COVENTRY Rugby slipped to a 35-10 defeat at the hands of hosts Cornish Pirates in the IPA Championship.
The visitors were badly disrupted by injury, losing James Stokes and David Halaifonua to ankle damage before the interval, and as a consequence ended up with scrum half Tom Kessell on the left wing and Tony Fenner at full back.
However, on their first visit to Mennaye Field in nearly a decade, they also paid a heavy penalty for failing to take their chances.
Rowland Winter’s team had possession within close proximity of the home line four times before the break, but on each occasion failed to convert this field position into points.
Along with the concession of tries to Tom Duncan and Harry Strong, this left them chasing a 17-point interval deficit in the second 40 minutes.
Will Maisey’s conversion of Kessell’s thrilling long-range effort shortly before the hour mark then sparked comeback hopes.
However, the Pirates showed why they have such a formidable home record by firmly shutting the door on their visitors through final quarter touchdowns from Duncan and Sam Matavesi.
Director of rugby Winter said: “It was a tough outing. We created lots of opportunities but couldn’t finish them off.
“You can’t come here with five or six chances in the first half and not be clinical enough.
“It was tough lesson to take and we will learn from it but we certainly need to be more clinical going forward.”
Coventry play host to Bedford on Saturday.