VIDEO: Rainford keen for All Blacks to continue improvement at Clifton
The Cornish All Blacks have been consistently inconsistent so far this season, but head coach Spike Rainford expects their National League Two South form to come good soon.
The Launceston side have followed every win with a loss but they are determined to follow last week’s victory over Bishop’s Stortford with success at Clifton on Saturday.
“The teams that find consistency will do well in this league,” said Rainford. “You can’t expect anything, you have to work for it.
“Clifton have been a difficult team for us in the past but we made headway into that last year and we’ll try and improve on that this year.
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“We always know it is going to be a hard game at Clifton and we won’t expect anything less than that this time.
“If we tie our performance together, we are a very difficult team to beat.”
The All Blacks lost 38-25 at Clifton almost a year ago to the day, but got their revenge at Polson later in the campaign.
However, Rainford said his men will have to continue the improvement they showed in last week’s 34-33 win at home to go one better against Clifton this term.
“We scored five tries, we got the win against Bishop’s Stortford, and that is the most important thing,” he said. “It is another win at home and that is the structure we want to build on.
“In the past we have lost games like that, rather than win them – so that’s the positive and we have been working hard on our defence all week.
“We know we can score tries and we know we can attack, so we just have to put all the little bits together now as a whole.”
The All Blacks’ squad is formidable and a number of their key men – such as Ryan Westren and Nielson Webber – are progressing well after long-term injuries.
Rainford said: “We’ve got some great players at this club but some of them have been out for a long time and they are playing their way back in.
“Last week was the first time we had pretty much everybody available and it will get better every week as those players play their way back in to their game.
“It will start to settle down, and with that, performances will improve and we’ll move on.
“We still have little niggles within the squad. Liam Yeo is out this week with rib damage but Ryan Westren will fill in the space on the wings and that is, in no way, a step backwards.”
Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt; Westren, Paterson, Webber, S Chapman; Murphy, Friend; Mathias, Salter, Brown; Hilton, Tripcony; M Rawlings, L Duke, BJ Chapman. Replacements: T Rawlings, Jenkins, Bayliss, Kneebone, Webb.