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Ian Davies wants an improved display from his Pirates

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

By Bill Sobey

Ian Davies

Ian Davies

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The Cornish Pirates still feel they have a score to settle with Jersey in the British and Irish Cup this weekend.

The Cornish side play the Islanders for a third time in five weeks on Saturday with the spoils at one win apiece.

But although head coach Ian Davies is keen to win the 'mini-series', and enhance their cup prospects in the process, the most important thing for Pirates is the performance.

Reflecting on their Championship loss at St Peter's and last week's cup win at Mennaye Field, he said: "We're hoping it will be third time lucky for us, really.

"We haven't performed in the two previous matches against them recently. In both games, the winners were the wrong team. I think we should have won over there and Jersey did enough to sneak a win at the Mennaye.

"That will be our aim, to put that right this weekend and put in an 80-minute performance."

Pirates' 31-20 success last week came after a late surge saw them clear to earn the four-try bonus point.

Davies said: "We made too many errors last week. We made 13 unforced errors in the first half and eight in the second half. It allowed Jersey to relieve pressure.

"The scrums were a mess for both sides and they were not policed very well, so the game as a whole just became really messy.

"The British and Irish Cup is an important competition for us and if we can sneak a win, it means we are all but qualified for the quarter-finals.

"But the most important thing for us is putting in an 80-minute performance because we feel we haven't done that in the two previous games."

Pirates' next game after travelling to Jersey will the Championship match against Plymouth Albion on Boxing Day.

Davies said: "It would be nice to sign off with a win. It is something that we've looked at, we want to finish off this block of games off on a high.

"The fact that we have a break before the game against Plymouth could be a good thing or it could be bad thing. It gives us a chance to rest bodies but if you've got momentum, you want to keep it going.

"We've got a few guys that are teetering on the edge. We won't get any of our long-term injured back in time for Plymouth, so it doesn't make a huge amount of difference there.

"It just gives those guys who have played a lot of games a chance to rest for one weekend. But what we don't want is to lose any form – that would be a negative thing."

Davies expects to name a similar side this week. On-loan Exeter Chief Joel Conlon is on international duty, forcing at least one change. Otherwise, Davies hopes to see further development from other young players, such as Kyle Moyle and Luke Jones.

He said: "Joel Conlon is with the England Under-20s, so not with us. Joe Atkinson will come in there. Other than that, there are very few changes for us.

"It's key for those players that are developing to back up their performances. That's when you know you're making the grade, if you can do it week and week out."

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