Strength­ened Pi­rates are striv­ing for re­peat per­for­mance at Hart­pury

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

Cor­nish Pi­rates have made sweep­ing changes for to­day’s trip to Hart­pury in the Cham­pi­onship Cup – with two in­ter­na­tion­als maded in their start­ing line-up in the shape of Sam Matavesi and No­dar Cheishvili.

Matavesi, who has just signed a new deal to re­main at the Pi­rates for the next two sea­sons, starts at hooker af­ter play­ing a lead­ing role in help­ing Fiji to their stun­ning first win over France last week­end, while Ge­or­gia lock Cheishvili will be mak­ing his first com­pet­i­tive ap­pear­ance for the Pen­zance side.

In all, the Pi­rates have made eight changes of per­son­nel for the re­turn fix­ture from the team that beat Hart­pury 53-17 at Men­naye Field last Sun­day.

Dan Koster and Ar­gentina in­ter­na­tional Javier Ro­jas Al­varez, who switches from fly­half, will form a new cen­tre part­ner­ship as Will Cargill re­turns to the num­ber ten shirt, while Alex Sch­warz is back at scrum-half.

In the for­wards, Tyler Gen­dall comes in at prop as James McRae and John Stevens re­turn to the back row. Prop Jack An­drew will cap­tain the side.

Af­ter two wins in their open­ing three games, the Pi­rates sit se­cond in the pool – five points be­hind favourites Lon­don Irish and three ahead of Bed- ford Blues, with Hart­pury bot­tom with­out a point. It is a crunch game for the Cor­nish side, who re­ally need a bonus point vic­tory at the Gill­man’s Ground ahead of a po­ten­tially de­ci­sive trip to Bed­ford, be­fore their fi­nal pool-stage match at home to Lon­don Irish on De­cem­ber 15.

Only the top two teams in each of the three pools of four are guar­an­teed a quar­ter-fi­nal spot, along with the two third­placed clubs with the best records.

De­spite what was in the end a com­fort­able vic­tory over Hart­pury last week, the Pi­rates’ co-coach Gavin Cat­tle is ex­pect­ing a tough test in Glouces­ter­shire.

He said: “We were bruised when we suf­fered a hefty loss at Lon­don Irish so we ex­pect Hart­pury to have sim­i­larly looked this week at putting their wrongs right.

“We will have to be on our met­tle and aim to put in a good per­for­mance to give us a good shout away to Bed­ford the fol­low­ing week in a hope to progress in the com­pe­ti­tion.

“Se­lec­tion-wise, it’s great to have Sam [Matavesi] back. Last week­end’s per­for­mance when play­ing for Fiji in their his­toric win against France con­firmed what a play6ng that con­fi­dence back to the team.

“For No­dar, his re­turn from in­ter­na­tional duty with Ge­or­gia also gives him an op­por­tu­nity to im­press.”


Cor­nish Pi­rates’ Sam Matavesi lines up for Fiji at Stade de France in Paris last week­end

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