Head coach Neil Kelly says that his Cornwall RLFC side can take ‘big positives’ from the defeat suffered at North Wales Crusaders on Saturday, writes Gareth Davies.
In the Choughs’ first ever game against the Betfred League 1 title favourites, Kelly’s side were 30-0 behind after just 24 minutes before Matty Turton scored the club’s first ever try.
Another North Wales try before the half time hooter stretched the Crusaders’ lead before Cornwall started a stirring comeback. Harry Aaronson’s intercept score, along with superb team moves finished off by Liam Whitton and Sam Snell, left Cornwall 34-22 adrift.
The Crusaders, on home soil in Colwyn Bay, scored a seventh try although Cornwall hung on the hosts’ coat tails. But the final 10 minutes belonged to Anthony Murray’s men who found another gear to eventually prevail 62-22.
“As I said before the game I was looking at this match in terms of a performance,” Kelly told cornwallrlfc.co.uk post match. “For a team that has had eight weeks together, a tough recruitment process and playing against a good team in this division, I think we can take big positives.
“The one negative in there is the score line but in the game itself, there are massive positives as a team and from individuals too.
“North Wales have had a good run in the Challenge Cup, a good league win last week and yes, this is our first game.
“In the last five or ten minutes we did concede some tries which were disappointing and I do need to level at the players that we don’t need to concede some of those scores. However, there was a tale to the game and when we completed our sets, we competed. And when we completed our sets in the second half, we had momentum and scored two or three tries in succession.
“Then we stopped completing our sets and we allowed North Wales to build momentum themselves that we found irresistible and that’s where those tries came from.
“The game perhaps highlighted to us where our next piece of learning will be.”
Although Cornwall’s second half blitz gave huge encouragement for the 2022 season moving forward, Kelly remained philosophical when looking ahead to next Sunday’s home clash with Midlands Hurricanes.
He added: “You have to start again in every game and if we haven’t done things right (against North Wales) we need to fix that up in the coming weeks. As I said there are massive positives from our opening match but the North Wales result has no bearing on next week’s game
“Just because we competed during periods of this game, it doesn’t mean we will compete next week. We have to start all over again from tackle one and pass one.
“We have to demonstrate a desire to eradicate the negative things in our performance that led to the disjointed score line at the end.”
[Featured image: Patrick Tod / Cornwall RLFC]