Highlights & Report | Cornish Pirates 21-24 Warriors

Warriors’ youngsters showed their character and resilience to withstand a strong fightback from the Championship side to secure a narrow victory at The Mennaye.

Warriors eased into a 24 points lead after 28 minutes by playing a fast and expansive game but they then had to contend with Pirates’ bigger pack who starved them of possession for much of the second half.

It was tense at the end, after Pirates centre Shae Tucker crossed under the posts for a 75th minute try that Harry Bazalgette improved, but Warriors emerged with credit by holding out to make it  make it two wins from three pre-season friendly matches.

With ten members of the Three Pears Warriors Academy squad in the matchday squad that was a notable achievement against a Pirates side that memorably defeated Saracens in their opening Championship match of last season.

When Warriors had the ball in hand they looked dangerous and they displayed a clinical edge by crossing the Pirates’ line from their first three attacks of the match.

Having absorbed early pressure , Warriors countered superbly with Jack Johnson coming off his wing and slicing the Pirates’ defence open before delivering the scoring pass to Alex Hearle who powered over with Fin Smith adding the extras.

Six minutes later Johnson and Hearle linked with Jamie Shillcock and this time Gareth Simpson finished the attack.

Flanker Jack Forsythe got the third try after the pace and precision of Warriors’ passing again opened up the Pirates defence.

Warriors went 24 points up on the half-hour when Graham Kitchener won a lineout, Warriors made ground with a driving maul and Smith’s brilliant break and perfectly-timed pass set up Shillcock who sprinted away despite having his right leg swathed in bandages.

Smith added the conversion from far out on the right but Warriors were also tested in defence by a hefty Pirates pack and the youngsters did well to hold out.

When Pirates did score it came from a Warriors handling error on halfway with the dropped ball bouncing nicely for right wing Alex O’Meara who raced away with fly-half Arwel Robson converting.

That score lifted Pirates who reduced the deficit to ten points nine minutes into the second half when left wing AJ Cant crossed on the overlap and Robson again converted.

Warriors used nine of their ten replacements which meant five Academy players had their first taste of rugby in testing circumstances.

Despite a mounting penalty count under increasing pressure, Warriors held firm for 25 minutes before Pirates found a chink with Tucker going over from close range.

There was still time for Pirates to attack again after Bazalgette added the conversion but Warriors managed to disrupt a final attack as their hosts pushed for the winning score.

Warriors| 15 Jamie Shillcock (Wilson 41), 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Seb Atkinson, 12 Will Butler (CC), 11 Jack Johnson (Howe 50), 10 Fin Smith (Simpson 59), 9 Gareth Simpson (Wynn 50), 1 Kai Owen (Murphy 78), 2 Isaac Miller (CC) (Richardson 74), 3 Jack Owlett (Morris 53), 4 James Scott, 5 Graham Kitchener (Macartney 41), 6 Caleb Montgomery (Macartney 3-25), 7 Jack Forsythe (Theobald-Thomas 64), 8 Morgan Monks.

Replacements | Joe Richardson, Joe Morris, Cheick Kone, Jamie Macartney, Finn Theobald-Thomas, Ben Murphy, Ollie Wynn, Tom Howe, Tobi Wilson.


5m | Hearle try 0-5
6m| Smith con 0-7
11m | Simpson try 0-12
19m | Forsythe try 0-17
28m | Shillcock try 0-22
29m | Smith con 0-24
37m | O’Meara 5-24
38m | Robson con 7-24
49m | Cant try 12-24
50m | Robson con 14-24
75m | Tucker try 19-24
76m | Bazalgette con 21-24




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