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Cornish Pirates target B&I Cup qualification in Jersey

By Nath_Richards  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

By Dick Straughan


Jersey's Joe Buckle scores against his old club in the recent Championship match.

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The Cornish Pirates travel to Jersey for the second time in a month as they take on the Islanders tomorrow in a crucial British & Irish Cup tie at St Peter (3pm).

A bonus point win for the Pirates could ensure their qualification from Pool 6 of the competition with two games to play, but they will have to vastly improve on their last display on the island when they surrendered the lead right at the death, going down 27-25.

The teams met last weekend at the Mennaye Field where it was the turn of the Pirates to come from behind and win with two injury time tries, and head coach Ian Davies has kept faith with much of that team as he looks secure another victory.

The only changes see Kieran Goss take over from Craig Holland at full-back and Mike Pope back on the right wing in place of Luke Jones.

Meanwhile in the forwards Jack Andrew comes in for Shane Cahill, with Ben Prescott returning to the front row after a late bout of illness forced his withdrawal a week ago. The second row remains unchanged and Alex Cheesman takes over at flanker from Joel Conlon who is unavailable.

On the bench there are returns for Tom Kessell, Joe Atkinson and Kieran Davies.

Tomorrow's match will be the first at home for Steve Boden since he was made Jersey's Interim Head Coach following the departure of Director of Rugby Ben Harvey.

Boden has picked a strong squad for the Pirates' visit, although he remains without some key personnel in the back division. While David Bishop and Grant Pointer return to the starting XV, Nicky Griffiths and Ed Dawson remain unavailable alongside long-term absentees Tom Cooper and Aaron Penberthy.

Nick Selway, Tom Fidler and Dave Markham are handed chances to impress in the starting line-up, while Jersey's bench boasts some real forward power including a number of players who have been first choices this season.

Jersey: Drew Locke, Grant Pointer, Mark McCrea, David Bishop, Mark Foster, Niall O'Connor, Joel Dudley, Tom Fidler, Dave Felton, Nick Selway, Dave Markham, Alex Rae (capt), Latu Makaafi, Fred Silcock, Ben Maidment. Replacements: Elvis Taione, Sean McCarthy, David Young, Nick Campbell, James Voss, Jimmy Williams, Jack Burroughs.

Cornish Pirates: Goss, Pope, Riley, James, Moyle, Evans, Cattle (capt); Andrew, Elloway, Prescott, Graulich, Sandford, Morgan, Cheesman, Phillips. Replacements: Channon, Davies, Barry, Atkinson, Kessell, Sinclair, Dancer.

B&I Cup Round 4 fixtures:

Friday December 13

Munster A v Plymouth Albion, 19:30

Ulster Ravens v Ayr, 19:30

Ealing Trailfinders v Moseley, 19:45

Nottingham Rugby v Stirling County, 20:00

Saturday December 14

Edinburgh Academicals v London Welsh, 14:00

Bedford Blues v Connacht Eagles, 14:00

Rotherham Titans v Llanelli, 14:00

Leeds Carnegie v Aberavon, 14:00

Cross Keys v Leinster A, 15:00

London Scottish v Pontypridd, 15:00

Gala v Bristol Rugby, 15:00

Jersey v Cornish Pirates, 15:00

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