Cornish All Blacks 24
CORNISH All Blacks skipper Tom Rawlings admitted his frustration after his side suffered a convincing defeat to their arch Duchy rivals at the Recreation Ground.
The All Blacks managed two late scores to earn themselves a try-scoring bonus point, and deserve credit for battling to the end, but it was small consolation for their players and supporters.
"I am frustrated with the way we conducted ourselves in the game. We didn't play very well and we didn't really string many phases together and play our patterns," said Rawlings, who is also the club's assistant coach.
"You pitch up full of excitement and looking forward to getting out there, but when you perform like that it is a bit of a downer.
"But there are positives to take from the game. We scored in Hellfire Corner after we mauled them 20 metres, and to do that to a big Redruth pack is a big achievement for us. We also fought to the end to get ourselves a bonus point."
Rawlings added: "Redruth dominated us in the first half and we were heavily staring down the barrel.
"Credit to them, they played it right, and I am just gutted we couldn't put on a better performance. We let our supporters down.
"We have been doing a bit of soul searching, but we have got to pick ourselves up, otherwise it is going to be a really, really long season.
"The weekend before, we had a game against Chinnor we should have put to bed, and lost, and after the Redruth game we should have been looking at a win and a defeat, but instead we have suffered two losses and have only got three points.
"We have got to do some work before Hartpury College on Saturday, because if we don't get it right, it could be another hard game for us."
The All Blacks welcomed back flanker Mike Rawlings from injury for the derby match, but were without lock Ben Hilton, who was attending a wedding.
Redruth were led out by tight-head prop Peter Joyce, who was playing his last game for the club before joining Cornish Pirates on a full-time contract.
The hosts took a sixth-minute lead when centre Sam Parsons finished off a good move involving both forwards and backs, and soon after, scrum half Greg Goodfellow scurried over beneath the posts after a burst from a breakdown, with Paul Thirlby adding the extras.
Lock Luke Collins then stretched for the line to score the Reds' third try and leave the All Blacks stunned.
The visitors hit back with a try by young winger Luke Tidball, converted by full back Kieron Lewitt, but Thirlby banged over two penalties to make it 23-7.
The All Blacks were given encouragement by a superb drive in Hellfire Corner to provide a try for prop Tim Mathias, but another Thirlby penalty made it 26-12 to the hosts at the interval.
The result was all but sealed early in the second half when former All Blacks centre Frazer Kellythorn raced in from halfway after an untidy line-out for a fine individual score to clinch a bonus point, with Thirlby converting, before adding two more penalties.
A fine break by replacement back rower Neil Broadbank provided yet another try for the Reds, this time scored by Collins for his second of the afternoon, with Thirlby again adding the extra two points to give him a personal 21-point haul and make it 46-12.
The All Blacks kept going though, and two late tries, the first by winger Richard Bright and the second from Cornwall Under-20 prop Mike Roach – his first league try for the club – secured them a bonus point, with Jake Murphy converting.
It was a bad weekend for the All Blacks, but at least prop Neil Bayliss had something to smile about, after his wife Suzi gave birth to their first child, Barnaby.