Hull clash is must-win for Raiders – Dawson

Worthing Raiders head coach Kieron Dawson
Worthing Raiders head coach Kieron Dawson

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club head coach Kieron Dawson admits Saturday’s game with Hull Ionians is a must-win match.

Raiders, who have slipped to fourth from bottom in National 1, host bottom-of-the-table Hull with a near full-strength side available.

Dawson said: “It’s a huge game. There’s no point in shying away from that, it’s a massive game. You can probably say, at this stage of the season, that it’s must-win.”

Worthing warmed up for the game with a friendly away to The Army on Monday evening, when a mixture of Raiders and Raiders A players were involved.

Worthing won 12-10, with tries from Joe Heaver and Jack Maslen and a Matt McLean conversion, and Dawson said: “It was brilliant and a really good exercise.

“It was a good game, we scored two good tries and it was good to see some of the boys who we don’t normally get to watch.”

Ben Dudley, Matt McLean, Alex Nielsen and Liam Perkins all played at least 40 minutes in their respective comebacks. Scott Barlow is available for Saturday’s match with Hull and Raiders are also hoping to have James Chisholm back after his England under-20 commitments.

Raiders also have scrum-half Jordan Burns back from Harlequins, after he spent last season on loan at Roundstone Lane. He had been with Rosslyn Park this season.

Dawson added: “Charlie McGowan is our only question mark for Saturday and we’ve got a couple of niggles as well.

“Jordan played 40 minutes on Monday, when he played very well and he’ll come in and give us extra cover.

“I think that’s pretty much it for bringing in players now. But it feels like several new players with all the senior guys coming back, anyway.”