WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club had a day to remember on Saturday when they beat Henley Hawks 30-8 in National 2 South on Pink Ladies’ Day at Roundstone Lane.
The men put on a show on the field, in their specially-designed pink shirts in front of a bumper crowd, while 250 women were in a marquee for various activities, including a fashion show, auction and Lady Marmalade cover-act, as the day raised more than £3,000 for Cancer Reseach UK’s Breast Cancer Campaign and Love Your Hospital.
Raiders coach Will Green was delighted with how the day went and said: “It’s fantastic. It’s been a great day for the club, with 250 ladies here in a marquee and it’s been really positive.
“It’s all for a good cause, supporting breast cancer, and it’s really pleasing to see how well it has gone.
“This is a top club and day’s like today are what it’s all about.”
Green was also pleased with how the day went on the pitch as Raiders enjoyed a relatively comfortable win over a Henley side, who had started the day above Worthing.
Raiders moved above their opponents with the bonus-point win into seventh and Green is now looking to match or better Worthing’s sixth-placed finish from last season and said: “Sixth or above is what we want. There’s no hiding that and that’s where we’re trying to get.”
An early penalty from Matt McLean gave Worthing the lead and he added a second midway through the first half to give the home side a 6-0 advantage.
The first try of the game came on 22 minutes when Greg Sullivan intercepted a pass and ran through to touch down under the posts and McLean added the extras.
A moment of brilliance got Henley on the scoreboard when James Comben skipped past several tackles and then kicked across field to Neil Baggett, who just about managed to hold on to the ball, and he went over in the corner, although Comben missed the conversion.
Worthing moved further ahead in the last action of the half after excellent work from Alex Nielsen down the left. He twice kicked the ball forward, before touching down to make the score 18-5, although McLean failed to kick the conversion.
Worthing spent long spells in the Henley half early in the second half but it was the visitors who struck first after the break when Comben kicked a penalty on 52 minutes after Worthing’s Charlie McGowan had been sinbinned.
But within three minutes of going down to 14 men, Worthing had got their third try. Matt Miles was held up a couple of yards from the line and Worthing then switched the play to McLean, who skipped inside past his man to go over and Raiders’ leading points scorer then added the conversion himself to move onto 262 points for the season.
McLean was unable to kick a penalty on 59 minutes and he was replaced immediately afterwards as a precaution owing to a hamstring injury.
After McGowan returned to the fold, Worthing pressed for the four-try bonus point and got it with six minutes left. Nielsen nipped in to kick the ball forward and then side-footed a pass to Sullivan, who touched down, although Joe Govett was unable to add the extra two points.
Green said: “I’m really pleased with the win. It was a crucial game for us against a team above us in the league and I’m really pleased with the convincing thumping.
“We defended really well and they didn’t really question us and ran out of ideas. We got two intercepted tries in the first half but that wasn’t luck. It came from the pressure we kept putting on them.”
Raiders travel to Lydney on Saturday (2.45pm).
WORTHING: Govett, Nielsen, Sullivan, McLean, Briggs, Dudley, Costigan; Bruce, Miles, Webster, Stutchbury, McGowan, Arthur, Redmayne, Smith. Subs: Coxon-Smith (Stutchbury 49), Pointing, Luke (Webster, McLean 61), Hewick (Smith 64), Marsh (Costigan 73).