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Pirates reach Championship final with battling display at Bristol

By Rhod_Mitchell  |  Posted: May 13, 2012

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Bristol 29 Cornish Pirates 18 (Aggregate 53-63)

The Cornish Pirates will contest the RFU Championship Final for the second season in a row after holding off a ferocious Bristol challenge at the Memorial Ground to qualify on aggregate, writes Dick Straughan.

They travelled from Cornwall with a 21 point lead after Monday's first leg and quickly added to it with a second minute Rob Cook penalty.

But the home side went on the offensive from the restart and were renewed as full-back John Goodridge gathered a Ruki Tipuna chip ahead to score, and Tristan Roberts converted the try for a 7-3 lead.

Cook missed a penalty midway though the half before punishing Bristol as they kicked away possession. The Pirates full-back gathered the loose ball inside his half and raced 60 metres to score a try he converted himself.

A second missed penalty by the Pirates kept the tie poised nicely in their favour until Bristol rallied after the break.

Roberts landed a penalty before  Goodridge raced clear from a Pirates turnover for his second try of the game. The Bristol fly-half added the extras to put the home side back ahead on the day.

Then came the try of the game as Pirates flanker Phil Burgess carved a passage through the Bristol defence inside his own half and raced clear outpacing the despairing Josh Ovens for a second Cornish try.

The contest appeared over despite the missed conversion until two late tries in the final ten minutes from Bristol stirred the home crowd back to life.

Centre Fautua Otto scored the first breaking through from fifty metres and wing George Watkins bagged the second as he rounded off a fine move down the left. 

Suddenly Bristol only trailed by a converted try but the final word belonged to the Cornish Pirates as Cook banged over a penalty in the second minute of stoppage time to secure a memorable win over the two legs. 

The Pirates now meet London Welsh in the two legged final after they edged home against Bedford Blues by just three points on aggregate over the two legs

Bristol

Goodridge, Watkins, Otto, Eves, Helu, Roberts (James 74), Tipuna (Slater 69); Irish (Lilley 38-h/t, 67), Harris-Wright (Johnston 50), Hobson (Thompson 67), Sambucetti (Glynn 50), Winters, Ovens, Merriman, Grieve (capt) (Vanderglas 67)

Tries – Goodridge (2), Otto, Watkins

Cons – Roberts (2), James

Pens – Roberts

Cornish Pirates

Cook, Pointer, Hill, Suniula, D.Doherty, Thomas, Cattle (capt); Rimmer, Ward, Paver, McGlone, Nimmo, Morgan, Burgess, Marriott

Replacements (not used) – Storer, Elloway, Brits, Smith, Ewers, Kessell, Evans

Tries – Cook, Burgess

Con – Cook

Pens – Cook (2)

Referee – S.Davey (RFU)

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  • spain61  |  May 13 2012, 8:14PM

    Thankyou Cornish Pirates another step towards the 21st century

  • 1957CORNWALL  |  May 13 2012, 7:15PM

    i tried before but don't know if you got my message football supporters in cornwall have gone to plymouth argyle week after week. why not the pirates until they get there ground in cornwall. anbition seems to be missing from the pirates management. how many times do a team get in the position they are, come on get your hands in your pockets and find the ground cornwall rugby wants . get to the top then fall back. is this what we want. pirates v bath , leicester, northanpton, saracans really sounds good or shall we just stop here and play anyother each week. put us on the map. remember the 30,000

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