Pirates ease to five-try win
CORNISH PIRATES head coach Ian Davies' return to his former club Worthing was a happy one as the Cornishmen's first full pre-season friendly ended in a comfortable victory.
The Pirates built on their two "halves" against Cornish All Blacks and St Austell seven days earlier by running in five tries against the National League One newcomers.
Davies, who had three previous spells with the south coast club, with the last as director of rugby before joining the Pirates in 2009, was able to give 26 members of his squad some valuable game time as they continued their preparations for the new Championship season.
Lock James Sandford and prop Jack Andrew made their Pirates' debuts in the starting line-up, while Neale Patrick and Mike Pope did so as second-half replacements.
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The Pirates can now expect a massive step-up in challenge when they take on 2011 Premiership champions Saracens at the Honourable Artillery Company in the City of London on Thursday, when the Londoners are expected to put out a very strong side.
Davies said: "Worthing were worthy opposition and will do well in National One this season. We have got Saracens on Thursday and are in no doubt we'll have to raise the levels of intensity in our play."
With skipper Gavin Cattle absent, the captain's armband went to blindside flanker Chris Morgan, who played the full 80 minutes, as he continues to build up his fitness after missing a large part of last season with an arm injury.
Morgan tweeted that his "body was in tatters" yesterday, but he admitted that it had been "awesome to run out with the boys again".
Trialist wing James Tincknell got on the scoresheet once more for the Pirates, making it three tries in two weeks for the former Leeds player, who celebrated his 25th birthday last week.
The Pirates got their first visit to Worthing's Roundstone Lane ground off to a good start with a pushover try after only five minutes from No.8 Kyle Marriott, full-back Craig Holland converting.
Worthing responded with a touchdown from wing Alex Nielsen, but that was to be their last score of the contest.
Centre Tom Riley, the new St Ives backs coach, crossed for the Pirates' second try in the 11th minute of an action-packed opening to the game, and Holland once more added the extras to make it 14-5.
Conditions deteriorated with the arrival of the rain that had swept across the South West earlier in the day, but the visitors managed two more touchdowns before the break.
Scrum-half Tom Kessell bagged the first, and Tincknell the second when he outpaced the covering defenders from 25 metres out after Marriott and fellow back rower Alex Cheesman had secured good turnover ball, giving Pirates a 24-5 interval lead.
Poor weather and a host of changes meant the match became disjointed in the second period, and only one more score was added, replacement centre Junior Fatialofa dotting down beside the posts, Kieran Hallett converting.
Cornish Pirates: Holland; Jones, Riley (Bodilly), James (Fatialofa), Tincknell; Sinclair (Hallett), Kessell (Pope); Andrew (Davies), Elloway (Brown), Maidment (Paver); Barry (Patrick), Sandford (Johnson); Morgan (capt), Cheesman (Atkinson), Marriott (Parker).
Cornish Pirates: Tries – Marriott, Riley, Kessell, Tincknell, Fatialofa; Conversions – Holland (2), Hallett.
Worthing: Try – Nielsen.