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Cliff Rainford is delighted as fast start lays platform for win

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 09, 2013

By Nigel Walrond

Exmouth flanker Todd Lowry attempts to break through the massed ranks of the Cornish All Blacks defence

Exmouth flanker Todd Lowry attempts to break through the massed ranks of the Cornish All Blacks defence

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CORNISH ALL BLACKS head coach Cliff Rainford praised his side's first-half display which provided the platform for their second victory in three National League Two South away games.

The one minor disappointment from Saturday's 32-25 Westcountry derby success at Exmouth, however, was not securing the bonus point.

"It was a very good win," Rainford declared.

"We took charge of the game in the first half. Exmouth came back at us in the second half, but we were always in control," he added.

"We tried to get the bonus point.

"The boys really put a shift in, but when Exmouth came back towards us, we had the opportunities but took kicks at goal just to keep the scoreboard ticking over, rather than going for the corner, trying to get the bonus point and then possibly losing the game.

"It was better to make sure we got the four points.

Rainford added: "We are starting to gel now and do what we have been doing at home away from home.

"We have been notoriously slow starters in the past, and we have been working hard over the past few weeks on making a good start to games.

"We had a cracking first 40 against Bournemouth in our last match and put the game to bed, and we did the same again against Exmouth.

"Now we have just got to work on maintaining that through 80 minutes, rather than only 50 or 60."

Rainford was pleased with how his team performed up front, having lost lock and skipper Ben Hilton to an infection the day before the match.

"Exmouth have got a good front row, with young guys in from the Exeter Chiefs Academy, and two big second rows, and they have got a good pack, but we had parity with them and got some good ball," he said.

"We dominated the line-out, and the scrums were pretty much even."

Next up for the All Blacks is a home game against struggling Bristol side Dings Crusaders, who have lost six on the trot.

"Dings are a gnarly old bunch and never give up the chase and you can't take them too lightly," said Rainford.

"They always have strong, abrasive forwards and we have got to make sure we take charge of the game and win the collisions and dominate around the breakdown."

Exmouth took the lead with a try by hooker Tom Emery in the corner, but the All Blacks struck back with a penalty from full-back Kieron Lewitt, followed by a try from centre Sam Chapman in the corner after good work by the forwards.

Prop Tim Mathias scored a typical forwards touchdown from five metres out to stretch the visitors' advantage.

Lewitt converted the try, and when Jake Murphy dropped a goal, the visiting All Blacks led 21-5.

Home centre Rich Cadywould replied with a drop goal and a penalty before the break to cut the deficit to 21-11, and the Cockles made further inroads with a 54th-minute try from Todd Lowry, converted by Cadywould.

Lewitt landed a penalty in reply, before centre Ryan Westren punched a hole in Exmouth's back line to cross the whitewash and establish a 29-18 lead.

The Cockles responded with a penalty try awarded against Mathias, who was yellow carded, but Lewitt settled any nerves the All Blacks might have had by converting a late penalty.

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