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Cornish Pirates aim for sixth consecutive victory on tough trip to Bedford Blues

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

Cornish Pirates
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Cornish Pirates coaches Ian Davies and Harvey Biljon hope their side can continue their recent good form when they travel to Bedford Blues tonight.

The Cornishmen are unbeaten in their last five games but face a tough challenge against the Championship's second-placed team at Goldington Road.

Head coach Davies said: "It will be a tough battle because Bedford are Bedford. We know how they play and we know what they do but they are very, very good at it."

The sixth-placed Pirates also hold no grudges after two defeats at the home of the Blues last term.

"This is a completely different game with different personnel. It is not a revenge mission," Davies said.

Davies' assistant Harvey Biljon said the players are confident after making the most of their time off due to the Championship XV's fixture against the Maori All Blacks last weekend.

Biljon said: "Historically we've not always come away with the result, but we know we can win there – we've done that before With the week's preparation we've had we're feeling quietly confident.

"We set ourselves some goals and objectives for the last four games and we achieved all of those, so that's a real positive," he said.

"We've also looked at the next four games and what we want to take out of those games with the home and away fixtures.

"The boys seem pretty focused at the moment and they're preparing very well and the squad is building itself up slowly but surely.

"People are looking at the table and if we just concentrate on achieving our aims over the next four games, our position in the league will take care of itself and we'll push in the right direction."

Davies worked with Blues' coach Mike Rayer for the Championship XV fixture at Doncaster, while players Josh Bassett, Luke Baldwin, Jake Sharp and Mark Atkinson (Blues), alongside Gavin Cattle, Alan Paver and Phil Burgess (Pirates) were squad members who competed to give their all.

Wes Davies is presently suffering with a stomach bug, so full-back JJ Kilmartin is lined up to make his first start for the club.

Dual-registered with Bath Rugby, the exciting young talent recently made his debut for the Pirates when coming off the bench to play against Carmarthen Quins in the British & Irish Cup.

The Blues make six changes to the team which defeated Doncaster Knights with Darren Fearn, Neil Cochrane and Phil Boulton starting in the front row in place of Ricky Reeves, Scott Spurling and Dan Seal who all move to the bench.

Sacha Harding takes the captain's armband and starts at openside flanker, Ben Gulliver starts against his former employers in the second row while Baldwin gets the nod at scrum-half.

Cornish Pirates: Kilmartin; Pointer, Riley, Fatialofa, Mercer; Penberthy, Cattle (capt); Andrew, Elloway, Paver; Barry, Johnson; Maidment, Burgess, McClone. Replacements: Prescott, Yeandle, Lyons, Buckle, Kessell, Hallett, Cheeseman.

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