Raiders storm to emphatic win

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WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club stormed to their second successive emphatic National 2 South win on Saturday.

After a 62-7 win at home to Taunton last weekend, Raiders won by the same 55-point margin at rock-bottom Newbury Blues on Saturday, 74-19.

Raiders touched down 11 tries and can no longer finish any lower than eighth in the table.

Worthing got into their groove straight from the kick-off against a young Newbury side and Rob Smith touched down after just two minutes, and Matt McLean’s conversion and a penalty two minutes later made it 10-0 after only four minutes.

Smith got his second try after 12 minutes and Alex Nielsen and Will Stutchbury also touched down as Worthing cruised into a 31-0 lead.

Miles Roberts-Bailey went over to get Newbury on the scoresheet and the conversion made the half-time score 31-7.

Newbury reduced the deficit further at the start of the second half when Dominic Payne touched down and the conversion closed the gap to 17 points.

Raiders coach Will Green then started to ring a few changes and the visitors started to rack up the points as wingman Ian Greenwood got two tries in quick succession.

Matt McLean converted his own score on 57 minutes to move onto 310 points for the season – 260 with the boot, the third best in the division – before Nielsen, with his 10th try of the season, Shane Costigan, Joe Govett and debutant Matt Redmayne, the younger brother of first-teamer Jamie, all went over, with Govett nailing two of the conversions.

Roberts-Bailey also got a second try for Newbury during Raiders’ barrage of tries but it was a comfortable win for Worthing, who since Christmas have won nine of their 15 matches – without any free weeks due to the postponements earlier in the season.

Green said: “It was a good performance. We had a lot of youngsters who played and came through and gave promising performances and they showed good application.”

Raiders still trail sixth-placed Henley by six points and on getting higher than their current eighth place, Green said: “It’s still do-able on paper to finish sixth but we’re relying on Henley losing both of their games and we have to win both of ours.

“All we can do is win both of our games, starting at home to Clifton on Saturday.”

Raiders are holding a Easter Family Fun Day on Saturday and tickets are £5 for non-members, £3 for members and under-18s are free. Gates open at noon, with an easter egg hunt at 1.30pm, before the match starts at 3pm. There will also be bouncy castles, face painting, hogroast and craft and cake stalls.

WORTHING: Nielsen, Greenwood, Sullivan, McLean, M.Redmayne, Govett, Costigan; Smith, Hewick, Arthur, Coxon-Smith, Stutchbury, Webster, Cleveland, Emmett. Subs (all used): Stevens, J.Redmayne, Whittall, Dunckley, Dudley.