|Lywydh||Posted 1 year ago|
Skipper backs role for players Wednesday, April 25, 2012
CORNISH All Blacks skipper Tom Rawlings is keen to see a player appointed to the club's executive committee to help improve communication.
Doubts were cast over the All Blacks fulfilling their final two games of the National Two South season after the players were informed they would not be receiving any of their wages for the remainder of the campaign.
However, they were given assurances at a meeting at Polson Bridge last week that the majority of the funding to pay outstanding wages had been secured, and that finding the balance "would continue in earnest until the shortfall is achieved".
It enabled last Saturday's game at Taunton to go ahead, and the All Blacks bring the curtain down on their campaign with a home match against league leaders Old Albanians on Saturday.
Rawlings said it was now time for everyone at the club to "move forward".
"We need a players' representative on the committee, fighting the players' corner, so we know what is going on and what is being said," said the skipper, who admitted that idea had been put forward by one of the committee members themselves.
"There has been a massive breakdown in communication between the committee and the players during the last couple of months and a lot of trust has been lost.
"We now want to build a club for next season that can not only compete, but that can also get by financially.
"I think the committee knew there might be a shortfall back in January or February, and if they had spoken to the players then, we could have avoided what has taken place.
"I am sure the players would have said that at least the club were being honest with them, and if anyone hadn't been prepared to carry on in that situation, then we don't really need players like that at the club anyway.
"We want people who are going to buy into what the club is about, and all the boys have stuck together.
"Some people would have looked at the recent newspaper headlines and accused us of only playing for the money, but it is not like that at all.
"The guys just want honesty and wanted to know what was going on, because they rely on that money coming in."
Rawlings said it was "massively important" that everything the club did was sustainable.
"If they can only afford £20 a game, then so be it," he said. "At least you would get the players who really want to play for the club staying.
"The way the players have stuck by the club over the last three seasons, when we have taken a financial hit, shows they back the club and love the club and they want to be there, and that it is not about money, it is about the club itself.
"I think we have moved forward massively during the past week as a club as a whole, and have definitely all learned a lot and we can now start to build for next year.
"We just want to be one club – committee, players, sponsors and supporters – all working together. That is the best way to move forward, especially for a big community club with a great mini/junior set-up.
"We need to ensure there is a decent level of rugby there for many years to come for those talented youngsters stepping up through the club."
|Lywydh||Posted 1 year ago|
Perry has backing of Rawlings to take charge
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Western Morning News
Cornish All Blacks skipper Tom Rawlings has backed Steve Perry to take over from Tony Roques as head coach next season.
Roques stepped down from his position at the Launceston club following Saturday's win over Old Albanians in their final National League Two South game of the season.
Rawlings believes backs player-coach Perry would be the ideal successor. He said: "Tony is leaving really big boots to fill but Steve Perry is a great coach, he has been at the club for years, and everyone respects him.
"I'd like to see him step into the role. Getting the coaching team in place is the next thing we need to do. Hopefully we can get those guys in place for next year and move forward."
Perry has been in talks with the club and an official decision will be made by May 21, when the club holds its annual meeting at Polson Bridge.
He said: "There's nothing confirmed at the moment but I'm talking to the club and seeing what they want to do as a committee. There will be a decision made soon on what I'd like to do.
"Tony Roques gave me a great opportunity to coach the backs and mange the attack when he was head coach. He let me have freedom with that and I've thoroughly enjoyed it."
Rawlings also spoke highly of Roques' contribution to the club and credited the former Saracens man with maintaining the squad's morale after relegation from League One last season.
Rawlings expects prop Tim Mathias to become the players' representative on the club's executive committee, in a move designed to create better lines of communication between the club and its players.
The All Blacks finished sixth in League Two South this term but came close to forfeiting the final two games of the season, following a player revolt over unpaid wages. A compromise was reached ahead of their away trip to Taunton and the players were invited to nominate a representative to join the committee.
Rawlings said: "I think it's a great idea to have a player on the executive committee and, if Tim Mathias is around next year, he might be the man we ask to do it. I think it would build a good relationship with everyone on the committee and keep the communication there.
"That's what broke down this year. We could have avoided the stand we made through being told about the financial problems in January when they found out there would be a shortfall."
The club expects to keep the majority of the squad in place for next season despite interest from Championship clubs. However, Rawlings urged the club to make the coaching set-up a priority.
|Lywydh||Posted 1 year ago|
All Blacks coach happy with staff
Friday, July 13, 2012
CORNISH All Blacks head coach Cliff Rainford admitted that getting his coaching line-up in place had given him "peace of mind".
Club captain Tom Rawlings had already been confirmed as assistant coach, and will work with the players on conditioning, and he is now joined by Tim Mathias as player-forwards coach and Kieron Lewitt as player-backs coach.
Rainford and his three fellow coaches were all at the club last season, which should help provide continuity as the All Blacks prepare for the kick-off of their National Two South season with a home game against Chinnor on Saturday, September 1.
"They are all very experienced, seasoned guys who are all looking to step up and move on," Rainford told the Cornish Guardian.
"It is really good from that point of view, and a big help to me.
"Tom has stepped in as my assistant and is a really massive influence on the players. He will also continue as club captain this year.
"Kieron is in his fourth season with us now, so he is not a young player any more. He is experienced and can lead from the back, and Tim is a massive player for us, has great experience and he brings a lot to the side.
"We have also got other big players, such as Neil Bayliss and a few others, who are very experienced as well, so hopefully it works very well."
Talented full back Lewitt, 27, was the club's Player of the Year in the 2011-12 season after finishing the campaign as National Two South's top goalkicker with 290 points.
Prop forward Mathias, who turned 31 last month, has had three previous spells with Plymouth Albion and his former clubs also include Mounts Bay and Truro.
Meanwhile, Rainford is considering several options as he looks to strengthen his hooker position following the departures of Jamie Salter and Darren Semmens to Championship sides Plymouth Albion and Cornish Pirates in the space of a week.
"It is a feather in the club's cap that they have joined Championship clubs, and once they finish at that level, and they want to come back, the door is always open," said Rainford.
"I really hope Darren and Jamie do well and get in their sides, but I have already spoken to them and said, if it doesn't work out come the start of the season and they are not getting game time, then we are here.
"I have had long conversations with both Ian Davies (Pirates head coach) and Nat Saumi (Albion head coach) to say if you have got guys who are not getting game time, then look at us to see if we can give them some game time.
"It is not dead in the water yet that we might have one or both of them back at the All Blacks at some point in the season.
"In the meantime, I have got other irons in other fires.
"Some guys had big games for the second team last year and benched for the first team, and I would like to see them progress through.
"They know they have got a golden opportunity between now and the start of the season to show they have got the tools to step up, and if that happens, I would be more than happy.
"Tom Hurdwell is staying with us, he was a massive influence for us last year and came off the bench a lot of times and did a great job.
"He can play at loose-head prop and hooker, we have also got Fred Bulut, and a couple of other guys with us at the moment, who we are waiting to see if they decide to stay, but we are not thin on the ground by any measure.
"We have lost two big names and it will be hard to fill their boots, but I am sure, given the opportunity, other guys will step up and do a job."
|Lywydh||Posted 1 year ago|
Rawlings delighted by second half show Friday, August 10, 2012 Cornish Guardian
Plymouth Albion 67, Cornish All Blacks 0
CORNISH All Blacks' assistant coach Tom Rawlings was delighted with the second-half response from the players after they were thrashed in their opening pre-season friendly at Brickfields.
The two-division-gap between the sides looked every bit of that, and more, in the first half as Albion went on the rampage.
They scored two tries inside the first three minutes, five in the first 18 minutes, and with the All Blacks trailing 48-0 at the break and only youngsters on the replacements' bench, everyone feared the worst in the second period.
But the All Blacks stepped their game up and only conceded 19 more points, with 14 of those coming while skipper Rawlings was in the sin-bin after what was deemed a late tackle on Albion fly half Paul Roberts.
"We were very, very happy with the response we got from the players in the second half," said Rawlings.
"That was what we wanted – a bit of passion, and a bit of pride – to kick-start our season, which started at Albion, not when we play Chinnor in the league on September 1.
"We were chasing some serious shadows in the first half," added the back rower.
"It was hard and we always knew we were going to be up against it. We were playing a Championship team, who put out a strong starting line-up.
"We had a couple of guys drop out before the game – hooker Tom Hurdwell and full-back Kieron Lewitt - with little niggles, which was a bit frustrating.
"We went in a bit disappointed after the first half, but we said we wanted a response, whether it be for 30 seconds in the second half, or for the whole of the second half, and we definitely got that response.
"It was a lot better, our attacking rugby flowed, our fly-halves and our key men were putting guys into space, and we kept hold of the ball and looked after it.
"In defence, we were more positive around the breakdown, we contested it a little bit, we made it hard for them and we didn't give them clean ball, something which we weren't doing in the first half.
"We kept our shape a lot better as well, and our first-up tackles were being made, which we lacked before the break."
The All Blacks gave a run-out to a lot of youngsters in the second period, including several members of last season's Cornwall Under-20 squad, and they did not disappoint.
"We had about ten 17 or 18-year-olds who all played against seasoned professionals who train every single day, and man for man, Albion had about five to ten kilos in weight on each of our players, which does make a difference, but they didn't look out of place.
"We want to give youngsters a go at the club, we want them to experience a good level of rugby at that sort of age so they can carry that on into their playing careers."
Albion got off to a cracking start, with two tries inside the first three minutes from former Truro College skipper Herbie Stupple and winger Tom Bowen, quickly followed by further touchdowns from debutant former Cornish Pirates winger Rhodri McAtee with two, and ex-All Blacks and Liskeard-Looe back rower Sam Hocking, with fly half Paul Roberts converting three.
There was no respite for the shellshocked All Blacks, who shipped three more tries before the break - from centre Paul Bailey, Hocking again, and trialist Sidmouth full-back Tom Whelan - with Roberts kicking one conversion to make it 48-0 at the break.
However, after the interval, it took a yellow card for Rawlings in the 58th minutes for Albion to add to their tally, through debutant replacement full-back Louis Messer, and a penalty try.
Roberts converted both, and former Camborne flanker Sam Matavesi completed the scoring with a try seven minutes from time.
|Lywydh||Posted 1 year ago|
Rainford defends friendly decision Friday, August 10, 2012 Cornish Guardian
CORNISH All Blacks head coach Cliff Rainford said he had "no regrets" playing Plymouth Albion in the Duchy club's opening pre-season friendly after they suffered a 67-0 hammering.
The All Blacks shipped 11 tries against their two-leagues-higher Championship opponents at Brickfields last Friday night.
Rainford said: "It is always one of those things, when you arrange these games in pre-season, you ask yourself whether you should play a match against a Championship side first up because it is going to be a hard task, but I am really glad we did.
"We asked the question of the players at half-time of whether they were going to step up, and they did.
"For 20 to 25 minutes of the second half, it was even stevens, and we closed a two-division gap between the two sides down to nothing, which was a massive bonus for us.
"In the last five minutes, pretty much the whole of our pack was aged under 22 or 23, and we pushed Albion right to the limit and almost managed a score at the end.
"The young guys really impressed and really did a job. The floodgates didn't open when we brought them on. They saw what they had to do, and stepped up, but I was really pleased right across the squad."
Rainford added: "We have got a game at Exmouth on Friday night, and then we have got a double header against Barnstaple and Newton Abbot next Saturday at Polson Bridge, and I think the Albion game has put us in good stead for those matches."
|Lywydh||Posted 1 year ago|
Key duo set to feature for All Blacks
Friday, August 17, 2012
CORNISH All Blacks fans will be hoping to see key forwards Josh Lord and Ben Hilton in action for the first time this summer during the pre-season double header at Polson Bridge tomorrow.
The All Blacks take on Newton Abbot at 1.30pm, and follow that with a clash against the All Whites' National Three South West rivals Barnstaple at 3.30pm.
That will mark a return to the club of Steve Perry, who was player-backs coach at Launceston last season, and has now taken up a similar role with Barum.
It was set to be a round-robin event, but Newton Abbot and Barnstaple are not keen to play each other as they will meet twice during the league season.
"We are still trying to get Josh and Ben tied down to the club," explained All Blacks' assistant coach Tom Rawlings. "They are big players for us who we need for the new season.
"Hopefully we will get to see them play this weekend, before our league season gets under way two weeks later."
Supporters will also get the opportunity to see summer signing from Barnstaple, half-back Nielson Webber, who has shown up well in the opening pre-season games against Plymouth Albion and Exmouth.
The 23-year-old was particularly impressive in last Friday's 12-5 win at Exmouth, when he played at fly-half, rather than his more recognised position at scrum-half.
"He has been the stand-out player so far for us in pre-season," said Rawlings.
"He has got a very mature head on him, and he put us in the right areas of the pitch. He was playing at number 10 against Exmouth as well, when he is really a scrum-half, and I am really happy with him."
The All Blacks aim to name a different set of players for each match, with one side slightly stronger than the other, and the plan at the time of going to press is to play two 80-minute games.
"We have got a lot of work to do, and we are a little way off where we want to be, but it is pre-season and that's what it is about," said Rawlings.
The All Blacks will be hoping that hooker Tom Hurdwell is fit to play, after he limped off against Exmouth with a recurrence of an ankle injury, and flanker Rawlings had to play 35 minutes in the front row.
"I hit a couple of scrums as hooker the previous night in training, thinking that in a worst-case scenario I could play there, but I wasn't planning on playing as long as 35 minutes in the front row," said Rawlings. "I respected it before, but I have got even more respect for front row play now!"
The two games are all part of a "fun day" being run by the club, with a bouncy castle and sumo suits on site for children, and the possibility of a tug of war for older supporters.
Admission is £2 for adults and free of charge for juniors.
|Lywydh||Posted 1 year ago|
We still have a lot to learn – Rawlings
Friday, August 17, 2012
Exmouth 5 Cornish All Blacks 12
CORNISH All Blacks assistant coach Tom Rawlings admitted they still had plenty to work on after their narrow victory over one-league-lower Exmouth at the Imperial Ground last Friday.
Tries by centre Jake Murphy and hugely impressive fly half Nielson Webber helped them to a 12-0 interval lead, but they were unable to trouble the scoreboard in the second period, while the Cockles managed a try from Jack Downie on the hour mark.
Rawlings said: "There were lots of positives, but also areas to work on, but a win is a win, and with the young side we have got, that is what we were looking for – a response to the defeat at Plymouth Albion – and we got one, even though it was not by a load of points.
"We have played at Exmouth several times in pre-season before, and other teams lower than us, and it is always going to be hard because you are the team in a higher league and they want to turn you over.
"Exmouth were good and played well, and they had some big boys who did a bit of damage against us.
"They scored a late try to pull the deficit back a little bit, and it made the final score look a bit tighter than it actually was.
"We were unfortunate not to score a few more tries. We scored two tries in the first half and we should really have been looking to put a few more points on them in the second period.
"We wanted to link a bit better in the key areas. We had several balls down in their 22 and we didn't manage to score, which was frustrating, but we were again missing some key figures."
The All Blacks were without influential forwards Josh Lord and Ben Hilton, who are yet to play for the club in pre-season and are still to sign new contracts for the 2012-13 campaign, and unavailable centres Lewis Paterson and Liam Yeo.
"I think they would have made a difference in what was a very young team we had out on the pitch," admitted Rawlings.
The All Blacks took the lead after 24 minutes when prop Tim Mathias gratefully caught an overthrown line-out by the hosts and triggered a move which saw outside centre Sam Chapman cut a superb line through the Exmouth defence, before sending inside centre Murphy in for a try beneath the uprights, with the latter's conversion hitting the upright.
Twelve minutes later, Exmouth dropped a pass inside the All Blacks' 22, Webber hacked on twice in a race downfield and then accepted a perfect bounce of the ball to cross the whitewash, and this time Murphy added the extras.
The only score in a second half littered with replacements saw Exmouth collect a well-deserved try after 59 minutes, when Downie scored in the right-hand corner after a move off the back of a five-metre scrum.
The Cockles came very close to snatching a try that could have levelled the scores in the final minute when Downie fly-hacked the ball on towards the All Blacks' line, but Chapman was back bravely to rescue the situation, and suffered a bang to his head for his troubles.
The All Blacks' shortage of hookers at the club, following the departure of Jamie Salter and Darren Semmens to Championship clubs during the summer, was evident early in the second half, when Tom Hurdwell limped off with an ankle injury, and Rawlings was pressed into service in the front row.
|Sharron Wormald||Posted 1 year ago|
How did yesterday's games go and who turned out for us? Bit worried about the lack of cover at hooker.
|Lywydh||Posted 1 year ago|
All I can find so far.... (Bottom paragraph)
The Cornish All Blacks were beaten 26-14 in a 40-minute friendly against Barnstaple at Polson Bridge. Barum, coached by former All Black Steve Perry, scored tries through Mark and Luke Berry, Will Topps and Jamie Lewis. The All Blacks replied with touchdowns from Tim Mathias and Ben Hilton. Barnstaple then lost a second 40-minute match against Newton Abbot 7-0.
|David Perry||Posted 1 year ago|
I didn't see all of it but what I did see wasn't a pretty sight, poor tackling!
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