Plymouth Albion have tools to beat Pirates, says Paul Rowley
PLYMOUTH Albion scrum-half Paul Rowley says the Brickfields-based team are 'quietly confident' they can go down to the Cornish Pirates tomorrow and win.
Albion have not beaten the Pirates in Cornwall in five seasons, but they travel across the Tamar in good heart after beating Doncaster at home last weekend.
Irishman Rowley made his Albion debut against the Pirates as a replacement in the British & Irish Cup last season and then made his first league start against them in last year's Christmas Eve clash at Mennaye Field.
And he is relishing coming face-to-face with them again tomorrow.
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"I am looking forward to it," said Rowley.
"It (the derby match) was my first full game for Albion last year. We did not play too badly last year and I think the score kind of flattered them.
"But hopefully it will be different this time around.
"I think everyone is quietly confident, especially with the weather being like it is. I think we can really throw it around and enjoy it like we did against Doncaster."
He added: "I do have good memories of the place (Mennaye Field) as it was where I played my first league game, but I want to come out with a win this time.
"I would love to get a win against them, it would help get the crowds back in (at Albion).
"I think people respond to the Pirates game more than any other on the calendar.
"Everyone just looks forward to this game because everyone knows there is going to be a big crowd and it is a real talking point in Devon and Cornwall.
"Everyone is just eager to play the game.
"Hopefully, we can start off with an away win this weekend as we did not record one until the play-offs last year."
Last Saturday's win against Doncaster was only Rowley's third league win in an Albion shirt.
He missed the first half of last season, when Albion won four matches, due to injury and then missed the Championship relegation play-offs, when Albion claimed four more wins, with the same ankle problem.
He underwent an operation at the end of last season and hopes to have a really successful season at Brickfields.
"Last season was frustrating, but hopefully I can put it all behind me this year," said Rowley.
"I had my surgery in May and then had a full pre-season and went into the first game without any hiccups.
"I was monitored for the whole of pre-season, but it was fine.
"It feels better than it did before."
FORMER Albion players Kieron Hallett and Kyle Marriott will start for the Pirates tomorrow. Fellow ex-Brickfields man Tom Kessell is on the replacements' bench.
Pirates: R Cook, T Bedford, T Riley, J Fatialofa, M Evans, K Hallett, G Cattle (capt), B Maidment, P Burgess, K Marriott, G Johnson, D Lyons, B Prescott, R Elloway, P Andrew. Replacements: R Storer, D Semmens, C Morgan, D Barry, T Kessell, A Penberthy, A Cheeseman