Worthing Raiders Rugby Club ran in four tries inside the first hour to ensure they claimed a bonus-point 29-15 success over third-placed Bishop Stortford in the National 2 South on Saturday.
An impressive display from Kieron Dawson’s men saw Daniel Peach, Daniel Sargent, Alex Nielsen and Ben Loosmore all go over for the home side.
A tenth league win of the season over high-flying Stortford lifted them a place to eighth in the table and opened up a ten-point gap between them and Canterbury, who occupy third-bottom and the first relegation spot.
Worthing were quick out of the blocks and found themselves ahead in bizarre fashion on eight minutes. Alexander Patton’s misplaced pass collided with the post and Peach was on hand to go over for the simplest of tries. Matt McLean then fired over the extras as Raiders went 7-0 in front inside ten minutes.
That seemed to kick Stortford into life and their pressure was rewarded on 16 minutes as George Cullan’s penalty ensured his side closed the gap to just four points.
But Raiders looked in imperious mood and four minutes later they registered a second try. Worthing pressed high and Sargent somehow forced his way over the line. McLean fired the conversion wide but Worthing still lead 12-3.
Credit to the travelling side, though, and back they came once again with their first try of the day eight minutes before the break. Patton drove forward following a line-out and just about managed to breach the Raiders backline. Richard Gill was unable to add the extras but Stortford went into the interval trailing 12-8.
A fast start in the second period saw Worthing add another two tries inside 15 minutes to all but secure victory.
First, McLean fired over a penalty on 45 minutes as Dawson’s side opened up a seven-point advantage.
It got better five minutes later as Worthing bagged a third try through tricky winger Nielsen. A fine move was started by a darting run from Matt Farnes, who then found Scott Barlow, and his cute reverse pass left Nielsen with an easy bolt to the try line. McLean then made it two conversions from three with a fine effort to get it over the posts from the left touchline.
It got better for a rampant Raiders as they collected the four-try bonus point on the hour mark. It proved to be another fine team effort as Sam Hewick’s kick was pounced on by Nielsen, he then broke clear and found George Montgomery and the ten’s pass allowed Loosmore to breakaway and go over.
McLean completed a hat-trick of conversions as Worthing opened up a runaway 29-8 advantage.Nicholas Hankin converted his own try late on but Raiders held on for the win.
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