Elloway calls for patience as Cornish Pirates look to rebuild again under Davies
Rob Elloway is clear what Cornish Pirates need to do this weekend against Leeds to get their Championship campaign back on track after four games without a victory.
The Pirates made a promising start to their league season with wins over Jersey and Plymouth Albion but failed to beat Bristol, Newcastle Falcons, Doncaster Knights or London Scottish.
"We just need to win games now," he said. "I don't care if it is by five tries or four tries or even one point. We just need to win, get on a roll, build confidence and we will be fine."
The 29-year-old hooker sat out last Saturday's 1,250 mile British and Irish Cup trip to Dundee in preparation for this Sunday's game, with Jack Yeandle and Darren Semmens covering the Number 2 shirt.
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Cup wins over Carmarthen Quins and Dundee have given the Pirates a timely boost as they look for their first league win since September 9, but Elloway insists that there is no need to press the panic button at Mennaye Field.
"It's been a bitty start but people need to realise that we are a new group of players and things will take time," he said.
"We are stronger in some areas but all the mistakes we have made are our errors and not from opponents putting us under stress."
He urged the club's fans to be patient after two Championship finals in the past two seasons and a British and Irish Cup win in 2010.
"I would say the fans have been spoilt to a certain extent especially with the players we had, but fans will always compare and contrast," Elloway said. "What is different this year is that last season's team was the result of three years of work, and although some people moved on during that the consistency was there.
"Now we have moved on again but if you look back to that first season [under Chris Stirling] we were a shambles in the play-offs and it took us those three years to get where we were. To an extent you could say that the B&I Cup win that year papered over the cracks, even though it was a great achievement for that group of players."
He made no bones about how big a blow to the squad the decision to delay the Stadium for Cornwall project became.
"The ground has not been built and that took the wind out of our sails, there's no question about that," Elloway added.
"Now Ian [Davies] and Harvey [Biljon] are rebuilding again, so if people think we will come second again with this new squad that is arrogant and means that the rest of the teams in this league are poor.
"We will keep building but there is no short-term fix because after three years of work we have now started another three years of work."
The summer departure of Dave Ward to Harlequins means that Germany-born Elloway is now the senior hooker at the club – a tag he modestly refuses to accept.
"I'm not the top dog now, just an old dog," he joked. "I'm delighted that Dave got to move on because he is one of the best rugby players I have played and worked with and hopefully he will go well at Quins if he works hard on his throwing.
"Darren Semmens has come in and he's a top man with a great attitude and will come good. He just needs a run of games and he will be fine. Then there's Jack, who is a big old boy and brings something different again. Competition is good."
Elloway, who also coaches the forwards at St Ives in his spare time, dismissed the notion that the large number of dual-registered and on-loan players at the Pirates this season has been disruptive.
He said: "It's not a problem because the boys coming in on loan are the best 21-year olds in Britain. They are at Premiership clubs because they are good and they only add to the squad."