Cornwall RLFC

Neil Kelly Pre-Hunslet

Cornwall RLFC head coach Neil Kelly – Patrick Tod

Head coach Neil Kelly is expecting ‘a really tough challenge’ for Cornwall RLFC at Hunslet this afternoon.

The Choughs make their first ever visit to the South Leeds Stadium to take on the Parksiders on the back of a home reverse against Rochdale Hornets last time out.

Hunslet, meanwhile, snuck past Midlands Hurricanes 22-16 in Birmingham to record their second win of the campaign and first since defeating London Skolars in the capital in round one.

“Hunslet are a recognised League 1 side we can’t expect anything other than a really tough challenge,” Kelly told “Hunslet are not without their weaknesses but we have to go in and exploit those.

“Every team we have played so far this season have had weaknesses but we just haven’t been able to exploit them for long enough to trouble the scoreboard.”

Despite his side suffering their biggest reverse of 2022 so far at the hands of Rochdale at a rain-lashed Memorial ground seven days ago, Kelly praised the efforts of his side against a visiting outfit that contained former Man of Steel Rangi Chase amongst others. 

“When I sat back and watched the game, I got a different impression to that I felt on the day actually,” Kelly added. “I got a real appreciation for the hard work and effort from the players and I thought we did really well to a point.

“On a wet day, with a slight slope to the field,I felt we should have done a little bit better, but I am not going to criticise my team because of where we are in our development.

“The experience Rochdale had in their ranks with Rangi Chase, Patch (Sean Penkywicz), Greg McNally and players of that ilk, I think they knew how to play the conditions.

“We just didn’t have the experience to finish off the good work that our middles did with a positive outcome. That has been a big part of our work at training this week is to give ourselves an outcome at the end of our sets.

“Obviously we didn’t score last week but a try, forcing a repeat set or handing the ball over on the opposition’s line is a good outcome.”

Thankfully Kelly’s troops suffered nothing more than bumps and bruises after the Hornets defeat. But still shorn of both Jack Ray and Aaron Thomson, the Choughs’ chief moved to secure a deal to bring former Huddersfield Giants academy prospect Will Odgers to the Duchy. 

“Will is a good kid who has played in some good academies – not least at Huddersfield Giants,” Kelly remarked. “I have got good reports about him from my brother (Andy Kelly) who works at Huddersfield Giants and we feel that Will has further improvement in him as a player.

“I am expecting him to contribute against Hunslet and Will’s signing is a consequence of the injuries we have suffered. It is part and parcel of the game and we expected to get injuries and they have materialised which has left gaps in our squad.”