CORNISH PIRATES director of rugby Ian Davies was highly critical of the match officials after his side’s 17-11 Championship win over Nottingham.
His men were continually penalised at the scrum by referee Craig Maxwell-Keys and had three men sent to the sin-bin in the second half.
However, they still managed to score three well-taken tries despite failing to perform at their full potential outside of isolated periods in the game.
Davies said: “To be honest, I’m sitting here in a bit of a daze because we didn’t see a lot of rugby played from either side. There were contributing factors to that, which will remain nameless, but there were three of them wearing pink.
“It is amazing that we have won the game. We finished with 12 players and to defend the way we did at the end was fantastic.
“Either the Cornish Pirates have got to be embarrassed by what happened at the scrum or the referee has got to be embarrassed. If you are penalising a team that many times in the scrum, why was a card not produced until so late or a penalty try given?
“If it is us at fault – we’ll look at the DVD – then we will put our hands up and say we were royally beaten at the scrum today. But I think you would have to be a real idiot to think only one side transgressed.”
Davies was pleased with his side’s tries and praised wing Kyle Moyle for his opportunism. However, he admitted Pirates did not deserve to earn a four-try bonus point.
“Kyle Moyle did really well, I thought,” said Davies. “The first try came from a defensive read and that was good, and he showed good legs to make the try – although he could have got closer to the posts.
“There was good vision from Kieran Hallett for the second try with his kick in behind and the third was some good pace again from Kyle.
“I thought we might have got a fourth from an Aaron Carpenter break in the second half but we didn’t. It was a shame, but we certainly did not deserve a bonus point.”
Pirates travel to Plymouth Albion this weekend and Davies insists the pressure is on the hosts after their head coach, James Shanahan, spoke of their intent to finish above Pirates in the league this season. Albion are now nine points behind Pirates.
“The pressure will definitely be all on them,” said Davies. “James Shanahan has made a big statement that they want to catch us and overtake us.
“We dogged it out today and showed fantastic character, and we are going to need that again at Brickfields.
“If the game is as loose as it was today, it will be a high-scoring affair and Plymouth want that. They want that danger and will throw the ball around because that is how they have played all year.
“We are trying to entertain as well but it is high-risk. We had a few moans and groans because the ball was going on the floor but that is the nature of what we are trying to do.”