Neil Kelly Post Hunslet
July 4, 2022
Cornwall RLFC’s 36-24 reverse at the hands of Hunslet can still be viewed as progress for the side, says head coach Neil Kelly.
The Choughs were 12-0 up after 25 minutes of an enthralling Memorial Ground clash and despite Hunslet leading at the break, the teams were locked at 18-18 just after half-time.
The Parksiders, who were clearly shell-shocked during the opening exchanges, dug deep and three second-half scores went a long way towards securing two competition points.
Harry Aaronson’s late intercept score meant Cornwall finished with a flourish but the side ultimately came up short. However, at full time, Kelly refused to be downbeat about the showing from his side.
He said: “It was the first real game for us where we haven’t been thinking about a rearguard action. We have prepared against a heartland team with a view to win opposed to keeping the opposition’s score down.
“I think that is really significant for how far we’ve come as we had players missing from last week’s performance, players that could have come into the reckoning.
“For us to be within 12 points of the opposition and to compete in the arm wrestle for long periods, signifies how far we have come. Fair do’s to Hunslet as they got the win but everybody that was at the game could see that we had them on the rack.
“We have talked in the changing room about a big learning curve and the fact we are improving all the time. We are all eager to show that improvement in results and that was demonstrated in last week’s result, but we have to work harder.
“We have to learn some lessons, pick up on them and work on them for next week.”
Looking for further positives, Kelly lauded the performance of rugby union convert Brad Howe as ‘exceptional’.
The former Redruth man, who joined the Choughs until the end of the Betfred League 1 season last week, made his debut from the interchange bench against Hunslet.
“I thought that for someone who has only trained very briefly with us and signed in the past week, his performance was exceptional,” Kelly enthused. “I thought he ran the ball well and ran good lines. He defended superbly and I would have no hesitation in picking him next week.
“He would have wanted a win on his debut but for an individual debut, I think he has done superbly well.”