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Report: Cornish Pirates 45-38 Bristol Rugby

Bristol Rugby’s unbeaten start to the season grinded to a halt on Sunday in a 45-38 defeat to Cornish Pirates.


The visitors scored six tries through David Lemi, Jack Tovey (2), Mitch Eadie and two penalty tries, but couldn’t end a losing run at Mennaye Field stretching back to 2004.

Matt Evans’ improvised drop goal handed Pirates the early initiative, only for Bristol to go in front on the quarter hour.

Referee Greg Garner awarded a penalty try following a well-worked driving lineout, which Morgan converted in front of the sticks.

In a lively five minute spell, Rob Elloway touched down from close range for the home side, before David Lemi hit back immediately with a sublime solo effort, skipping down the touchline to cross for a converted try.

And Bristol stretched their advantage to 10-21 when Jack Tovey capitalized on Mitch Eadie’s powerful break to canter over in the corner.

Pirates responded once again when Joe Atkinson bundled his way over the whitewash from five metres, while Hallett slotted the extras.

The home side edged back in front during a pulsating encounter as Craig Holland latched onto a crossfield kick to round his marker and stretch over.

Cornish Pirates put Bristol to the sword in the opening exchanges of the second period, touching down for two tries in quick succession and extending their advantage to 36-21.

First, Craig Holland darted over for his second of the afternoon, before former Academy lock Darren Barry muscled over under a heap of bodies to put the hosts in full control.

Mitch Eadie’s five-metre effort kept Bristol in touch, only for Kieran Hallett to keep the scoreboard ticking over with a mammoth penalty goal after a period of Pirates’ pressure.

As Andy Robinson’s men surged forward in numbers, referee Greg Garner awarded a second penalty try to put Bristol within six points in the closing stages.

Despite Jack Tovey’s late consolation try, two Kieran Hallett penalty goals condemned the visitors to a first defeat of the campaign, ending a run of twelve straight victories in the Championship.

Cornish Pirates:

Matt Evans; Mike Pope, Tom Hendrickson, Alex Dancer
Craig Holland; Kieran Hallett, Tom Kessell; Kieran Davies, Rob Elloway, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Will Graulich, Darren Barry, Chris Morgan (c), Joe Atkinson, Laurie McGlone.

Replacements: Jack Innard (for Rob Elloway, 77 mins), Marlen Walker (for Kieran Davies, 61 mins), Francisco DeFormes (for Marlen Walker, 79 mins), Charlie Davey (for Will Graulich, 70 mins), Todd Lowry, Rheon James (for Alex Dancer, 80 mins), Bertie Hopkin.

Bristol Rugby:

Jack Wallace; Tommaso Benvenuti, Jack Tovey, Ben Mosses, David Lemi; Matthew Morgan, Dwayne Peel (c); Jack O’Connell, Rhys Lawrence, James Hall, Ian Evans, Ben Glynn, Marco Mama, Olly Robinson, Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: Ross McMillan (for Rhys Lawrence, 48 mins), Gaston Cortes (for James Hall, 48 mins), Mark Sorenson (for Ian Evans, 48 mins), Josh Ovens (for Olly Robinson, 66 mins), Craig Hampson (for Dwayne Peel, 70 mins), Nicky Robinson (for Jack Wallace, 56 mins), George Watkins (for Tommaso Benvenuti, 63 mins).

Referee: Greg Garner
Attendance: 2,390