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Ian Davies ready for Cornish Pirates’ challenge at Bristol

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 06, 2014

By Bill Sobey @billsobey

Ian Davies ready for Pirates’ challenge  at Bristol

Cornish Pirates director of rugby Ian Davies

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The Cornish Pirates rediscovered match-winning form last weekend, but director of rugby Ian Davies knows his men will need to up their game again this weekend.

Pirates overcame tough conditions and rugged opponents at Mennaye Field last weekend on the way to their first Championship win of 2014.

But although there were many pleasing elements for Davies in his side’s 19-15 victory over Jersey, there is only so much confidence they can take into Sunday’s clash at league leaders Bristol.

He said: “It is good that we won last week but, being realistic, the difference in quality between Jersey and Bristol is a huge.

“We are under no illusions that going to the Memorial Stadium, with the way they are playing at the moment, will be really tough.

“The fact we’ve already beaten them twice this year makes it doubly tough because Bristol won’t want to make it three-nil.

“It makes it trebly difficult because we haven’t won at the Memorial since 2005 and then quadruply so because we haven’t got Chris Morgan and Darren Barry this week through injury.”

Pirates have certainly frustrated Andy Robinson’s men so far this term, beating them at Sandy Park in the opening week of the season before repeating the feat at Mennaye Field in November.

Davies said: “We know what we’re facing up to but nobody expecting us to win the first two games.

“We are going there with a goal in mind and if we achieve it we’ll be pretty close to winning the game.

“We know the Championship is tough, but they are just another Championship team with Championship players – why can’t we go up there and win?

“They do back themselves at home, they have a massive squad full of experience. But it will be a great occasion for our guys to go there and see what it is about.”

Davies says Pirates may be compromised by injuries this weekend with other likely to follow Barry and Morgan in missing out.

He said: “We’re hoping Darren and Chris are not out for too long. We have got a few more bumps and bruises that I won’t mention in case we need them to play.

“We could be significantly different from last week, if those guys don’t make it.

“In terms of how the game went against Jersey, we were still a little disappointed because we felt we did enough to get the four-try bonus point.

“There was only one team trying to play rugby. One try we scored from a set play came from work the players had done on the way they defend – that was great from a coaches’ point of view and from the players’ standpoint as well.

“We might have just gone a little bit conservative with 20 minutes to go because we hadn’t had a victory for a while. It is possible we got a little bit anxious.

“To give them a losing bonus point in the last moments of the game was disappointing as well because I don’t think they deserved it. The scoreline certainly flattered them at the end. I thought we were comfortable winner as we dominated in most facets.”

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