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Spike Rainford hopes Cornish All Blacks can rebuild walls of Fortress Polson

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

Cornish All Blacks head coach Spike Rainford

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Fortress Polson Bridge may have been breached by Ampthill last weekend but the Cornish All Blacks are determined to rebuild the walls against Southend this weekend.

The Launceston side were unbeaten at home all season until a 38-23 loss on Saturday. It was a bitter end to a difficult week for the club.

Popular forward Mike Rawlings had been forced to retire with a serious eye injury and head coach Spike Rainford announced his intention to step down from his role at the end of the current campaign.

However, Rainford says the squad have enjoyed a more settled week and are looking forward to moving clear of the relegation zone. They are currently level on points with Dings Crusaders in the last of the three relegation spots but have a game in hand.

Rainford said: “As a squad, we were gutted to lose our 100 per cent home record last weekend. We wanted to go throughout the season at Fortress Polson undefeated until the end of April. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

“The lads have all settled back down this week. We just have to concentrate on the last six or seven games we have left and get ourselves as high up the league as possible. I would like to think I could leave the club in a better position than I found it.

“It would be very pleasing to ensure the club is left in a good place for next season. It is very difficult now with the economy starting to pick up in the south east.

“You find the clubs around there are in a stronger position financially and just have to do our best to compete with that.”

Rainford’s men ended Southend’s own unbeaten home record when the sides met in November. His side’s ever-improving forwards will have a crucial part to play.

“We proved on Saturday that we’ve got a pack that can compete with anybody and we’ll be looking to do that again this weekend,” said Rainford.

“We beat them up there and we believe we can do it again. They are a gnarly side who are very good around the breakdown.

“It was a great feeling to travel back with the points that day and I really hope the boys can complete a league double this weekend.”

Rainford hopes to keep changes to a minimum this weekend but might have to tinker with his forwards. He said: “I might have to make some front-row changes but otherwise we’re looking good.”

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