Dawson finds Richmond defeat hard to take

Raiders head coach Kieron Dawson.
Raiders head coach Kieron Dawson.

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club head coach Kieron Dawson admitted Saturday’s defeat at leaders Richmond was hard to take after a strong showing from his side.

The loss leaves Raiders 12 points behind Richmond and nine points behind second-placed Old Albanians, and Dawson believes it will be tough for his side to finish in the top two now, although said his side will keep going until the end.

He said: “It was a disappointing defeat. We played really well and had loads of possession in the first half but just couldn’t finish our chances.

“Richmond got into our half twice in the first half and scored two tries, so it’s pretty hard to take.

“We put a lot into the game but it was just one of those games for us and you get that sometimes.

“We’ll dust ourselves down and will look to win our last five matches.

“Even if we do that, it might not be enough to finish in the top two, but what will be, will be.

“I don’t think we’ll catch Richmond now and it will be a tough ask to catch Old Albanians but we’ll have a go. They’ll be looking over their shoulders at us and we’ve still got to go there to play them.

“There’s been a couple of losses this year which we thought would come back to haunt us and it’s been proven.

“But, it’s my first year in charge and it is something we can all learn from. We’ve realised that every minute of every game is important but there’s still plenty to play for this year as we start to prepare for next year.”

Raiders got off to the worst possible start on Saturday when a Ben Dudley clearance kick was charged down and Richmond centre Tom Gregory touched down.

Worthing recovered and dominated the first-half possession. Matt McLean was unable to convert two penalties, before they drew level on 30 minutes when they drove straight from a line-out, through the 22 and Sam Hewick went over.

Richmond responded immediately as an accurate kick from Luke Cousins found Barney Pascall, who dived over in the corner, and Tom Platt added the extras.

On the stroke of half-time, Raiders had Hewick yellow-carded for diving on a loose ball behind a ruck and Platt’s penalty made the half-time score 15-5.

Platt kicked another penalty early in the second half and Worthing were unable to claw any points back as their attacks broke down with a series of unforced errors.

Raiders have a free week on Saturday.

RAIDERS: Wilcockson, Maslen, Richards, McLean, Nielsen, Dudley, Costigan, Cleveland, Miles, Burns, Stubbs, McGowan, Redmayne, Hewick, Smith. Subs (all used): Briggs, Arthur, Govett, Heaver, Pointing.