Neil Kelly Post Doncaster
July 12, 2022
Head coach Neil Kelly praised the spirit shown by his Cornwall RLFC side after they went down 44-10 to Doncaster in their latest Betfred League 1 clash.
The Choughs, searching for a maiden professional triumph on home soil, were given a mountain to climb just 12 minutes into the round 14 clash when Luke Collins was sent off.
The Australian raised hooker found himself back in the sheds for dissent and at that stage, Cornwall were 4-0 behind.
The 12-men rallied to lead 6-4 after 20 minutes thanks to Jack Ray’s converted try but once a scheduled water break due to searing heat had been completed, Doncaster scored five further tries to seize control.
Cornwall did have the last word of the opening stanza through Adam Rusling’s intercept try and in the second period, the Dons scored just twice more – one of those coming in the dying embers.
“I am really proud of the lads to go in 32-10 down at half time to only concede two tries in the second 40,” said Kelly at full-time. “I would love to discount the last try because it was right on the hooter but I can’t.
“For us only to concede two tries in the second half with 12 men on a hot day, when we are running out of substitutes, means the team have shown tremendous spirit in difficult circumstances.”
Asked for his take on Collins’ red card, Kelly, the former Super League Coach of the Year said he would wait until the findings of the Rugby Football League’s Match Review Panel, with the findings set to be known this coming Thursday.
“I think the game was summed up in one action because the sending off finished it as a realistic contest and we were back to damage limitation from that point onwards,” he added.
“I have to say that I am disappointed with the nature of some of the scores after the sending off. They were too easy for any professional rugby field and I need to make sure that we are not under-selling our right hand defensive side by making our left hand side too strong.
“I’m not too sure what’s gone on with the sending off but I have always been of the belief that when you see high shots and tip-tackles, when they are not more dangerous than what someone says, it is a pretty strange situation.
“When we hear the full report of what has been said, that might say that it was justification for why Luke got sent off. He is a totally inoffensive lad and I would be really surprised if he has done anything worthy of a sending off – that’s all I can say on it.”