VIDEOS: Cornish All Blacks ready for trip to Redruth, says Rainford
There is no denying the challenge ahead of the Cornish All Blacks, but they are determined to make their derby clash with Redruth all about themselves.
Head coach Spike Rainford is confident his Launceston men can complete a memorable National League Two South double over their great rivals when they meet at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.
The All Blacks have won five of their last six games and are determined to set themselves up for a strong second half of the season.
Rainford and his men are also aiming to earn successive wins over the Reds, having beaten them 31-10 at Polson Bridge in September.
Rainford said: “Everybody knows it is probably the biggest game of the season down in the Westcountry.
“We had a good result against them at the start of the season and I think we have moved on since then as well.
“We have won five out of our last six games in the league, so, if we can get the result we want on Saturday, it sets us up nicely for the second half of the season.
“It is always a hard trip, there is no getting away from that. It is one of the hardest games of the season.
“But we have to look at our form over the last couple of months, be positive and take that with us.
“We have had some good results against Hartpury College, against Cambridge and we beat Reds here at the beginning of the season.
“We have put some really big performances in over the last few weeks, which is really encouraging.
“It is about us, we are focusing on what we want to achieve. We set ourselves goals, like going through to Christmas unbeaten at home and we have achieved that.
“If we can transfer that into our away form, we have got a chance of doing something really good.”
Rainford is fully aware that the traditionally forwards-driven Reds will relish wet conditions this weekend, but he expects his men to compete.
He said: “They are probably the team we know the most about in this league. We have gone into games a little bit blind at times with teams just coming into this league.
“But whether it is raining, flooding, sunny or otherwise fine, Saturday will purely be about us. If the weather is bad, that will just be another obstacle we have to overcome.”
Just like their rivals, the Cornish All Blacks’ squad is nearing full fitness at just the right time.
Rainford has close to a full squad to choose from this weekend. The only hindrance to his planning has been the continued absence of front-row forward Neil Bayliss.
He said: “The only major injury we have got out at the moment is Neil Bayliss. He has an Achilles injury, but he should be back just after Christmas.
“We have got a full squad to pick from, pretty much, so we are quite happy with where we are with selection this week.”