CORNISH PIRATES’ new director of rugby Ian Davies found positives hard to find for after an abject display from his side saw them comfortably beaten 25-6 by London Scottish at the Athletic Ground.
A fourth away Championship defeat has left the Pirates with a lot of work to do if they are to grab a place in the end of season play-offs and former head coach Davies – who has been appointed to his new position until the end of the 2015-16 season – admitted he was “beyond angry” after watching a dismal display.
“We were totally outplayed in all facets of the game and that is really disappointing,” Davies said. “The penalty count against us at the scrummage was really high and we need to look at that because we didn’t get any platform in the game.
“We lacked physicality and they out-muscled us. We did it to them at the Mennaye and they were smarting about that.
“They returned the favour with spades here.
“All round, apart from Mike Pope, I think everyone will be disappointed with their performance.”
Davies felt his team should have got more out of the game in the first half when they had the better of the conditions.
“We probably deserved it, to be honest,” he said.
“We had three or four good breaks, had a two on one in the left corner which we should have finished because it is bread and butter stuff, and then gave a soft try away just before half-time which we have a habit of doing lately.
“That made it 6-5, their tails were up, they knew they could play territory in the second half with a strong wind behind them and luckily for us their kicker had an awful day off the tee or we would have gone in at half-time many points down anyway.”
He continued: “We looked a bit rudderless in attack and kept running up our own derrieres, to be honest. We needed a bit of focus and go-forward and didn’t get it.
“Scottish have got one of the best defences in the league, statistically speaking, and it is very hard to break down and that was proven today.”
It is unusual in professional rugby to see six replacements made simultaneously in a competitive game but Davies chose to do that after 64 minutes as the Pirates trailed 22-6, and he explained why.
“The boys on the park weren’t performing so we needed fresh legs,” he said. “The guys who came on gave us that and a bit of firepower certainly taking the ball to Scottish.”
The Welshman had a timely reminder for any members of the Pirates’ squad who may already have one eye on where they might be playing next season.
Davies continued: “That said, there are very few in the changing room who can say that they did here what they are capable of and maybe some people are starting to believe their own press a bit.
“Agents are touting them round to clubs telling them they are the best thing since sliced bread but we have got a long way to go, and some of the boys need to realise that.”