FIRST off, I would like to say congratulations and a big thank you to all those involved in the organisation and running of the hugely successful “Ladies Day” on Saturday, supporting two very worthwhile charities, Cancer Research UK’s Breast Cancer Campaign and the Love your Hospital Campaign.
I’m sure all those who attended had a fantastic day. With so much entertainment laid on, it would have been hard not to.
Thank you also to all those who did come along and had a good time both supporting the impressive tribute band Lady Marmalade, but also digging deep and being so generous when it came to the auction, even going as far as buying an evening with one of the Raiders.
As part of the day, we played in a bright bespoke pink kit, putting a little more pressure on our performance.
After the run-out last week against Newbury, this week we faced a much sterner test in the form of Henley Hawks.
The side saw a few changes. Rob Smith made his return from injury and started at 8 meaning I moved to 6 and Jamie Redmayne to 7, with Sam Hewick dropping to the bench. Paul Dunkley was a late injury withdrawal, so Matt McLean moved to the centres and Joe Govett started at full-back, Alex Nielsen was back on the wing and Finley Coxon-Smith was on the bench.
The challenge this week for the players was not to get distracted by everything that was going on around us and to focus on the game and set to the task of beating Henley.
After a first half where both sides were a bit tentative in their approach, it was our defence that came out on top, with Alex pouncing on a mistake made under pressure and scoring a well-taken try.
In the second half, we raised our attacking game to match our defensive effort, scoring three more tries to claim the bonus point win and some revenge over the last-minute loss we suffered at their place, earlier this season.
This week’s victory was the result of hard work in defence, shear tenacity, everybody was committed to making the tackle, getting up off the floor quickly and preparing to make another. We didn’t allow Henley to play and harassed them for the full 80 minutes forcing them into mistakes.
Other wins this week went to Ealing, Jersey, Richmond, Shelford, Westcombe Park, Southend and Dings.
This Saturday, we make the long trip to Lydney, hoping to back up this week’s win and continue our good run.
This is always a tough place to go and one where we have had mixed results over the years.
We hope to see as many of you there that can make the journey.