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Cornish Pirates V Cross Keys

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8:05am 26th October 2014

The Cornish Pirates welcome Cross Keys in the British and Irish Cup, hoping to put that points saga behind them.

The club has appealed a decision to dock them four points following the win against Bedford.

Match bosses say at one point, they had the wrong number of players on the pitch.

Director of rugby Ian Davies said: "I suppose at the end of the day a win's a win. We still won the game and that was the pleasing thing from us. Again, the way that we came back from the jaws of defeat to snatch the win showed a great character and a fantastic attitude and also accuracy under pressure so those are the positive things that we're looking at.

The clash against Cross Keys on Sunday is their last home game for three weeks and Ian says they want to go out with a bang: "The boys are pretty determined to finish this block of games with a good performance. I think week in week out, our performances have got better and better so they want to finish on a high. It will be tough but hopefully the crowds will come and we'll give them something to cheer."

The Cornish won comfortably, 30-3, when the two teams last met at the Mennaye Field in a Pool stage match back in December, 2011.

However, when they faced each other again in April of that season in the semi-final of the competition, it was 'Keys' who came out on top, winning 20-16.

Pool 4 in this season's British & Irish Cup is proving incredibly closely-fought, and a mark to further confirm Keys' credentials is that they recovered from a 37-32 home defeat against table toppers Doncaster Knights, to then win 23-22 in dramatic fashion away to Bedford Blues last Saturday.

At the end of a week, however, when the Cornish Pirates have submitted an appeal against the recent decision by the British & Irish Cup's Organising Committee, whereby the result of the recent Cornish Pirates versus Bedford Blues game was reversed, they will nonetheless approach Sunday's game with a positive attitude.

Experienced centre Tom Riley returns to the backline to face his fellow countrymen, Jack Andrew is selected at loose-head prop in place of the injured Jamal Ford-Robinson and Marcus Garratt comes into the starting line-up to partner Will Graulich in the second-row. Chris Morgan returns to captain the side with Alex Cheesman moving to the No. 8 shirt as Aaron Carpenter's wife is due to give birth this weekend and Jake Parker broke his thumb in training during the week.

Young Cornish hooker Jack Innard, who was this week selected in the England under 20s squad - as is scrum-half Stuart Townsend - is named on the bench, and there are places there too for prop Kieran Davies and back-rower John Stevens, the latter having been recalled from a loan period at Redruth.

Ian Davies, said: "We are looking forward to another full-blooded encounter against Cross Keys. They will be coming here full of confidence after their win at Bedford. This is the end of our first block of fixtures and the boys are determined to continue the match to match improvements we have seen thus far this season."

Cornish Pirates: 15 Max Bodilly, 14 Craig Holland, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Alex Dancer, 11 Richard Lane, 10 Laurence May, 9 Stuart Townsend; 1 Jack Andrew, 2 Rob Elloway, 3 Alan Paver, 4 Marcus Garratt, 5 Will Graulich, 6 Chris Morgan (capt), 7 Joe Atkinson, 8 Alex Cheesman.

Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 Kieran Davies, 18 Darren Barry, 19 John Stevens, 20 Gavin Cattle, 21 Bertie Hopkin, 22 Luke Jones.

8:05am 26th October 2014

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