Progress pleasing Levett - despite last-gasp defeat

Jack Maslen bagged two tries in Raiders' last-gasp defeat at Redruth. Picture by Colin Coulson

Jody Levett is pleased with the progress his Worthing Raiders squad are making following their opening four National 2 South matches this season – despite suffering late heartache as they fell to a second defeat in succession on Saturday.

Redruth scored a try with the last play of the match to edge to a one-point 20-19 victory over Raiders at The Recreation Ground.

Kiba Richards surges forward during Saturday's game. Picture by Colin Coulson

George Harris went over four minutes from the end to hand Levett’s side the lead for the first time, only for them to be denied a first-ever win at Redruth in the closing seconds.

Despite the defeat, Raiders head coach Levett has been pleased with the progress his side have made in the early stages of the new campaign.

He said: “Being so close to winning and not able to see the game out does make it frustrating. However, there were a huge number of positives to take from the game.

“We are making huge progress in the way in which we are playing, we’ve scored 14 tries in four matches so far, which is exciting. A couple of colts players from last season, Rhys Litterick and Jack Forrest, have made the step up to senior rugby at National 2 South level and impressed once more.”

Joe Spurgeon retains possession for Raiders at Redruth. Picture by Colin Coulson

Although pleased with some positive progress made so far this season, Levett knows his side must be more clinical and see matches out if they are to finish where they want to be come the end of the campaign.

He added: “Of course we were frustrated, it was an opportunity missed. It was great to be in the position we were so close to the final whistle but that is the difference between the top five teams in this division, the ability they have to keep going right until the end or close games out.”

With several of Raiders’ recruits over the summer making the step into National 2 South for the first time this season, Levett is aware long away trips will be something his team must adapt to and said: “We’re still a relatively new group of players, which we are adding to all the time.

“For many of the team, they have new challenges of playing at this standard, along with travelling distances, which they are adapting to all the time.”

Coming off back-to-back defeats, having won their opening two matches, Raiders face the current top three in their next three matches.

A daunting run starts with third-placed Chinnor travelling to Roundstone Lane on Saturday, before a trip to Taunton Titans - in second - then a home match against leaders Cinderford a week later.

Levett hopes his side can spring a surprise in one or more of the games.

He said: “We face the top three teams in our next matches, all of which have recruited heavily. It’s a big test but we’ll worry about us.”

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