The Cornish All Blacks suffered a frustrating loss to Bedford Blues today, but the fight goes on to the final week.
Today's 22-18 loss was all the more annoying because the All Blacks trailed 14-0 and had fought back well with a Matt Jess try just before the half. After the break, the All Blacks camped down in the Bedford 22 and secured a penalty try as the Blues repeatedly stood up in the scrum.
In the end, however, the Blues were disciplined enough to hold the ball in their pack within their 22 for a full seven minutes without conceding a penalty or possession more than once. On that rare occasion Launceston saw a strike against the head negate their chances.
When all is said and done the All Blacks had enough chances to win today but missed touch from penalties, a couple of poor line out balls and the aforementioned scrum loss conspired to defeat them. They were by no means outplayed by one of the few teams in the league with a winning record but how much heart will it give them for next week?
The final week of the season sees the All Blacks away at champions Northampton. They are still out of the relegation places, with rivals Sedgeley Park at home to Rotherham and Pertemps Bees at Bedford. Assuming Launceston lose (and the Saints will be going for a 100% record) then they will be relegated if either of their rivals win.
Pics: Tim Collier and Keith Brookings work from the base of the ruck; Tim Collier feels the pain of a shoulder injury; Tinus Du Plessis on a head down charge; Wayne Reed on the charge; Reed sports an unusual hairdo on his final appearance at Polson Bridge; Try scorer Matt Jess leaves everyone in his wake