Survival out of Raiders' hands following Rams defeat

Kiba Richards registered a try in Raiders' defeat yesterday. Picture by Colin Coulson
Kiba Richards registered a try in Raiders' defeat yesterday. Picture by Colin Coulson
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Worthing Raiders’ National League 2 South status is now out of their own hands following defeat at Redingensians Rams on Saturday.

Rams ran in seven tries on the way to recording a 43-27 home victory.

It proved a disastrous penultimate round of fixtures for Raiders as they fell to second-bottom in the standings with just a game to go.

As well as Worthing’s defeat, London Irish Wild Geese and Barnes - both in the bottom four - sealed victories in their respective matches.

Raiders had started the day fourth-bottom - a point and a place above the final relegation spot - but wins for Wild Geese and Barnes ensured they moved above Worthing in the table.

Now, with just a game to go, second-bottom Raiders must seal a win over already-relegated Exmouth on Saturday to have any chance of bridging the current three-point and two place gap between themselves and 13th-placed London Irish Wild Geese, currently sitting clear of the relegation zone.

Raiders high performance manager Ian Davies admits it is not a position his side wanted to find themselves in going into the final fixture of the season and said: “We can’t control other results but what we can do is go out on Saturday, picking the best team of players available to us, and give 100 per cent effort for our final match of this season.

“It is at home so we’ll need as many Raiders supporters, and their friends, to come along and get behind the team.”

A Raiders will be enough should Barnes, a place above them in the table, lose on the final day.

Third-bottom Barnes head to league champions Bishops Stortford with a two-point cushion over Raiders below them.

Wild Geese’s season comes to a close as they host third-placed and play-off chasing Chinnor.

On paper, both look daunting fixtures and Davies is hopeful other teams can do Raiders a favour.

He added: “If we win with a bonus-point and London Irish Wild Geese lose we stay in this division.

“Winning will be the first aim on Saturday, then getting a bonus-point will come second.

“What will be will be, we cannot worry about what Wild Geese do, so why lose sleep over it.

“If we stay up it’s because we have done enough over the 30 matches. On the flip side, if we do go down it’s because we haven’t managed to do enough.

“Credit to the players for taking a bonus-point against a top-six team away from home in Redingensians Rams, it was an extra point which could prove crucial come Saturday.”