VIDEO: Harvey Biljon confident Cornish Pirates can maintain form
Cornish Pirates coach Harvey Biljon is confident his players can build on their opening day success when they host their first Championship game of the season against Leeds on Friday.
The Penzance club beat Bristol in the double header at Sandy Park last Sunday. It was a result Biljon readily admits few could have predicted.
However, he was equally quick to point out that the players were immediately focused on this week’s clash against Leeds at Mennaye Field.
He said: “The squad is in a good place, make no mistake, but the most impressive bit for me was what the players were saying straight after the game against Bristol.
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“They were talking about how they came into the game as underdogs but they stepped up. It means they can’t expect to be underdogs this week against Leeds.
“They were also aware that Leeds are going to be pretty fired up this week and looking forward to the game.
“We have to get ourselves up again. They recognised all of those things straight away.
“But at least they can be confident in the hard work they are doing.
“I don’t think anyone expected the result we got but all the credit has got to go to the desire the players showed at the weekend.”
And although some might say a tough start to the season against two of the division’s title contenders might have focused Pirates’ minds, Biljon says the squad have been self-motivated.
“It might be a cliche, but there are no easy games in the Championship,” said Biljon.
“We have just started with two teams, one being the title favourites Bristol and the other being tipped to be right up there as well in Leeds.
“But whether we had started with Plymouth or Nottingham or anyone else, they are all tough.”
Pirates’ two tries last weekend were scored by debutants – James Tincknell and James Sandford – and Biljon has been delighted with the way his players have bonded over the summer, in what is still a season of transition.
Biljon said: “It is very rewarding as a coach to start to see players understanding the systems but the coaches can’t take all the credit.
“The players who have been here a while have communicated well with the new players. Everybody has come together really well to create an understanding.”
Leeds will bring some familiar faces back to Cornwall. Former Pirates David Doherty and Mike Myerscough are both set to start for the visitors. But Biljon insists neither man will know what’s coming.
He said: “The difference will be, what are they expecting from us?
“They will think they know us and have an insight into what is going on down here. But the reality is that it is a very different place to when they were here.
“It would be an error on their part if they thought things were the same as when they were here.”