Cornwall’s skipper Ben Hilton has penned his thoughts on the defeat last Saturday at Hertford.
He and the rest of the squad also look forward to sharing a beer or two with all the supporters after the final whistle.
“First of all…Let me thank everyone who came up to Herts to support the boys. We gave it our best shot, certainly against a much stronger team on paper. For 70 minutes we absolutely crushed a very very capable team, unfortunately for us, they showed just how capable in a spell of about 6 minutes or so. That is a sign of a very good team – to play poorly and still end up with a W!
“For us I think we should be disappointed and it also highlights just how much focus is required throughout the entire game. They capitalised on our few mistakes and there really were, literally, just a few. We played the game perfectly but for a few minor minor events / decisions / mistakes.
“For me – to give a full penalty for an accidental offside from the kick off knock on is rather officous, Sam (Hocking) was unlucky and the ball bounced and hit Bryns’ leg. They ended up scoring from that penalty.
“Our kick off didn’t go 10, giving them possession immediately after they picked up the pace. This eventually swung the momentum and resulted in a second try in quick succession.
“Other than that I thought we managed the game perfectly up until that point. Yes I would have expected a penalty try considering we did have their scrum over their try-line on at least 7 occasions but only to be reset or be awarded only a full arm penalty. What was said before the game about aspects of the scrum were not upheld during the game, which is frustrating. I know there will be some out there who said I should have persevered with the scrum dominance but in my opinion for the Herts scrum half to dive on the ball – while we were walking over their try-line to score a pushover, is somewhat cynical – when I asked the referee if he felt that was a try scoring opportunity he said no and awarded us a penalty. Two minutes left to play – do I risk any number of things happening or going wrong in yet another scrum? Or do I take the relatively straight forward 3 point shot, we then get the ball back and see out the final minute? I chose the cup final approach that is county rugby and the percentages say take the shot to gain the lead. If you get a chance – take it. The wind kicked up and swirled the ball off the post. Very, very difficult pill to swallow for me and I am sure the rest of the boys and the supporters alike feel equally down.
“We would like to see everyone down at Camborne where we all will be signing off our rugby season. Please come down and have a beer with the guys – everyone is staying for a social after the North Midlands match. I think we will be in for a very tough match after a deflating week. We will need all the support we can get, especially after their result on Saturday.
“Let’s not forget – mathematically it is possible for us to still win the group….but likewise it is also possible that we could finish in last place which would be a travesty but the bonus point system could make life difficult for everyone. Let’s hope it is not us!!
“I have felt very honoured and privileged to captain such a great bunch of loyal Cornwall supporters – there is something special about the unity of the squad and that only makes yesterdays game even more painful. Thanks to everyone involved and i would love to see and hear you all on Saturday.
Kindest regards to you all
Ben and the rest of the Cornwall squad and management 2012