Cornish Pirates boss Stirling upbeat despite final loss
Cornish Pirates boss Chris Stirling says his side are in a good position for next season, despite being defeated in the Championship play-off final.
The Pirates went down 46-32 over two legs against Worcester Warriors, who now return to the Premiership.
Stirling told BBC Cornwall: "We'll learn from it and we'll be a much stronger team next year.
"We will understand some of the things that went wrong over these two legs and how to put them right."
Having lost the first leg 21-12 at the Mennaye Field last week, the Pirates were always chasing the game in the second encounter at Sixways on Wednesday.
"I'm extremely proud of the way the guys stuck at their task as we'd made really hard work of it for ourselves," said Stirling.
"We made a lot of errors early on which let them get ahead of us, but we fought, and to have two tries scored against you second half and still come back into the game, I'm just extremely proud of the players."
Worcester lost only once all season in winning promotion back to the top flight, that defeat coming at the hands of the Pirates at Sixways in October.
Stirling said: "If we play well enough to get ourselves into this position at the end of next season, we will be a far better side for it.
"We're in our infancy as a team and I think sometimes that was exposed over these two legs.
"I'm extremely proud of what the boys have done this year and the level of rugby that they've taken the Pirates to."