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Penalties the Difference in Penzance

Penalties the Difference in Penzance

Credit: Brian Tempest

On a beautiful, summery day in Penzance in front of a large home crowd of 1,437, both teams were looking to get early points on the board.

Scottish took their chances first; after absorbing pressure from the Pirates who went through a number of phases on the Scots 22, Scottish put together a few phases of their own. Mosses burst through the Pirates defence and offloaded to Neal who was brought down a metre short. Chris Walker, making his 50th appearance for the club, was the first man to him, who scooped it up and dived over. Sharp converted to give Scottish a 7-0 lead after only 6 minutes.


Scottish continued to attack but gave away some soft penalties. Penalised for offside, Laurence May scored the first of 5 decisive penalties, to bring the scores to 7-3 with 10 minutes played.

Scottish continued to attack through the middle, big carries from Mosses and Kenny put Scottish on the front foot, however a penalty was their undoing again. From a penalty on the 10m line, the Pirates went to the corner. From the ensuing line out, the Pirates pinged the ball down the blindside to their Fijian international Matavesi, who dotted down in the corner. May converted to give Pirates the lead with 19 minutes gone, LSFC 7-10 Pirates.

Scottish answered back in spectacular fashion; from the re-start, the Pirates didn’t deal with the high ball which allowed Coombes to collect it, he offloaded to Baillie on his shoulder, who pinged it back to Coombes who scored. Less than 15 seconds from the re-start, and Scottish were back in the lead. Sharp couldn’t convert, LSFC 12-10 Pirates.

Pirates put together some nice phases, but the Scottish defence was up quick; huge tackles from Atkinson, Kenny, and Baillie forced Pirates backwards, but another penalty was conceded. From in front of the posts, May scored the second of his 5 penalties, giving Pirates back the lead, LSFC 12-13 Pirates with 25 minutes gone.

Pirates began to put together some nice phases, Day & May combining well in the centre of the pitch, which stretched the Scottish defence. Day spotted de Battista in acres of space on the wing and floated a lovely kick over the top for him to run onto. He collected it well and scored down in the corner. May converted, and extended the Pirates lead, LSFC 12-20 after 31 minutes.

From the re-start, the Pirates piled on the pressure. They collected their own kick, and sent the ball through the hands. Matavesi, from the centre of the pitch, on the 22, broke through his tackler and scored under the posts. May converted, and gave Pirates a 12-27 lead with 5 minutes left to play.

With only a couple minutes of the half left, Llewelyn Jones carried through the middle of the park, sending the Pirates defence scrambling backwards. Sarah Cox awarded Scottish a penalty, and Sharp sent the ball into the corner for a 5m line out. The catch & drive went nowhere, so Sharp sent a cross kick to Stevenson, who caught it at full tilt and scored in the corner. It was great awareness from Sharp, and a superb catch from Stevenson on his return from injury. Half time, LSFC 17-27 Pirates.

The second half began like the first, but it was Pirates who added to their score in the opening minutes. Pirates ran the ball from their own half, and crashed into the Scots defence. From the 5m line, it was an arm wrestle and Stevens came out on top, being bundled over the line by his team mates. LSFC 17-32 Pirates after 45 minutes.

Scottish were under all sorts of pressure from the Pirates. Carries from Baillie, Mosses and Holland got the Scots on the front foot, but the Pirates were up so quickly, Scottish struggled to put much together. Scottish were penalised on half way, and from the scrum that followed, May put in a crossfield kick to Moyle, who caught the ball on the wing and had just enough speed to evade Stevenson, to extend the Pirates lead further, LSFC 17-39 Pirates after 50 minutes.

Just a couple of minutes later, Danny Kenny took the game to Pirates. A clever step and burst of speed saw him make 30m on the wing. Scottish were up quick to recycle the ball, and two phases later Ingall broke with the ball, offloaded to Kenny on his shoulder, who scored between the posts. Sharp added the conversion to make it LSFC 24-39 Pirates with 25 minutes left to play.

The wind was causing havoc for players under the high ball, from the re-start, nobody from Scottish gathered the ball, so it bobbled to the Pirates. Pirates recycled and sent it to Moyle who broke down the middle to score between the posts. May converted again, LSFC 24-46 Pirates.

Another re-start, and another try. Pirates collected the ball, but the clearing kick was charged down by Milne who dived on the ball & offloaded to Waldren behind him to score. A try each within 2 minutes. LSFC 31-46 Pirates, with only 20 minutes left to play.

A couple of minutes later, Milne was involved again. Scottish were piling the pressure on the Pirates defence, who gave away a penalty of their own. From a scrum on the 22, Scottish went through the hands until Milne spotted a gap in the Pirates defence & stepped, and with a defender still holing onto him, made it to the line. Sharp converted, LSFC 38-46 Pirates, with 15 minutes to go.

All the momentum was with Scottish and it felt, going into the final 15 minutes, Scottish might steal the win. However, their discipline was an issue again. Penalised for holding-on, May duly stepped up and scored from 30m out. LSFC 38-49 Pirates after 70 minutes played.

In the final ten minutes, Scottish put together a huge number of phases, but the Pirates defence soaked up all the pressure. Attacking themselves, Scottish were penalised twice, which allowed May to score two more penalties and extend the Pirates lead, final score LSFC 38-55 Pirates.

It was a great game of rugby with six well-taken tries apiece, but it was Laurence May’s boot that made the difference; his five penalties ultimately winning the game for the Cornish Pirates. Great individual performances from Danny Kenny, Chris Walker, Alex Walker & Jake Sharp.

London Scottish Appiah; George; McQuillin; Jones; Baillie; Atkinson; Kenny (c); C. Walker; A. Walker; Sharp; Ingall; Mosses; Neal; Coombes; Holland // Replacements: Miller; Harris; Waldren; Milne; Marley; Hoadley; Stevenson

Tries C. Walker; Coombes; Stevenson; Kenny; Waldren; Milne

Conversion(s) Sharp (x4)


Cornish Pirates Walker; Matavesi; Judge; Freeman; Beukeboom; Lee; Stevens; Duncan; Day; L. May; Evans; De Battista (c); Koster; Moyle // Replacements: Frost; Andrew; Paver; Morgan; Cooper; Cargill; T. May

Tries Matavesi (x2); De Battista; Stevens; Moyle (x2)

Conversion(s) L. May (x5)

Penalties L. May (x5)

Referee Sarah Cox

Attendance 1,437

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