Despite a heavy scoreline against them for the second week running, Yorkshire Carnegie put up a fight in their defeat by Cornish Pirates in Pool 3 of the Championship Cup.
The hosts made a total of nine changes from the side which lost 83-0 to Nottingham in the same competition the previous week, with player-coach George Ford and experienced hooker Ben Sowry among those coming in to the starting XV.
The Carnegie side, which only started being put together at the start of this month, probably define that old adage “a work in progress”, but they showed glimpses of what the team may become with some good passages of play.
But they struggled in attack and the set pieces and also conceded a number of penalties and these are areas former Leicester Tigers player Ford and director of rugby Martyn Wood will try to improve in the coming weeks.
For Pirates, whose director of rugby Chris Sterling held a similar position at Carnegie before last season’s financial meltdown, it was a first win in the competition having lost out 24-20 to London Scottish in their opener.
Three former Yorkshire Carnegie players were also in their line-up, in lock Fa’atiga Lemalu, scrum-half Jean-Baptist Bruzulier and replacement prop Craig Mitchell and it didn’t take them long to open the scoring at West Park RUFC as Javier Rojas Alvarez kicked an early penalty for the visitors.
Centre Callum Patterson got the first of his impressive hat-trick of tries on the quarter-hour mark, with scrum-half Bruzulier following him over nine minutes later.
Patterson (38) got his second just before the break and prop Marlen Walker extended the visitors’ advantage with a fourth try on 49 minutes.
Patterson completed his hat-trick six minutes later with flanker Will Wilson (64) bagging the next and Alvarez successfully converting all.
Pirates’ replacement Tom Cowan-Dickie completed the scoring in the final minute, with Alvarez blotting his copybook by missing the conversion and just failing to bring up the half-century