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Pirates worthy winners in Worthing
Winning this pre-season friendly with a 5-1 try-count in their favour proved a worthwhile run out for the Cornish Pirates on what was their first ever away visit to Worthing.
The Pirates opened the scoring in just the fifth minute when No. 8 Kyle Marriott registered a pushover try which was converted by full-back Craig Holland.
Worthing 'Raiders', who introduced a few new faces to their side that gained promotion from National Two South at the end of last season, looked to make an immediate response, and it wasn't long before wing Alex Nielsen crossed for an unconverted try scored in the corner.
An eleventh minute try by centre Tom Riley, again converted by Holland, extended the visitors lead, and despite conditions at Roundstone Lane deteriorating a little with the arrival of rain the Cornish side still managed two more scores before the break. Scrum-half Kessell got the first and wing James Tincknell the second, as he beat the cover defence from 25 metres out to take advantage of good turnover ball secured by Marriott and fellow back-rower Alex Cheesman. Both conversion attempts missed to make the half-time score 5-24.
Lock James Sandford and prop Jack Andrew were making the debuts for the Pirates, as would Neale Patrick and Mike Pope as second half replacements, but for the start of the second period the only change saw Gary Johnson replace Sandford in the second-row.
Play was still a little scrappy in the wet and with various changes in personnel being made, but approaching the hour mark one of the fresh arrivals, centre Junior Fatialofa, scored a try at the posts from just his second touch of the ball, with another replacement, Kieran Hallett, adding the extra two points.
With more changes made and the weather not helping the creation of any fluency there would be no more scoring, from either side, but Cornish Pirates' Head Coach Ian Davies, who was making a return to the Sussex club where he previously coached, felt his team had a good run out. He commented:
“Worthing were indeed worthy opposition and will do well in National 1 this season, whilst looking ahead to our game away to Saracens at the HAC on Thursday we are in no doubt that we'll have to raise the levels of intensity in our play.”
Cornish Pirates: C. Holland, L. Jones, T. Riley (M. Bodilly), R. James (J. Fatialofa), J. Tincknell, A. Sinclair (K. Hallett), T. Kessell (M. Pope), K. Marriott (J. Parker), A. Cheesman (J. Atkinson), C. Morgan (capt), J. Sandford (G. Johnson), D. Barry (N. Patrick), M. Maidment (A. Paver), R. Elloway (R. Brown), J. Andrew (K. Davies).
Worthing – try: Nielsen
Cornish Pirates – tries: Marriott, Riley, Kessell, Tincknell, Fatialofa; cons: Holland (2), Hallett