BEES succeeded in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory following a late collapse in deepest Cornwall in The Championship.
Bees had been leading 15-7 with just 16 minutes remaining when they fell apart.
Dismayed director of rugby Russell Earnshaw, pictured, was almost beside himself by the final whistle: “After 70 minutes, I had mainly good things to say about the players in my head. By the 80th minute, they had turned to bad!” he said.
Tries from flanker Jack Preece and winger Simon Hunt, who intercepted and raced over from 50 metres out coupled with a conversion and penalty by fly half Sam Robinson had put Bees in the driving seat.
Earnshaw added: “The boys did well for the majority of the game and then suddenly we capitulated and allowed the Pirates to score two tries in the last two and a half minutes.
“There are lessons to be learnt, but we can’t go on learning lessons all the time.”
Bees ranks have been decimated with a total of 14 injuries - all of whom are unlikely to recover in time to face Plymouth Albion on Sunday at Damson Park.
Earnshaw admitted: “I’ve got almost half my squad out at the moment - but we can’t use injuries as an excuse because it happens to everyone - maybe we’re just getting our injuries early and out of the way with.”
Earnshaw is under no illusions of the task facing Bees on Sunday as Plymouth sit just above them in the league table with just one point to their name.
“It’s obviously one of the games we’ve targeted to win although I go into every game looking to win.
“It’s important that we come out of the blocks strongly because that’s what I expect Plymouth to do - and try to get the crowd behind us.”
Kick-off is at 3pm.