Worthing RFC captain James Arthur’s weekly column (April 1)

GAME two of our top-of-the-table trilogy saw us face a Richmond side who were sitting in third place, pushing Jersey hard for that play-off place.

After the disappointment of last weekend, we were keen to put in a good performance at home and to try to gain some revenge for the defeat we suffered at the Athletic Ground earlier on in the season.

The side this week saw a number of changes with Gareth Emmett starting at prop, Finlay Coxon-Smith in the second row and a first start for the Raiders for No 8 Liam Perkins. In the backs, the recurrence of Matt McLean’s hamstring strain, meant a reshuffle with Alex Nielsen back on the wing.

Games between Worthing and Richmond always have a little more spice about them and this was no different with two yellow cards and one red given out during the game, although the Richmond No 8 has a right to feel aggrieved about his sending off, wrongfully taking the blame for some foul play from his own second row.

Both sides started well and had early chances to get on the scoresheet but it was Richmond who scored first, driving over from a lineout after we had been penalised at the breakdown.

We did score next with Liam running a good support line and touching down. Unfortunately, we infringed again allowing Richmond to take the lead and they were not going to let it go again.

We just couldn’t keep hold of the ball long enough to build any phases, when we did and started to pressure the Richmond line we coughed the ball up far too cheaply.

This combined with our inability to defend the breakdown without giving a penalty away, meant we were always on the back foot.

In previous weeks, our defence had been what we based our victories on. This week, however, we were not up to the task and kept making fundamental mistakes.

I am sure we will be working on both defence patterns and one-on-one tackling at training this week.

The whole squad was bitterly disappointed with their performance at the weekend and we will be arriving at training expecting to work very hard.

Other winning teams this week were Ealing, Taunton, Jersey, and Henley. Both Canterbury and Westcombe Park won in the battle to avoid the drop and OA’s relegated Newbury with another 100-plus point defeat.

This week it doesn’t get any easier for us as we travel to Ealing to face the league leaders.

We are looking for our first win against them from nine previous encounters and we would appreciate as much support as possible. We hope to see you all there.