Lord's red card mars fine win by Cornish All Blacks
Cornish All Blacks 39 Clifton 21
CORNISH All Blacks skipper Tom Rawlings was delighted as his side bounced back from their derby day defeat to Redruth with a bonus-point win over Clifton.
It was the All Blacks' last home game until Easter Saturday, so they were determined to put on a show for their fans.
The only downside to the day was a red card for experienced No.8 Josh Lord very late in the game, and sin-binnings for Liam Yeo and Neil Bayliss.
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"We set out to get five points, and we did that, so we are over the moon," said Rawlings, who is also assistant coach at the club.
"It was a stern effort from us against a good Clifton side, who are lying in mid-table.
"They are a bit of a bogey team for us. Last year we lost to them home and away, and this season we lost to them at their place again, but on this occasion we well and truly beat them.
"They got a couple of cheap scores, but we marshalled the game and kept control of it, and we finished it off.
"It was just a shame the referee didn't handle the incident at the end of the game better, and stopped the fight from happening before it kicked off."
Winger Richard Bright scored two tries for the All Blacks, and Rawlings was very pleased with his performance.
"Richard was back on form, he is a great open-field runner when he has got the ball and he can do some damage, and he did that against Clifton," he said.
The All Blacks took the lead when an initial break by Rawlings led to a line-out, and from that, the skipper fed Bright to race in for a try to make it 5-0.
However, that advantage was shortlived as Clifton produced a powerful three-quarter move which saw full back Ben Foley go over on the left, and he added the conversion.
He was off target with a penalty chance soon after, and the All Blacks recaptured the lead with a penalty by full back Kieron Lewitt.
Lord stretched that advantage when he broke off a driving maul to score a try, but Lewitt missed with the conversion attempt, as did Foley with another penalty opportunity, to leave the hosts 13-7 ahead at the interval.
The All Blacks began the second period in fine fashion, with a burst down the wing by lock Barrie-John Chapman setting up a ruck, from which second row forward Ben Hilton crossed for a try, converted by Lewitt, to extend the gap to 13 points.
Clifton responded with a touchdown by No.8 Tom O'Keefe after an incisive break from scrum half Callum Braley, with Foley converting, but the All Blacks struck again when fly half Jake Murphy's beautifully judged crossfield kick was caught by Bright to dot down for his second try of the game to make it 25-14.
Bayliss was yellow carded for the hosts, and Clifton cut the deficit to only four points when they were awarded a penalty try for the All Blacks pulling down the scrum, and Foley again converted.
But the All Blacks gave themselves some breathing space when a drive infield led to a touchdown by replacement front rower Tom Hurdwell, and Lewitt provided the extras.
A penalty try in the closing stages, converted by Lewitt, sealed victory for the All Blacks, but there was still time for an explosive finale, triggered by Yeo's tip tackle, which saw Lord, Yeo and Clifton's Sam Harrison all told to leave the field by referee Paul Kimber.
The All Blacks now have a weekend off, before three successive away games, against Taunton, Lydney and Shelford.