Pirates cruise past Cross Keys in British and Irish Cup

Matt Evans
Matt Evans goes over for his second try of the match

Cornish Pirates put off-field issues aside with a 30-3 win over Cross Keys as they qualified for the knockout stages of the British and Irish Cup.

A penalty try, a try by Matt Evans, and 10 points from the boot of Ceiron Thomas saw the Pirates lead 20-0 at half-time at the Mennaye.

Thomas kicked another penalty and Evans scored a second try late on to seal a straightforward victory.

"We were totally dominant without being clinical," said boss Chris Stirling.

"We've got to be better than that, we know that, but we were totally dominant in all areas," he added.

The win came at the end of a week which has seen the Pirates' hopes of playing in the Premiership next season dashed by news that a new stadium in Truro will not be ready in time.

Added to that was news that Stirling has been offered a year's sabbatical for next season so he can go back to New Zealand with his family, as he will not be able to coach in the Premiership.

"It's been a difficult week and I was very proud of the way the boys came out," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"One thing that the last week has done is really galvanized the squad together. I've set their objectives and they're really focussed and I'm confident that they'll achieve those."