By Phil Westren

WELL, the 2023/24 season has flown through, and next up for the Cornish Pirates is their penultimate league game of the season, and their last one at home, against Coventry on Saturday (2.30pm).

With two games to play the Pirates are presently third in the league table with 66 points, whilst second-placed Coventry, who will be playing their final match this weekend, are on 73 points. Ealing Trailfinders top the table, and with two games to go are on 77 points. 

Back to this Saturday, the famous Coventry club will arrive at the Mennaye Field in determined mode, fully keen to avenge the 21-19 win that the Pirates inflicted upon them at the Butts Park Arena in January, and to win for the first time at Penzance since emerging 27-13 victors from a pre-season friendly played in August 1998. 

Of interest, since then they have lost 11 encounters (ten in the league and one in the cup).

Ahead of Saturday’s showdown, in which Cornish Pirates’ full-back Kyle Moyle will proudly mark his 150th appearance for the club, coach Louie Tonkin has said: “Coventry are technically still in the fight for the league, so will arrive at the Mennaye Field naturally extra keen to win. They form a dangerous outfit who have a good kicking game and a fine set of backs, who we will strive to nullify. Also, from a general perspective, following last weekend’s performance at Nottingham we will want to be a bit tighter around certain fundamental aspects of our game.”

Louie added: “The contest clearly has all the ingredients to be a really good fixture between two evenly matched sides, and with the weather also set to be fair a big crowd expected for one of those games not to be missed.”

CORNISH PIRATES: 15 Kyle Moyle 14 Will Trewin 13 Matt McNab 12 Joe Elderkin 11 Arthur Relton 10 Bruce Houston 9 Alex Schwarz; 1 Lefty Zigiriadis 2 Harry Hocking 3 Fin Richardson 4 Will Britton 5 Steele Barker 6 Alex Everett 7 John Stevens (captain) 8 Hugh Bokenham. Replacements: 16 Marlen Walker 17 Jack Andrew 18 Matt Johnson 19 Josh King 20 Will Gibson 21 Ruaridh Dawson 22 Tom Pittman 23 Robin Wedlake. 

At the end of the game, certain end of season Cornish Pirates awards will be presented from in front of the main Truro & Penwith College stand.