Rugby: Cornish All Blacks v Cambridge October 30
HEAD coach Clive Rainford heaped praise on his players after the Cornish All Blacks staged a second half fightback to record victory at Polson Bridge on Saturday.
The Launceston side trailed 17-11 at half-time, but they came out refreshed after the break and determined to turn things round.
Rainford said: "We did really well and it's another win at home. It's great after the bonus point we picked up away from home last week.
"Everything came together again. The guys who have come back from injury have helped to strengthen the team and that showed.
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"We've got to take all the positives from this. To win like that against Cambridge is a brilliant bonus."
Cambridge skipper Ross Kevan blamed their loss on a lack of discipline. He said: "It's very frustrating because our own discipline cost it for us overall.
"We knew it was going to be an intimidating game to come down to but they worked a little bit harder.
"We're still confident in ourselves and we're still chasing promotion."
The All Blacks started well, but after Kieron Lewitt put three points on the scoreboard with a penalty kick, things started to go downhill.
Poor defence and tackling by the hosts gave Cambridge the opportunity to notch up two tries within the first ten minutes.
Albert Portsmouth found a gap to score the first, then Patrick Tapley beat the All Blacks players to the ball to go over for the second. Neither were converted.
The All Blacks were awarded two penalties in quick succession and although Lewitt missed the first, he kicked the second right between the posts.
At this point in the game, neither team outshone the other and both sides made some poor decisions.
Cambridge did split the All Blacks pack apart by passing down their three-quarter line, something the hosts failed to do on a number of occasions. Despite being one man down after Thomas Jones was given ten minutes in the sin bin, Portsmouth touched down for his second try. Jim Wigglesworth converted.
The All Blacks made their way down the field and closer to the try line. Tim Mathias passed to Sam Chapman who went over for an unconverted try.
With the score at 17-11 to the visitors, the Launceston side lagged behind at half-time, but Rainford's changing-room team-talk obviously ignited something in the players, as they returned to the field with renewed vigour and determination.
Mathias, who earned his man-of-the-match accolade, set Chapman up for his second try of the game. Lewitt missed the conversion.
The All Blacks were only one point behind and lack of discipline in the Cambridge side meant they were, at one point, down to 13 men with yellow cards given to Jethro Rawling and replacement Ben Brownlie.
The All Blacks capitalised when Lloyd Duke scored their third try, this time converted.
Although the tables had turned, a converted try would put Cambridge back in the lead.
The hosts had to hold on and not let their game slip.
The visitors did come close to scoring again, but a strong All Blacks defence kept them at bay.