Neil Kelly Post West Wales Raiders
June 28, 2022
Head coach Neil Kelly says that Cornwall RLFC’s first ever win has the potential to be massive for the fledgling professional outfit.
The Choughs triumphed 24-4 over West Wales Raiders in Llanelli on Saturday with Harry Aaronson (2), Liam Whitton (2) and Joe Purcell crossing the whitewash for the visitors.
West Wales’ indiscipline hampered their chances of doing the double over Cornwall with three Raiders sent to the sin bin during the 80 minutes by referee Jamie Jones.
However, despite Cornwall’s numerical advantage in the game, they thoroughly deserved the win for endeavour in attack and never-say-die attitude in defence.
“The win could be massive for the club and it’s great that we have won away from home,” said Kelly when asked about the potential springboard the win will give Cornwall. “It would have been great to have won at home to give our supporters a victory in front of their own eyes.
“We will return to Penryn to play Hunslet this week and we’re in the competition. I know that may sound a little bit silly, but we are now properly taking part in a competition by right.
“We are earning a lot of credibility that way too and the respect we are earning from other teams, especially those from the heartland areas, is probably the biggest cause of pride that I feel.
“I’m from the north, but to earn the respect of people I have grown up playing rugby with and against, in all those years, gives us credibility.
“The next stage is to back our first win up week in and week out because that is what professional rugby league is all about.”
With Kelly and his side celebrating as expected at full time, the 60-year-old former Super League Coach of the Year said that the magnitude of victory won’t sink in for a while yet.
He also described that achieving a first victory for Cornwall ranks amongst his highest moments in rugby league.
“When I get that bit of that time on my own I will reflect on a game where I’m not trying to artificially look for positives,” he added. “I will recognise that this win gives us some huge positives but I know there are areas we can improve upon.
“It is not lost on me the magnitude of this victory both in this league campaign and in historical rugby terms for Cornwall to win their first ever game.
“This win is up there with any other achievement I have in rugby. The season has been difficult and even the build-up to this game was difficult.
“This victory shouldn’t hide the fact that we are still learning and finding our feet as a club – both on and off the field.
“That said, to earn a victory, it energises you to face the day-to-day challenges that come with starting a brand new team and club.
“I always said I wanted to be part of a development side and it has been tough. However, when you get your first win, it makes it all seem worthwhile.”