Cornish Pirates: Gavin Cattle aiming for Championship play-offs

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Cornish Pirates
Cornish Pirates have finished in sixth place twice, and eight once, since making the 2012 Championship play-off final

Cornish Pirates coach Gavin Cattle says improved home form could see his side reach the Championship play-offs.

The Pirates won just five of their 11 home games at the Mennaye last season as they finished in eighth place.

"If you look historically, 15 wins gets you around that top four, so a big thing for us is to have pride in our home performance," Cattle said.

"If you win all your home fixtures, there's 12 wins, so you don't have to pick up as many on the road."

The Pirates get their league campaign under way on Sunday against Nottingham at the Mennaye.

They have not made the play-offs since 2012, when they knocked out Bristol in the semi-finals before losing to London Welsh in the final.

"Our away form has been better than it has been in the past, we gained more points last season then we have in the past few years, so combine them both and we should be thereabouts around that top four," Cattle told BBC Sport.

"If we look at it on paper, it's definitely realistic for us to be in the top four.

"Can we achieve it? We're not going to know until we get into the cut and thrust of it because every team's going to want the same thing.

"We don't start the season saying we want to be mid-table, we start the season saying we want to win the league and get into the play-offs, because that's where everyone wants to be."