Hard work pays off for Raiders

It was all smiles from the Raiders camp at full-time on Saturday
It was all smiles from the Raiders camp at full-time on Saturday

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club head coach Kieron Dawson was delighted that the hard work off the pitch paid dividends on it as they ended their five-game losing run on Saturday.

Finlay Coxon-Smith ran in a hat-trick and Ben Loosmore also touched down in a 25-17 National 1 win over high-flying Fylde, who had won their previous five matches.

Raiders had suffered small-margin defeats in their previous three outings and they had gone back to the drawing board in terms of analysing their game.

That paid off and Dawson hailed his team for an all-round workmanlike performance after some ‘intellectual searching’. He said: “It should have been the fourth win in a row today, I feel for the lads as I know how much it (losing) hurts them. Today we didn’t put in nearly the shift we did in the last three weeks without any reward, but today we got what we deserved.

“Hats off to Fylde, they play a lovely brand of rugby. They didn’t come to cheat, they didn’t come to con the ref, they didn’t come to stop us playing, they came to play and it was two great teams having a great game of rugby. It was a great spectacle in front of a great crowd.

“I am so delighted for the team because they have been superb for the last three weeks. Every training session has been right on the money, while we have done a lot of intellectual searching.”

Dawson continued: “It hasn’t just been the work they have been doing on the pitch. We have sat down and analysed where we have been going wrong, where we have not been nicking these games. It has been coming and we got what we deserved.

“It was another great performance. We have looked at analysing the game, boxing a little bit clever. Fylde came to play rugby and they did what we have been doing earlier in the season, playing too much rugby.”

Raiders travel to Loughborough Students on Saturday, who they were beaten 43-24 by at Roundstone Lane in October.

Dawson added: “We will go up to Loughborough and try to build on what we have done. After most of our wins we haven’t backed it up with another win and that’s what we want to do this week.

“They were probably one of the two or three teams, who have properly beat us this year. We definitely owe them one, but we’ll go there and try to dominate with the forwards.”

Worthing look set to be without Charlie McGowan, who twisted his knee against Fylde.