Young guns shining through for Raiders

Last season's colts skipper made his first Raiders start on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Last season's colts skipper made his first Raiders start on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Worthing Raiders high performance team manager Ian Davies was delighted to see another youngster show his worth on Saturday.

Last season’s colts skipper Rhys Litterick made his first start for the club as Chinnor ran out comprehensive 45-14 winners at Roundstone Lane.

The fixture kicked off a tricky run against the current top three teams in National 2 South. The loss – a third in succession after two wins to start the season – was a downside to what Davies saw as a good day in some aspects.

He said: “Chinnor are a club with different aspirations to us and go about achieving them in a different way.

“There were a lot of positives to take from the game, though. Young Rhys was playing colts rugby last season and played really well in the match against Chinnor.

“He still has a lot of learning to do but we can be proud he has come through the junior section to the first team, Rhys is the future of this club.”

Kiba Richards goes over against Chinnor on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Kiba Richards goes over against Chinnor on Saturday. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Along with Litterick, Raiders had a number of former colts players in the matchday squad. And that is a trend Davies wants to see continue in the future.

He said: “Along with Rhys, we also had Jack Forrest involved in the game with Chinnor.

“Jack was playing school rugby last season and is another to have come from the mini and junior sections here at Raiders.”

Chinnor, who remained third in the table after the win over Worthing, included a vast amount of quality in their team.

Almost all of the team they put out have played at Championship level or higher and Davies knows how tough it is to compete with squads of that quality.

He said: “I think we had around eight players that have come through the ranks with us against Chinnor, how many did they have?

“What you have got to bear in mind as well is the fact that they have played Premiership or Championship rugby.

“Taking that in to account, we can take positives out of our performance, both individually and collectively.”

On the back of three successive defeats, Raiders face a daunting trip to second-placed Taunton Titans on Saturday.

Davies believes if his team get things right, there is no reason why they cannot come away with a positive result. He said: “Taunton are playing well and have a different focus for this season. Tony Yapp (Taunton director of rugby) has made no secret of the fact they are targeting promotion.

“We’ll travel to them, hoping to contribute to a good game of rugby.

“If we get most of our fundamentals right then we will put ourselves in a position to win the match. If we don’t do the simple things well, then it will be down to how Taunton perform.”