Dun­can’s the hat-trick hero again for Cor­nish Pi­rates

The Rugby Paper - - Greene King Ipa Championship - By MARK WOOD

PI­RATES’ hat-trick hero Tom Dun­can ad­mit­ted it is be­com­ing a bit of a habit af­ter notch­ing a tre­ble against Bed­ford for a sec­ond sea­son run­ning yes­ter­day.

The burly No.8 touched down three times in the first half as fourth-placed Pi­rates nar­rowed the gap to third-placed Bed­ford to just one point.

Blues scrum-half Jor­dan Burns also notched a hat-trick of his own, while Harry Shep­pard’s last-gasp penalty earnt the hosts a los­ing bonus point to keep their noses just in front of the Cor­nish­men.

Dun­can, far right, said: “I’ve only scored a cou­ple of hat-tricks and one of them was against Bed­ford last year so they’re a lucky team to play against! Against Bed­ford it seems to be a habit so hope­fully it will con­tinue next year.

“That was in the first half and I was prob­a­bly run­ning on empty a bit sec­ond half. But we dug deep in the sec­ond, es­pe­cially the last 10 min­utes, we de­fended for a long time but man­aged to keep out and get the win so that was great.

“It’s a hard place to come, they’re third place in the ta­ble for a rea­son, they’re a re­ally good side. We came up here with a plan to win, we won. One more game and we will fin­ish strong down at the Men­naye and hope­fully we’ll get through (fin­ish third).”

The game swung one way then the other as Howard Pack­man scored Bed­ford’s third try, with Alex O’Meara sin­binned for a tackle in the air on Dean Adam­son, to open up a 21-12 lead, thanks also to three con­ver­sions from Will Hoo­ley. How­ever, Pi­rates struck back to take con­trol as Will Cargill kicked nine points, while Kyle Moyle and cap­tain Ni­co­las De Bat­tista touched down ei­ther half of half time to en­sure vic­tory for the vis­i­tors. De­spite the de­feat, Burns was happy with his hat-trick and still tar­get­ing a hugely suc­cess­ful end to the sea­son for the Blues who travel to Eal­ing Trail­find­them

ers in the semi-fi­nals of the B&I Cup next week­end.

He added: “It’s great to get a hat-trick in a game, you don’t get many of those. We’re dis­ap­pointed with the loss, but we’ll take it on the chin. Credit to Pi­rates, they were re­ally good, they played a re­ally good game, we knew they’d come and play here. We ul­ti­mately weren’t on our game and we’ll look for­ward to next week­end against Eal­ing in the semi­fi­nal of the B&I Cup.

“Ac­cu­racy let us down. We threw a few passes here and there that weren’t good enough and that ul­ti­mately didn’t help us. They were more clin­i­cal than us to­day.

“It gets us the two points, not what we wanted, but it’s what we have. We want to fin­ish third, ob­vi­ously that was a bit of a bit­ter pill to swal­low, but our fo­cus now will be next week and see if we can beat Eal­ing.”

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