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Tom Rawlings urges Launceston players to continue good form

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 23, 2014

By Bill Sobey @billsobey

Tom Rawlings urges Launceston players to continue good form

Cornish All Blacks flanker Tom Rawlings

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CORNISH ALL BLACKS flanker Tom Rawlings called on his side to complete their complete their comeback from the brink in style this season.

The Launceston club lost six of the seven games leading up to their victory over Taunton Titans, leaving them in danger of relegation from National League Two South.

They also lost Tom’s brother, and influential back-row, Mike Rawlings to a career-ending injury and their head coach, Spike Rainford, was sacked.

However, they produced one of the best performances of their current campaign to record a 15-10 win at Polson Bridge.

Tom Rawlings said: “It has been a very tough last four or five weeks but it was a great performance today. We couldn’t ask any more from the guys.

“Taunton are a superb outfit and they are having a great season, but that game was ours today, we really wanted it. If it wasn’t for my donkey moment, missing a great chance in the first half, we would have been a little further in the lead and the pressure would have been on Taunton a little bit more.

“[Acting director of rugby] Neil Bayliss really bigged it up in the changing room and told us to go out and deliver. We stepped up and it is important that we stay like this, stay tight and keep enjoying it.”

Although there were plenty of eye-catching moves from the backs against Taunton, it was a forward, BJ Chapman, who won the man-of-the-match award.

Tom Rawlings added: “The whole pack was superb and gave the backs a lot of ball today. We worked hand in hand and very well together whereas in previous weeks we have found ourselves bickering and arguing. Hopefully, it is onwards and upwards from here.”

Former Launceston head coach Chris Brown, who now coaches the Titans, was impressed with his old club.

He said: “I thought it was a tremendous advert for the division. It just shows what Launceston are capable of and ourselves too – you want to see hard-fought close matches with the skill level high.

“In the first half we got everything right but I think they would have been disappointed having put down a couple of balls and missed chances.

“I’m disappointed that when we had opportunities we didn’t get phase possession with any momentum. We didn’t get the go-forward and there were some crucial set-pieces that we lost.”

The All Blacks are in the process of recruiting a new head coach. Brown has been linked with a return but said the honour of leading the club should now fall to someone else.

“It is the most fantastic club I have ever been involved with and I had a wonderful time,” said Brown. “It is somebody else’s turn but I’m sure whoever steps in will be aware of the history and the passion here.

“And I know they will have enough raw material here to really kick on.”

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