Raiders’ survival is now ‘tall order’

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WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club head coach Kieron Dawson admitted his side’s National 1 survival hopes look bleak after suffering a fourth straight defeat on Saturday.

Raiders picked up a late bonus point as they lost 32-24 at home to Blaydon, but it has left their battle to avoid an immediate return to National 2 South out of their hands.

Second-from-bottom Raiders are two places and four points from safety, although, crucially, fourth-from-bottom Cinderford still have two games in hand.

A visibly disappointed Dawson sat on the pitch reflecting with his thoughts for around ten minutes after Saturday’s defeat, before admitting it is odds-on that they will now go down.

Worthing have just two games left, against Old Albanian and Wharfedale, which they must win and hope others slip massively to stand any chance of staying up.

Dawson said: “It’s a tall order. It’s the place we have got ourselves in, really, and that’s the most frustrating thing. They were definitely not a better team than us but the same old frailties came to the fore and cost us dearly, it was just poor decision-making.”

Jordan Burns failed to ground a second early try for Raiders after racing clear as he slowed down and was tackled.

Dawson added: “If we go 14-0 up with that try in the first half then their heads drop and we could have got a cricket score, but we have lost the game which is incredible, really, from the position we started in.

“There is nothing else for it now. We go out to play for pride, unfortunately. If we do go down we will consolidate and make a concerted effort to come straight back up again.

“We are already planning for next season and trying to strengthen the squad. Whatever level that is at, plans are in place.

“It’s pretty hard to take. We rehearse things two or three nights a week, but I have got to take responsibility for that, the coaches have to take responsibility for that, it’s not necessarily the players’ fault.

“As management and players, we have work to do. It’s a shame, but the sun comes up in the morning and we will have to go to Old As and see what we can get.”