Cornish Pirates 52 Yorkshire Carnegie 0
It was a tough start to new Director of Rugby Phil Davies' reign as Yorkshire Carnegie showed resilience but couldn't match second placed Cornish Pirates, who ran out 52-0 victors at Mennaye Field.
Coming into the game, there were four changes to the Yorkshire side. Joe Carlisle made his first start since the cup game against the Pirates in December while Louis Musetti and Sione Faletau also returned to the starting squad. There were also debuts for Leeds Beckett players Will Routledge and Hameed Ajayi and Jarrid Els, who has spent the first half of the season on the sidelines through injury.
It was an explosive start from the home side, who scored their first try inside ten minutes. From the kick off, Yorkshire were forced to defend against relentless Cornish attack. Playing the ball inside Carnegie's 22 metre area, a move through the hands found Robin Wedlake on the edge to open the scoring. The visitors looked to have matched the Pirates through Tom Varndell but the final pass was brought back for being forward. Minutes later, another penalty saw the home side score their second; Tom Cowan-Dickie driving his way over from a Cornish lineout.
Captain Joe Ford also missed the chance to add Yorkshire's first points of the game, just slicing the ball wide of the uprights from 30 metres out. Chris Stirling's side smelled danger and proved why they were competing for a promotion place as man of the match James McRae produced a great individual effort, cutting through the line and beating three tacklers to ground the ball. William Cargill will successful with all three conversion attempts, making the score 21-0.
McRae was soon in the sin bin for a technical foul and Carnegie looked to exploit; Andrew Lawson making a notable effort with his kick ahead but the Pirates reclaimed. Tom Whitehurst also saw yellow for foul play two minutes before the end of the half, allowing Cornish the chance to grab a bonus point, but the pass was forward ending the half at 21-0.
Former Carnegie scrum half JB Bruzulier secured the home side the bonus point minutes into the second half. A break by Kyle Moyle through a gap in Carnegie’s defence looked odds on to end in a try for the full back. A tap tackle only delaying matters inside the 22, before Wedlake gathered and set up Bruzulier for his try. Wedlake added his second score of the game moments later to give Cornish a 31 point lead, with only four minutes of the new half gone.
Yorkshire remained strong in defence, stopping the Pirates from increasing their points tally until the hour mark. With Stirling reeling the interchanges, Jay Tyak proved effective, crashing over for Cornish's sixth try on the hour mark.
Carnegie made their changes, introducing William Routledge and Hameed Ajayi running out for their first appearances in the Yorkshire shirt along with Jack Metcalf and Gareth Smith. The fresh legs provided some much needed energy to Davies' men but a late surge by Cornish in the last five minutes locked the game up. Shae Tucker worked the touchline well to score his first Championship try before Rhodri Davies completed the scoring. Cargill kicked both conversions making the final score 52-0.