CORNISH Pirates joint head coach Gavin Cattle praised his side after the Pirates secured their highest ever league finish on Saturday as they won 38-27 at London Scottish.

A riveting contest went back and forth before the visitors turned on the style.

A delight Cattle said: “It was the outcome we naturally wanted, and we did well to find our way against a very good side.

“London Scottish are well coached with their speed of ball and, putting good spells of rugby together and throwing it around a bit, you could see the Quins influence. 

“We were also aware that they had beaten Ealing Trailfinders in one encounter this season and pushed them close in another, so we knew it was going to be a tough challenge.

“We also knew pre-match that we needed to get up for the game mentally, strive to stick to process, and keep an eye on the prize of creating a little bit of history. They had spells when they punished us in the first half, which we discussed during the interval, so we emerged in the second forty with an aim to slow their game and control the ball at maul time. The hope was that it would help us create space, which it did, plus it earned us penalty opportunities to enable us gain good field position.”

Reflecting on the afternoon and season, Gavin added: “To ultimately achieve the win, I am just so incredibly proud of our team, who have been a joy to coach. They have been infectious and their efforts, which are underpinned by their attitude and hearts on sleeves approach, is something the lads have in bucketloads.

“We didn’t panic, and at the start of the second half you could see the set piece was turning and squeezing them we ultimately got what we deserved. 

“Ending the campaign second in the league for the first time is quite some achievement, and it makes us all so incredibly proud of what such a relatively new group of players have achieved.”