Match Day Sponsor: Interserve Construction Limited.
Match Ball Sponsors: The Cadgwith Singers.