Bristol coach Liam Middleton wary of Cornish Pirates

Liam Middleton

Bristol head coach Liam Middleton says Cornish Pirates will be their toughest test yet when they meet in the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs.

Saturday's 39-10 bonus-point win over Doncaster secured Bristol top spot in Pool A and they will now face Pool B runners-up Pirates over two legs.

"They'll be the toughest team to beat," he told BBC Radio Bristol.

"We're in for a fire storm of a game but that's how it should be at this point of the season."

Bristol finished top of the Championship in the regular season, seven points above third-place Pirates.

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Bristol still evolving - Middleton

But the Mennaye Field outfit have already overcome Middleton's side twice this term in all competitions and the South African says Bristol must not underestimate their opposition.

"We'll go better prepared this time as we know how good they are," added Middleton. "We'll give them full respect but we can also go there with some confidence.

"We'll be fresh but we've also got some things to work on in a number of areas in our game. We're still evolving as a team but we'll be as prepared as we can be."

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