Mullally ‘Encouraged’ by Cornwall’s Season So Far
June 21, 2022
With their maiden Betfred League 1 campaign now past the mid-way point, Super League winner and Irish international Anthony Mullally is ‘encouraged’ that Cornwall RLFC are on the right path, writes Tom Howe.
With his background in the game, the former Leeds Rhinos prop forward is one of the Choughs’ more recognisable talents and stood out again in the side’s most recent match – a 56-12 defeat at home to League One leaders Keighley Cougars.
The 30-year-old, who has represented Ireland in two World Cups, gained further top flight experience with Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity and Bradford Bulls before uprooting to Canada, France and now Cornwall.
Whilst fully appreciative of the Choughs’ current limitations, with the club still very much in the dawn of their development, Mullally has seen enough to predict a bright future for the well supported Penryn-based outfit, who again attracted a crowd numbering over 1,000 for the Keighley clash.
“It was an encouraging performance,” Mullally told Cornwall Sports Media after the final siren. “Obviously before the game the press were expecting Keighley to run up a decent scoreline. It wasn’t the best for us in the end but there are definitely things that we can take from it and build on. We actually beat ourselves a lot of the time. That is our narrative at the moment and we need to change that pretty quickly.
“We knew that if we stuck in there and made it awkward for Keighley, then it wasn’t going to be the easiest day for them. We just need to regroup and cut out these lapses in concentration. Where we are suffering is game management and the ability to know when to hold and when to fold.
“There is a massive naivety in our game, though. We congratulate ourselves for not conceding a try in five minutes and then make a silly error when it is time to be clinical. To be ruthless and tough doesn’t mean you have to take someone’s head off, it means you are clinical in your application. I’m talking like these are bad things but I am encouraged, we need to keep building on these things.”
Despite results on the pitch not going their way, with ten defeats from as many outings, a partisan Cornish crowd continues to support their new representatives at every opportunity, often travelling hundreds of miles to cheer on the Choughs.
“It’s great,” beamed Mullally. “The last few games have been in the rain but we have still seen fans turning up and we really appreciate that. We are only going to get stronger. It is year one, a work in progress and we are building an infrastructure for year two, year three, year four and year five. We have got big plans and just need to get through this year with a decent amount of dignity and build on it.
“It’s our first season, after barely two months of pre-season and starting with hardly any players. We are trying not to fall victim to circumstance and to create our story. Everyone is committed and doing the best they can. It is just different and we are trying to work things out as we go along.”
He concluded: “This isn’t predominantly a rugby league county but once you come and check it out you can see it is a faster pace than rugby union and people like it because it is free flowing. It is a lot more dynamic in my opinion. It is non-stop. Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed.”