Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club

Caz relishing another battle against Pirates

Carwyn Jones is expecting no let-up in the intensity when Ealing Trailfinders visit Cornish Pirates in the Greene King IPA Championship on Sunday.

Jones was part of the team that opened their league campaign with a 30-13 defeat at home to Yorkshire Carnegie, a side that is among the favourites to win promotion to the Aviva Premiership this season. 

The second row was also in the squad that lost to the Cornishmen in January this year. Ben Ward’s side scored three tries, but left a muddy Mennaye Field empty-handed following a 30-15 defeat. 

With the match arriving much earlier in the season, Jones is hopeful that the conditions will be more to the liking of a team that likes to keep the ball in hand. 

“I think it is a great time to go down to Cornwall,” he said. “It is basically still summer down there so the ground will be nice and hard and hopefully we can play good attacking rugby. 

“I think it will be a different sort of test this week so we’ll probably be on top a little bit more than we were last week, so we need to finish of the chances we do get.”

The match against Carnegie provided a stiff test to open the season, but it means the team have quickly found out how and where they need to improve if they want to avoid being dragged into another relegation battle. 

Last season Bryan Redpath’s Carnegie team reached the play-off semi-finals and the final of the British and Irish Cup and they showed that they intend to match or better those achievements this season. 

“It is always good to have a tough test in your opening match to see where you are as a team,” Jones said. “We needed to get off the line more in defence and put pressure on them. 

"Because they were such a big unit we were sitting back and waiting for them to run at us which is the last thing you want to do when you’re up against a big pack. 

“Looking back at it I think we can take a lot of positives from the game. We left a few points out there and we need to sharpen up on a few defensive errors and I think going forward next week we can be pretty confident.”