Inconsistent Raiders suffer heavy away loss

Finlay Coxon-Smith touched down for Raiders in their defeat at Chinnor on Saturday
Finlay Coxon-Smith touched down for Raiders in their defeat at Chinnor on Saturday

Worthing Raiders Rugby Club’s inconsistent season continued when they fell to a crushing 38-8 defeat away to Chinnor on Saturday.

The defeat saw Raiders drop a place to tenth in the National 2 South table but they are still nine points ahead of third-from-bottom Dorking, who are in the relegation zone, with six games to go.

Both sides sparred evenly for the opening 15 minutes before Matt McLean gave Raiders the lead with a penalty.

At this point Raiders appeared to have taken some control of the game but in the 24th minute against the run of play Chinnor scored a try. Winger Oscar Heath caught a well-directed cross corner kick from his fly-half to sprint in unopposed from 20 metres out, with Samuel Angell adding the extras.

Raiders responded well and went on the attack, launching a wave of drives from which they were awarded a penalty 15 metres from the try line for which Chinnor lost a forward to the sinbin.

Raiders unsurprisingly opted for a scrum and Kieran Leeming delivered a long pass out to Finlay Coxon-Smith, who sprinted in from ten metres to score in the corner.

Chinnor then picked their game up and second row Ben Manning touched the ball down but was adjudged to have been held up.

Chinnor were awarded a five-metre scrum from which the backs led the drives for the line, before their hooker Jonathan Phipps dived over to score. Angell successfully converted to give Chinnor a 14-8 lead at half-time.

Raiders were against the wind in the second half and it took Chinnor only three minutes to extend their lead. The hosts drove forward from a line-out and Alexander Waddingham touched down, with Angell converting,

That score seemed to spur Chinnor on and their forwards started to totally control the Raiders pack, both in their open and set play. Chinnor got the four-try bonus point on 66 minutes when they turned the ball over and launched a series of drives, before Jack Andrew went over, with Angell again adding the extras.

Raiders appeared unable to respond and Chinnor seemed to grow even stronger. They extended their lead just five minutes later when Ben Manning dived over in the corner.

Raiders tried to rally in the closing minutes but the final blow was once again delivered by Chinnor when they again turned the ball over on their 22 while Raiders were attacking and winger Heath received the ball before sprinting unopposed almost the full length of the pitch to score his second try of the afternoon.

The final whistle blew to herald the end of a bad day at the office for Raiders.

RAIDERS: Storer, Watson-Brooks, Sargent, Barlow, Arthur, White, Hewick, Perkins; Peach, Leeming, Coxon-Smith, Richards, Loosmore, Farnes, McLean. Subs: Luke, Whittall, Margetson, Richardson, Simmons.

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