Raiders record season’s biggest win

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club romped to a nine-try demolition of Taunton at Roundstone Lane on Saturday, storming to their biggest win of the season with a 62-7 victory.

The heat seemed to have little effect on the Raiders, who bounced back from three successive defeats in National 2 South and decimated the Somerset side right from the off.

Ben Dudley touched down within two minutes to get them off to a fine start, while the returning Matt McLean was also in good form sending over seven conversions, a penalty, as well as touching down himself.

It was an excellent response by Worthing to get back to winning ways – having lost to the top three sides Ealing, Richmond and Jersey in the past three weeks.

Raiders team manager David Hinchliffe believed it was up there with their best performance of the season and sees it as the perfect way to enter their last three games.

He said: “It was not expected as they’re a hard side and it was a tough game when we played them down there. They’re still above us but they are well in our sights now, and out of the four games we had left on paper, it was the hardest one.

“They weren’t really at the races and weren’t too good in defence, I think they had a couple out, but then again, so did we.

“I still think away at Taunton was our best all-round performance of the season, but in terms of the pace and run of rugby, Saturday was excellent, probably our second-best performance of the season. It was top class.

“After the last three results, coming into the hardest of our last four, it would have been easy to slip up. But the lads were great in training and we went at them from minute one.

“It was a good start to three winnable games now and we’ve still got our eyes on that seventh spot.”

Raiders’ dominance was shown by half-time when they led 29-0 through tries from Dudley, Finlay Coxon-Smith, McLean and Jamie Redmayne, while McLean had put a penalty over after the second try on 12 minutes and missed just one conversion.

Worthing continued to score freely in the second half and Greg Sullivan put down a quick-fire double on 53 and 58 minutes, both of which McLean converted.

With just eight minutes left, Taunton broke the Worthing defence for the first time and their kicker sent over the conversion, in what was his only kick at goal in the whole afternoon.

But this was just a minor blip in an impressive display as Alex Nielsen crossed twice in two minutes with McLean adding one conversion, before, in the last action, Richard Briggs touched down on 79 minutes and McLean duly added the extras.

Raiders head coach Will Green was delighted for his players and said: “It was really good we came back well from a tough few weeks and I was very chuffed for the lads.

“There were a few good performances, Greg Sullivan did very well and so did Matt (McLean) on his return to the side.”

WORTHING: Bruce, Miles, Stevens, Stutchbury, McGowan, Coxon-Smith, Redmayne, Arthur, Marsh, Dudley, Greenwood, McLean, Sullivan, Briggs, Nielsen. Subs: Cleveland, Hewick, Emmett, Costigan, Pitchford.