Cornwall RLFC


Neil Kelly Pre-London Skolars

June 3, 2022

Cornwall chief Neil Kelly – Izzy Ninnis Photography

Head coach Neil Kelly says that there is a ‘real determination’ within his Cornwall RLFC squad as they host London Skolars at the Mem tomorrow (Saturday) 3.00pm.

Last time out in the Duchy, Kelly’s troops were defeated 20-0 by West Wales Raiders before showing vast improvement at Swinton in their final match of May.

Despite the 54-16 reverse at Heywood Road, Cornwall more than matched the promotion chasing Lions for large parts of the 80 minutes but were, at times, architects of their own collective downfall due to ill-discipline.

Meanwhile, for London, they make the trip west in fine spirits after a morale-boosting 38-16 over Oldham Roughyeds in the Betfred Challenge Cup Final’s unofficial curtain raiser, which took place eight days ago. 

“The result for London Skolars against Oldham certainly won’t change my approach to the game,” Kelly told “We are treating them with the respect they deserve and looking back to West Wales, I don’t think we treated the game with enough respect.

“No rugby league match should be won without doing the basics of the game right and a 50 per cent completion rate tells its own story. That’s not good enough and if we turn that rate around against London Skolars, it will be a similar result to that which we experienced in the last home game.

“However, there seems to be a real determination within the group which is good to see and for London, their result against Oldham gives them a real confidence boost.

“But we are at home, I think we should always win at home and if we do those basics right, then we have a chance in this game.”

For the round 10 clash, which marks the mid-way point of Cornwall’s debut Betfred League 1 season, Kelly’s team should be the fresher of the two sides after they enjoyed a 14-day break period from the Swinton loss. 

The former Super League Coach of the Year went on to reveal that the two weeks without a match helped with the recovery of Cornwall’s injured stars.

He added: “We have got one or two one or two walking wounded from week-to-week football so the break has given them the opportunity to get their bodies right.

“We also have some players that aren’t week-to-week in terms of their injuries but the break gives them a bit more time to aid specific recoveries.

“Injuries aside, it is only right, whether your team is winning or losing to give (players) a well-deserved rest.”

The game has come too early for Aaron Thomson (knee) and Jack Ray (hand) although the latter is nearing a return to full fitness. 

But despite being without several key members of personnel, those continued absences have been tempted with the permanent arrival of Jamaican winger Aaron Jones-Bishop. Meanwhile, half-back Adam Rusling has extended his loan from Hull Kingston Rovers until the end of the season. 

“Everybody I have spoken to within the game has said what a good player Adam Rusling is,” said Kelly. “I knew that already from watching his tapes and despite getting off to a bad start against West Wales, he more than rectified that at Swinton with his two tries.

“He also demonstrated to me some really good approach play and I am looking for Adam to go from strength to strength in the second half of the season.

“I am very happy to have him onboard and our other signing Aaron Jones-Bishop is a regognised international. He has been in and around some really good clubs and I see him as a real acquisition for us.

“And it is a really good a prospect for Cornwall to have a player that could possibly play in the World Cup in our ranks.”