Worthing Raiders Rugby Club recorded a third successive home win with a hard-fought 30-12 victory over Canterbury in National 2 South this afternoon.
Raiders welcomed back club stalwart Charlie McGowan after a break of just over a season, while Ben Loosmore was also in the squad for the first time this campaign.
The hosts were slow to get going as they made too many mistakes in the early exchanges and Canterbury took the lead after six minutes. Aiden Moss held off a couple of challenges to touch down under pressure in the corner following Daniel Smart’s kick forward, however Raiders felt there was a forward pass before the kick. Martyn Beaumont was off target with the conversion.
The visitors’ Oliver Best dragged a penalty horribly wide from distance but straight in front of the posts four minutes later and Worthing then started to get come more into the game.
Raiders got on the scoreboard when McLean kicked over a penalty after 16 minutes before two more McLean penalties, one from distance, took Raiders into a 9-5 lead by the half-hour mark.
Canterbury moved back ahead again on 36 minutes when they drove forward from a line-out and Samuel Kenny went over. Beaumont added the extras to make the score 12-9.
Less than two minutes later, Worthing had regained the lead as Kiba Richards held off a couple of challenges before offloading to Alex Wilcockson, who burst through to touch down under the posts. McLean’s conversion gave Raiders a 16-12 lead.
Worthing then had a let-off just before the break as the visitors won possession as Raiders were slow to clear but Thomas Best knocked-on when he looked set to touch down.
Raiders threatened early in the second half when Pat White sprinted past several players but was unable to find Wilcockson with his pass, before Worthing did get a second try on 44 minutes.
Scott Barlow and McGowan both made ground, before Wilcockson’s kick found Finlay Coxon-Smith in the corner and he went over. McLean converted from the touchline to give Worthing a 23-12 lead.
Canterbury’s Oliver Best was off target with another penalty on 54 minutes as the rain started to fall at Roundstone Lane.
Raiders were unable to make the most of a sustained period of pressure in the Canterbury 22 on 63 minutes as a knock-on prevented a third try of the afternoon for the hosts.
Raiders did get a third try two minutes from time as Richards and McLean combined to release Wilcockson, who went over for his sixth try of the season. McLean added the extras as Raiders recorded a fourth win from six games this season.
RAIDERS: Gatford, Hadfield, Sargent, Barlow, McGowan, White, Whittall, Perkins; Peach, Leeming, Squire, Richards, Wilcockson, Coxon-Smith, McLean. Subs: Harris, Burns, Lake, Loosmore, Montgomery.
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