Rugby: Cornish All Blacks v Clifton report February 5
CORNISH All Blacks were happy to send Clifton back up the M5 empty handed after they secured a 17-5 win over the Bristol side in National Two South.
In poor conditions, the home side dominated the game, notching up two tries and a converted penalty try.
With a few players out injured and captain Ben Hilton playing for England Counties, the Polson Bridge faithful were delighted with a home win.
Injured Kieron Lewitt, who watched his side from the bench, said the All Blacks showed real determination throughout.
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"I thought it went really well," said the full-back. "The first half we played in the right ways. We were good with the ball and in defence. In the second half we showed a lot of heart and determination – it was good to see.
"It was nice to send Clifton up the M5 with no points. We always have a tough time with them so it's nice to get one up on them. It's a shame we missed out on the bonus point but, considering the conditions, we played well."
Clifton captain, Gregory Nicholls was not in such high spirits, but he admitted his side were not up to scratch.
"We didn't deserve to win," he said. "We didn't play well enough through the game. We didn't maintain any territory or possession."
Despite missing a penalty, the Launceston side were first on the scoreboard early on in the game when Kyle Speare touched down on the left wing for an unconverted try.
The hosts were playing some great rugby and, for the most part, kept the game in Clifton's half. However, worsening conditions and a slippery ball made it inevitable mistakes were made by both teams.
As the game neared half time, there was a big push by the All Blacks, with the pack driving the ball more than 20 yards towards the try line.
BJ Chapman forced his way through to score the second try, after Launceston turned over a Clifton scrum. The conversion was missed by Jake Murphy.
Clifton made a rare trip into the home side's half a few minutes into injury time, but at the whistle, the All Blacks were 10-0 up.
The half time talk seemed to work for Clifton, who picked up speed in the second half, but All Blacks kept up pace.
The visitors worked hard to reach the score line, but each time they got close the hosts managed to kick the ball out of danger.
Clifton had a chance for three points after being awarded a penalty, but the kick was missed. However, with minutes to go, Clifton upped their game and moved forwards, passing down their three quarter line. The Polson side were a man down, with replacement Sisa Naqasima sin-binned after a few minutes on the pitch and Charles Foley took advantage to find touch and score Clifton's only try.
But that was their highlight. Soon after, the All Blacks were back on top. After three consecutive home scrums on the try line, referee Philip Davies awarded the home side a penalty try. Murphy's conversion signalled the end of the game.