Raiders win “ugly” to keep faint play-off hopes alive

Rob Smith is about to touch down against Barnes on Saturday
Rob Smith is about to touch down against Barnes on Saturday

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club head coach Kieron Dawson was satisfied with an “ugly” victory which has kept their outside play-off hopes alive.

A bonus-point triumph saw them return to winning ways and keep up their pursuit of the top two, but relegation-threatened Barnes were not out to roll over at Roundstone Lane on Saturday.

The league’s strugglers were the better side in the first half and Raiders, in their pink kit for ladies’ day at the club, had to fight back to go in level at 17-17 at half-time – as the Raiders were far from pretty in pink.

But a flying start to the second half, in which home debutant Tim Holgate completed a hat-trick, saw Raiders pull ahead and, although Barnes continued to pull points back, Raiders had that little bit extra.

“We had lost a couple of players and had a poor week in training so we sort of saw it coming,” Dawson admitted.

“At half-time, though, we said what we needed to do and tried not to panic. Two quick tries after the break helped us and we eventually came away with the bonus point.

“There was a bit of a feeling that the season is already over, but we’ve said there will be some more procreations left in the season.

“The win puts us back in the hunt and, although, we need one team to do us a favour, we’ll keep knocking on the door. It was an ugly game, but we got the five points we needed.”

Full match report in this week’s Worthing Herald out now.