Launceston captain Tom Rawlings says defence is not good enough

Tom Rawlings

Launceston captain Tom Rawlings says his team-mates need to show much more dedication in defence if they are to improve this season.

The Cornish All Blacks scraped a 34-33 win against bottom-of-the-table Bishops Stortford on Saturday.

"A win is a win, and we won't complain," he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

"But the thing to take out of it is we've got to start priding ourselves on our defence. We're not putting enough energy into it at the moment."

Launceston had to come from behind to win the match at Polson's Bridge, and Rawlings said he was annoyed at a lack of application without the ball.

"We look good with the ball in hand and are scoring tries but then we concede and you can't expect to win games like that," he said.

"We had a 'get out of jail free' card and drew it at the right time. But we have to be a considerable amount of work on our defence - we were a team which used to really pride itself on its defence when the likes of [former coach] Tony Roques was here.

"Launceston had really good for and against records, but I'm really not happy with that record at the moment."

With 174 points scored against them in their six league games so far, Launceston have one of the leakiest defences in National League Two South this season.

"To climb the league we've got to play better than we did here - the bottom-of-the-league team almost turned us over but we did enough when it mattered," he said.

Launceston coach Cliff Rainford added: "It was a difficult game and we didn't make it any easier for ourselves but the result shows it was five points which is the most important thing and we'll move on from there.

"We let them have a bit more control than we'd like and they used that to the best of their abilities but once we took control of the game, we looked good.

"We're only six games in and teams can have a bad start so you can never write teams off just because you're bottom."