Captain Duncan praises his charges’ energy in victory

Captain Duncan praises his charges’ energy in victory

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17th March 2021

By Gareth Davies

Skipper Tom Duncan has revealed that the ‘energy’ his Cornish Pirates side displayed in the build-up to their latest Championship win over Richmond on Saturday.

The Pirates triumphed 27-7 with former Richard Lander School pupil Duncan scoring one of four tries for the Cornish outfit, with JB Bruzulier, Maliq Holden and replacement Matt Bolwell also crossing the whitewash in a bonus-point victory.

It was the perfect way to back-up their stunning opening day triumph against Saracens and victory over Richmond sees Pirates second in that table behind leaders Ealing, who have a perfect record of 10 points from two matches.

Duncan, speaking exclusively to the Voice this week, was also keen to stress that there is still more to come from his side in a campaign in which ‘everything is so big’.

“Coming off the back of that Saracens win there was always the fear from some people that you will be on an emotional down,” he said. “That was the focus in the week before Richmond to make sure we brought the same energy to the game like we did against Saracens.

“There were bits missing from our game on Saturday as our discipline let us down a little bit, but the energy, the physicality and the want to win was still there. We have got two weeks until we get a break and in this shortened season, everything is so big – you can’t afford to lose more than one game if you want to make that play-off really.

“We need to get our bodies right and tweak a few things, so we are ready for Bedford on Sunday.”

Looking back at the Saracens victory, Duncan added that any pre-season predictions of a straightforward Championship campaign for the former European champions didn’t provide his side with any extra desire to win.

However, the Truro born man did feel that the result was one for the Championship as a league by demonstrating just how tough tier two is.

“You can’t hide form what you see on social media and in newspapers, but any pre-match talk wasn’t extra motivation.

“People in the Premiership were saying it was unfair for Saracens to come down and play people like us, meaning every club in the Championship wanted that result for us. It showed that this league isn’t one where you can just turn up and think you can get through it. It is a hard league and there are some really hard players in this league so the win was one for the Championship.

“Saracens were missing their England players, but it was still a quality side that won Premiership games last year. The win was a great day for the club and as big Paves (Alan Paver) said, it was an iconic day for the club. It was great to be a part of it all and days that everyone will remember for a long time and thankfully we got the performance we wanted.
“For Duncan himself, the season has started well and after an inconsistent 2019-20 campaign before it was abruptly ended a year ago, renewed focus means he has certainly started making up for lost time.

“I have scored two from two and last year I didn’t play as much as I wanted to and didn’t perform quite like I wanted to either so I’m just focusing back on doing what I do,” he revealed. “Hopefully, touch wood, the coaches are happy with what I am doing and I will get another chance to play on Sunday against Bedford.”