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Six-game season lies in wait for All Blacks after Cambridge loss

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 16, 2014

Bryn Jenkins. Picture: Iktis Photo/Simon Bryant

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CORNISH ALL BLACKS lock Bryn Jenkins said he was unable to put his finger on why the Duchy outfit’s away form has been so wretched this season.

The Cornishmen suffered a heavy six tries to one defeat at Cambridge to leave them deep in National Two South relegation trouble.

It was their 11th loss in 13 games on the road, with their last success away from Polson Bridge coming in early December against bottom-of-the-table Exmouth.

They are now two points adrift of safety, with six matches remaining, and they face a difficult home game against sixth-placed Taunton Titans next Saturday.

“It's a six-game season for us now, and we need to get some points and score some tries if we're to stay up and it's going to be a hard slog,” said All Blacks lock Jenkins, who was playing against his former club on Saturday.

“Starting badly has been a bit of a habit for us this season playing away from home. We concede early and we start to struggle. I don’t know why we can’t do it away. I think it's a head issue more than anything for us now.

“We’ve got Taunton at home next week and we’ve got to win our home games, and turn our season around. We're playing well in patches but we need to join those together into an 80-minute performance.

“All the boys want to stay up and we have to work hard on Tuesdays and Thursdays and get the results we need.”

The All Blacks were never really at the races at Cambridge, and it was not until five minutes from time that they managed to score a try.

They conceded two tries in the opening ten minutes, to lock Gareth Baxter and blindside flanker Ollie Marriott, with full-back Jim Wigglesworth converting the second for a 12-0 lead.

Home scrum-half Jack Daly added a third touchdown before the break, with the All Blacks’ only points of the half coming from a 37th-minute penalty by full-back Kieron Lewitt to leave them 17-3 adrift at the interval.

Lewitt kicked a second penalty early in the second half, but scores from Cambridge inside-centre Jamie Ayrton and wing Mike Gillick, after 50 and 69 minutes respectively, both converted by Wigglesworth, confirmed the result.

The All Blacks finally crossed the whitewash when skipper Ben Hilton gathered the ball off team-mate Jenkins to score a try, converted by fly-half Jake Murphy. But there was still time for ex-Penryn loose-head prop Jamal Ford-Robinson to grab his side’s sixth try.

Cambridge: Wigglesworth (Penfold 69); Gillick, Diggin, J Ayrton, M Ayrton; Green, Daly (Kevan 59); Ford-Robinson (Allard 80), Griffiths (Gracey 64), Allard (Miller 57); Wolfenden (Conquest 59), Baxter; Marriott, Harry, Brownlie (Griffiths 76).

Scorers: Tries – Baxter, Marriott, Daly,

J Ayrton, Gillick, Ford-Robinson; Conversions – Wigglesworth (3).

Yellow card: Marriott (37).

Cornish All Blacks: Lewitt (Speares 64); Yeo, Westren, Hooper, S Chapman; Murphy, Friend; Naqasima (Brown 69), Salter (Semmens 52), Pow (Bayliss 79); Jenkins, Hilton (capt); Courtier (Davies 57), T Rawlings, BJ Chapman.

Scorers: Try – Hilton; Conversion – Murphy; Penalties – Lewitt (2).

Yellow card: Yeo (27).

Referee: C Ridley (RFU).

Attendance: 294.

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