Raiders record sixth successive home win

Raiders' Joe Marchant on the run against Cornish All Blacks
Raiders' Joe Marchant on the run against Cornish All Blacks

WORTHING RAIDERS Rugby Club made it six consecutive victories at Roundstone Lane when they beat Cornish All Blacks on Saturday.

Raiders have not tasted defeat on home soil in National 2 South since a 28-24 loss to Dings Crusaders back in November and two tries from Matt McLean, plus one each from Alex Nielsen and Calum Waters, ensured another victory.

Worthing were quick out of the blocks and bagged their first try inside a minute when McLean touched down.

The visitors responded well, though, as Kieron Lewitt kicked over a penalty on seven minutes. John Barrie Chapman then went over and Lewitt converted to put Cornish All Blacks 10-5 in front on 15 minutes.

Lewitt then kicked over another penalty to extend Cornish All Blacks’ lead six minutes before the break.

Just a minute later, McLean went over for his second try of the match and then converted as the home side trailed 13-12 at the interval.

Raiders began the second half the same as the first and went over inside a minute. A fine run from Joe Marchant saw him beat two Cornish All Blacks players, before he sent Nielsen racing through and he touched down his 16th try of the season.

Worthing went further in front on 48 minutes when McLean kicked over a penalty to make it 20-13.

The sides cancelled each other out for the next 15 minutes, before Raiders sprang into life in the final ten minutes.

Dan Sargent almost secured the four-try bonus point seven minutes from time but he was thwarted just before the try line.

Raiders were not to be denied a bonus-point triumph, though, as Waters went over a minute before the end.

The Raiders youngster received the ball in his own half and beat the Cornish All Blacks backline before going over for a magnificent solo try. McLean skewed his conversion wide as it ended 25-13 to the home side.

Raiders first team coach Nick Buoy feels his side must learn how to get on the front foot against teams in the bottom half of the table.

He said: “We knew that they would come here and try to stop us playing rugby and they succeeded with that for long periods.

“When we did manage to get the upper hand, we looked quite good, as we usually do.

“It’s something that we need to learn and adapt to and to stay on top in matches such as these, as we have struggled to do that all year, which has been disappointing.

“They tried to slow our momentum down and really frustrated us. It was just fortunate that we came away with the victory.

“But we need to be better against sides like Cornish All Blacks, who try to prevent us from playing.”

It was Raiders’ sixth straight home victory but Buoy feels it is the away form that has cost his side this season. He said: “It’s obviously pleasing to have such a good run of form at home in recent weeks.

“But in this league everyone realises that the away form is the key and, unfortunately, ours has not been good enough this year.”

RAIDERS: Storer, Miles, Sargent, Barlow, McGowan, South, Redmayne, Perkins; Waters, Leeming, Nielsen, Coxon-Smith, Loosmore, Marchant, McLean. Subs: Walker, Hewick, Smith, Paddenburg, Piper.

n Worthing travel to Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday.

n Raiders’ A team lost 45-0 away to the Royal Navy in a friendly on Tuesday evening. Raiders trailed just 3-0 after 50 minutes.