CORNISH Pirates joint head coach Gavin Cattle praised his debutant hookers after they edged to a 30-25 victory at Hartpury on Saturday in the Championship, writes Phil Westren.

Reflecting on the game, Cattle said: “Some people might say it was a get of jail free card, but I thought that in the first half we showed enough dominance even though we didn’t convert that fully on the scoreboard.

“At the start of the second half it was a defensive maul that we suffered our first two yellow cards, which we managed pretty well, despite it obviously impacting. We then, of course, got a third yellow card and I have to say the referee got it right. It was a desperate time, and players do desperate things, and it something we will look at.

“What let us down a bit was our speed to the breakdown and our maul defence, which is normally our strength, but there was credit due our two debutant hookers today. Harry (Hocking) did well and Iestyn (Harris) coming in late this week was a naturally a tough ask.

“We have put in better performances and come away with less, but ultimately getting five points from the match is as much as we could have asked for.”