Pi­rates need win to get Cup cam­paign break

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Football Sport - BY RHOD MITCHELL

The Cornish Pi­rates will be look­ing to get their Greene King IPA Cham­pi­onship Cup cam­paign back on course when they wel­come Hart­pury to the Men­naye Field to­mor­row.

Af­ter start­ing their pool pro­gramme with a 22-20 home win over Bed­ford Blues, they suf­fered a 64-17 drub­bing at Cup favourites Lon­don Ir­ish last Sun­day to leave them third in their four-team sec­tion.

Only the top two clubs in each of the three Pools au­to­mat­i­cally qual­ify for the quar­ter-fi­nals, plus the two best third-placed teams.

So a bonus point win against Hart­pury, who have lost both their open­ing matches – go­ing down 35-7 at home to Lon­don Ir­ish and 43-14 away to Bed­ford Blues – is the or­der of the day for the Pi­rates.

The home team’s line-up shows five changes to the one that be­gan the Ir­ish game – four in the backs.

Kyle Moyle comes in for Maliq Holden at full-back, while Cal­lum Pat­ter­son re­turns to part­ner Rory Parata in the cen­tre, top try scorer Robin Wed­lake re­places AJ Cant on the left wing and Alex Day starts at scrumhalf.

The only change in the pack sees Josh Caulfield recalled to the sec­ond row in place of Jake Clem­son.

There is also a new face on the bench in for­mer York­shire Carnegie hooker Char­lie Gib­bings (21), who was signed late this week as ex­tra cover for the No 2 jer­sey, with Sam Matavesi away on in­ter­na­tional duty with Fiji and Dan Frost out with a wrist in­jury.

The Ex­eter-born Gib­bings is a for­mer Ex­eter Academy hooker who came up through the ju­nior ranks at Ex­mouth, played for the Colts there, and has played for Bic­ton Col­lege and the Ex­eter Chiefs Academy. He has also played for Devon at county level.

Pi­rates for­wards coach Alan Paver said he was look­ing for a re­sponse from his team af­ter the heavy de­feat at Ir­ish.

He said: “Ego-wise we took a bit of a dent last week. “Over six weeks of the Cup we en­deav­our to cre­ate a bal­ance so made changes and the guys did ex­tremely well up to half-time.

“With a run of six Cup games it’s a case of try­ing to get the bal­ance right se­lec­tion-wise and pre­pare the best we can, with a re­sponse needed at home this week­end to also help us keep mov­ing for­ward psy­cho­log­i­cally.”

Hart­pury have been boosted but the re­turn of some re­cently miss­ing play­ers

Back into the start­ing line-up, fol­low­ing two months out with in­jury, comes lock for­ward Joe Quinn, who part­ners Eng­land Un­der-20s in­ter­na­tional, James Scott, who is on du­al­reg­is­tra­tion from Worces­ter War­riors.

Also re­turn­ing, af­ter miss­ing last week’s out­ing at Bed­ford, is back row for­ward, Tom Pash­ley, who will skip­per the side.

TOM SAND­BERG/PPAUK

Pi­rates coach Alan Paver over­sees some scrum prepa­ra­tion be­fore the game against Lon­don Ir­ish

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