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Rugby: Cornish Pirates denied victory by last gasp kick at Nottingham

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

HOISTED HIGH:  Cornish Pirates' back rower Chris Morgan wins lineout ball during Sunday's Greene King RFU Championship match at Meadow Lane. Picture  by Steve Bond/Pinnacle.

HOISTED HIGH: Cornish Pirates' back rower Chris Morgan wins lineout ball during Sunday's Greene King RFU Championship match at Meadow Lane. Picture by Steve Bond/Pinnacle.

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POOR game management again cost the Cornish Pirates victory on the road as Nottingham fought back to snatch a draw with the final kick of the game at Meadow Lane.

Two weeks earlier an injury time penalty condemned them to defeat in Jersey after they had turned over possession in a crucial area of the field.

And in the East Midlands on Sunday the same failing reared its head again as Pirates scrum-half Tom Kessell gifted possession back to Nottingham with the stadium clock in the red zone.

Several phases later the home side earned a penalty easily within the range of full-back Matt Jarvis and he slotted the kick to deny the Cornish side a victory which could yet prove crucial in the tight struggle for play-off places.

Difficult

Head coach Ian Davies was hardly in a forgiving mood at the end of a difficult afternoon for the Pirates and said: "It was a game we should have won. I'm disappointed because we came here, should have won and haven't."

"Tom (Kessell) is going to have to eat that one when we do the review, because at the end of the day it has cost us a win. We were winning and all he needed to do was get tackled into touch and that would have been the game."

A scrappy first half, which saw the early sin-binnings of James Sandford and Nottingham flanker Tom Calladine for fighting, ended all square at 10-all.

Brent Wilson's converted try was cancelled out by a 50 metre gem from Matt Evans for the Pirates, with Jarvis and Angus Sinclair landing a penalty apiece.

When the Cornish side did threaten in attack they were frequently undone by a misfiring line-out which badly hampered their game.

Early second half tries for Nottingham, through wing Sean Morris and Ed Styles, against a solitary Kieran Hallett penalty for the Pirates left the Green & Whites 24-13 ahead.

Hallett then departed with a broken thumb after only eight minutes on the field before Evans' second try and Craig Holland's conversion changed the complexion of the match.

The Pirates took control in the final quarter and hooker Rob Elloway claimed their third try from close range with Holland's second conversion opening up a three point lead.

It proved to be not enough as a chaotic final passage of play and Jarvis' trusty boot left Davies with plenty of food for thought.

"We had a few choice words at half-time (about the line-out) and it didn't improve in the second half," he said. "It was bordering on embarrassing in the end and we have to look at it.

"It was nothing to do with Nottingham because they weren't actually doing anything to stop us. It was just that our execution was very poor.

"It wasn't just a bad day at the office because we never actually got to the office in the first place."

He added: "We are going to have some game situation scenarios in training this week, because we need to learn how to run down the clock.

"That said, there was a stage in the middle part of the second half where I thought we would be on the end of a 30-point defeat.

"The positive is that we turned it around and suddenly we were in the lead.

"Not winning is disappointing but as I keep saying we are on a rollercoaster. Last week we were on the top. This week we are back near the bottom. So let's see where we are this time next week."

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