Pirates support crucial to semi-final says prop Paver

Cornish Pirates

Cornish Pirates prop Alan Paver says home advantage could be vital in deciding the outcome of their play-off semi-final against London Welsh.

By topping play-off Pool B, the Pirates ensured they would play at the Mennaye Field in the last four.

Paver told BBC Cornwall: "It's massive to have that crowd behind you and to have that familiarity of your pitch.

"We've worked hard to put ourselves in this position and we feel that the crowd will give us that extra edge."

Despite having the advantage of a vociferous home crowd, Paver acknowledged the Pirates will still have to be at the top of their game to get past London Welsh on Sunday.

"They're a good side," said Paver. "A physical side that like to play rugby and they're dangerous.

"We do have the game to beat them, but I think it's going to be a very tough competition between us both."

The veteran prop has been at the Pirates for nearly 10 years, joining the Cornish club in 2002 from Plymouth Albion.

He said: "We've had a number of years now where we've had the same set of players together and that gives us a little bond between us.

"We've built something here now as well and it is growing so we do have a realistic chance and that's all we can ask for."