Leaders Ealing beat Raiders

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club were given a finishing lesson at National 2 South leaders Ealing on Saturday afternoon, which left head coach Will Green admitting they are still a mid-table side.

The title favourites made Raiders pay for not making the most of their spells of possession, while Ealing ruthlessly put Worthing to the sword with the opportunities they had in their 45-10 victory.

The London-based side showed their worth for top spot as they looked dangerous whenever in possession, while Raiders, who briefly led at 10-7 after 25 minutes, failed to score in the whole of the second half.

Green said: “It was disappointing and we’ve had a tough few weeks playing one, two and three.

“Ealing are a slick outfit and testing ourselves against them shows how far we have come, and we’re not quite there yet.

“Realistically, we are still a mid-table team as against the top sides we haven’t quite performed.

“Good players are players that do the basics well under pressure, but under pressure against the top teams our basics fall apart.

“It is something to work on in training. While, going forwards, we’ll look to bring in some new faces as well to add to the side.”

But despite the recent set-back – suffering three consecutive defeats to the top three sides – Green is still targeting a sixth-placed finish.

He said: “We are very committed, which is why it was so disappointing on Saturday. We are very ambitious and we still want to achieve what we set out to do.”

Ealing opened the scoring after five minutes out wide on the left and Neil Hallett slotted the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Joe Govett, again kicking with Matt McLean still injured, put over a penalty, while Charlie McGowan broke through to go over between the posts and Govett again stroked over to hand Raiders a 10-7 after 25 minutes.

Worthing’s lead, however sweet it seemed, was definitely short as Ealing put down two tries before half-time, both of which were converted by Hallett, as they led by 11 points at the break

Raiders started well and dominated the possession but failed to add to their score, despite long spells of having the ball. Ealing, however, showed why they are the league leaders and made use of the ball and did what Worthing could not – convert it into points.

Hallett touched down an unconverted try before Peter Hodgkinson bagged a brace, both of which Hallett converted to take the score to 40-10.

With McGowan picking up a yellow card 10 minutes from time, a final try from Owen Brynseels added right at the death gave a somewhat unreflective gloss on the final score – while Raiders also lost a concussed Govett late on.

Next up for Raiders is Taunton, who currently occupy the sixth-place spot that Worthing are chasing, and visit Roundstone Lane on Saturday. Worthing may welcome back Matt McLean, who has missed the past four games with a hamstring injury.

WORTHING: Govett, Briggs, Sullivan, Dunckley, Nielsen, Dudley, Marsh, Bruce, Miles, Webster, McGowan, Coxon-Smith, Arthur, Redmayne, Smith. Subs: Emmett, Hewick, Costigan, Greenwood, Stutchbury.