Raiders fall to first defeat of the season
Worthing Raiders Rugby Club suffered their maiden National League 2 South defeat this season on Saturday.
Heading into the clash with Bury St Edmunds, Raiders boasted a 100 per cent league record having won both of their opening two matches.
However, that run came to an abrupt end as a rampaging Bury ran in two tries on the way to a 20-10 victory.
Worthing rallied in the second but a 17-3 half-time deficit was just a little too much to overcome.
Raiders were lively in the opening exchanges, with Matt McLean crashing an early penalty wide as Worthing looked to take the lead.
A surging run from Shaq Meyers proved a catalyst as Bury ran in the first try after 12 minutes.
From a ruck, Sailasa Vunivesilevu began a move, which eventually ended up with right wing Michael Mellett receiving the ball. He then played in Jacob Bodkin as he ran over the first try.
Liam McBride then added the extras with a testing conversion to hand Bury a 7-0 lead.
The home side had all the momentum and went further ahead four minutes later.
After a scrum, Sam Stirling burst through a gaping hole in Raiders’ midfield, before holding off a late tackle to touch down Bury’s second try.
McBride converted the simplest of kicks to hand his side a 14-0 advantage.
Worthing finally registered their first points of the game as McLean kicked over a penalty of 20 minutes.
Things weren’t going for Raiders and they were temporarily reduced to 14-men on the half-hour.
Mellet was released down the left, only to be prevented by a dangerous James Arthur tackle, which resulted in him being shown a yellow card.
McBride made no mistake from the resulting penalty to hand his side a 17-3 lead heading into the interval.
Bury continued where they left off in the first, with only Sterling’s failure to hold onto the ball stopping them from running in a third try.
Raiders had a period of relentless pressure, which was finally rewarded 13 minutes from time.
McLean chased down his own grubber kick, before touching down in time. He then added the extras to leaver Raiders trailing by seven.
With Worthing pressing to get back into the contest, Bury were relieved as they were awarded a penalty on 76 minutes. Deciding to go for the three points, McBride made no mistake as his side wrapped up a convincing 20-10 victory in the end.
Worthing will be looking to get back to winning ways as they welcome Cinderford to Roundstone Lane on Saturday.
RAIDERS: Storer, Watson-Brooks, Burns, Arthur, Barlow, Redmayne, Hewick, Perkins; Peach, Montgomery, Wilcockson, Coxon-Smith, Richards, McLean, Leeming. Subs: Harris, Gatford, Smith, Whittall, Double.
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