Friday, 18 October 2013

Ayr v Cornish Pirates preview

English Championship side Cornish Pirates make the long trip from Penzance to Alloway to face Ayr in the second round of British and Irish Cup matches.

Ayr are looking forward to getting back to Millbrae to play in front of their loyal fans after a difficult opening match against Jersey last weekend on the Channel Islands.

"Despite playing with thirteen men for fifty-two minutes, we showed what kind of rugby we can play and I was proud of their performance," says head coach Peter Laverie.  "The Pirates are a strong, physical side so another huge effort will be required to get a result.  We will have to deal with the physical intensity, defend well and keep our game speed up but that's the challenge and the players will be desperate to have a go."

After a tremendous performance against Jersey in which he scored all the points, stand-off Finn Russell is rested and Ross Curle replaces him.  Dean Kelbrick returns at inside centre with Robbie Fergusson moving to his usual spot at outside centre.  Richard Dalgleish starts on the left wing with Kerr Gossman dropping to the bench.

Glasgow Warriors have released flanker James Eddie, so he will make another welcome start for Ayr.  Nick Cox and Graham Fisken return to the squad after overcoming injuries.  Grant Anderson continues to captain the side.

Laverie concludes: "The B&I Cup really tests the players but it is great for their development and learning and I look forward to the day when all the Premiership clubs get to compete in a cross-border competition."

15. Grant Anderson (capt), 14. Craig Gossman, 13. Robbie Fergusson, 12. Dean Kelbrick, 11. Richard Dalgleish; 10. Ross Curle, 9. Peter Jericevich; 1. Denford Mutamangira, 2. David Young, 3. George Hunter; 4. Graham Williamson, 5. Scott Sutherland; 6. James Eddie, 7. Peter McCallum, 8. Callum Templeton.

16. Stuart Fenwick, 17. Nick Cox, 18. D'arcy Rae, 19. Graham Fisken, 20. Murray McConnell, 21. Kerr Gossman, 22. Danny McCluskey.

Kick-off 3pm.

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