Cornish Pirates youngsters 'will learn from Doncaster defeat'

Stuart Townsend
Stuart Townsend's late try almost sealed the win for Cornish Pirates

Cornish Pirates' youngsters will learn from their late defeat by Doncaster in the British and Irish Cup, according to director of rugby Ian Davies.

Doncaster full-back Paul Jarvis went over in the final minute to secure a 29-25 win for the Knights.

"We've got a team with an average age of 21 against a gnarly old side in Doncaster and I'm immensely proud of them," Davies told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"They're intelligent guys and they will learn from it and move forwards."

Cornish Pirates director of rugby Ian Davies
"They're going to experience times like this again, but they'll also experience times when they go 25-22 up with six minutes to go and close the game out."

A second-half try from Joe Atkinson and a try with six minutes left by dual-registered Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Stuart Townsend had put the Pirates 25-22 ahead before Jarvis got his hat-trick to avenge in the Championship two weeks earlier.

"We took the lead in the first half and then gave a soft try away before half-time and we could quite easily have imploded after that, but we didn't," added Davies.

"Doncaster went further ahead, but I thought the reaction was brilliant: to score those tries at the end to take the lead just shows the character of those young guys.

"OK, we didn't seal the win at the end, but we could have and that's what we've got to learn from.

"They're going to experience times like this again, but they'll also experience times when they go 25-22 up with six minutes to go and close the game out and they'll look back to Castle Park in Doncaster in October and say 'that's when I learnt'."

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