Just sometimes, it can be seen that justice was not done.

Without doubt this was certainly the case at the Butts Park Arena, a very relieved and rather sheepish Pirates returning to the far South West with four points their efforts barely deserved.

After two very disappointing performances, this truly was a different Coventry.

Right from the word go, with the forwards taking the battle very positively to their visitors, the signs were encouraging, particularly as young scrum half Tom Slater behind them had an absolutely storming full debut. The Welshman, sniping and probing was a constant thorn in the Pirates side and with a real base to work from, the backs too were much more authoritative than in the opening two matches.

Once again however, the dreaded yellow cards returned to haunt the Blue and Whites and this time in a really big way to cost them the match.

First hooker Chris Whitehead was carded on 16 minutes for an off the ball incident, the Pirates taking advantage to run in their opening try and then near to full time with Cov winning 16-10 and so close to a first league win of the season, two of the replacements, firstly Danny Hodge and then Mike Walls, within the space of four minutes, both received yellows.

With the Pirates at this point in the home 22, 13 men found the ultimate and final piece of defending just that bridge too far.

All that and two important penalty misses midway through the second half were collectively to cost Coventry the game, but nevertheless the home crowd were left wondering why referee Wilson had been so lenient on the Cornishmen.

True, flanker Motusaga had spent ten minutes either side of half time in the sin bin, but the Pirates constant offside tactics, particularly after the break, were only to cost them penalties and the Coventry support could be forgiven for believing all that was far too lenient.

Cornish Pirates, who had run Northampton Saints so close six days earlier, soon found themselves three points behind, Cov skipper Ben Russell slotting the penalty after seven minutes having missed a wide angled attempt two minutes earlier.

It took the Cornishmen 13 minutes to reach the home half before fly half Gareth Steenson missed a penalty attempt, quite extraordinarily his first place kicking failure of the season.

The stand-in Pirates captain was more successful six minutes later, converting centre Nick Buckley's try as the Pirates eased in front 7-3 with Cov's hooker Whitehead serving his ten minutes on the side lines.

Coventry though were not to be denied and three minutes later went back in front with a classic try.

Fly half Myles Dorrian made a superb break 40 metres out before feeding centre threequarter Donovan Sanders, the South African storming in at the posts for Russell to convert. Russell and Steenson exchanged penalties, leaving the Butts Park men 13-10 ahead at the break.

After 59 minutes, with Coventry continuing to overall have the better of affairs, Russell with his third penalty extended the margin to six points, before being left to rue his two missed penalty kicks.

Pirates attempts to pull out a victory seemed to be floundering until those two critical late yellow cards, No 8 forward Chris Cracknell being able to thrust over from a five metre scrum for the decisive try, Steenson's conversion clinching victory.