Worthing Raiders head coach Jody Levett is hopeful Saturday’s National League 2 South defeat works as a ‘wake-up call’ for his side.
Raiders slipped to a first league defeat in three matches, going down 47-24 at the hands of old rivals Henley Hawks at Roundstone Lane.
Back-to-back league wins had helped Worthing move up two places to 12th in the table before a break last weekend.
After successive wins, plus three successes in four games, Levett feels Raiders may have felt safety was secured.
Despite the defeat Barnstaple, London Irish Wild Geese, Barnes and Exmouth, all below Raiders were beaten. Those results helped Raiders open up a five-point gap between themselves and third-bottom London Irish Wild Geese in the final relegation spot with four games to go, though, Levett believes they will have to much-improved to secure their place in the division.
He said: “It was a wake-up call for us if I’m honest. Maybe some of the boys felt the job was done and we’ve now realised that it’s not.
“I feel it was the kick up the backside we needed, which sometimes is not a bad thing. We are in control of it things at present. Mathematically you don’t want to be in that last game having to rely on other results. Hopefully we’re safe by that point, if not, we’ll just hope a home win will be enough.”
Henley flew out of the blocks on Saturday, running in four tries before 30 minutes were up. Facing a 26-0 deficit after just 25 minutes, Raiders head coach Levett felt that was the defining factor.
He added: “We spoke about the week off being a good thing, it was in the respect of giving the bodies a rest, but our mindset was not right in the first 30 minutes. Taking nothing away from Henley, they are a good team, we knew they were going to come and play in the way they did and we were just not at the races in the opening 30 minutes. You can’t give any team in this division the amount of time and space we afforded them, it was a really disappointing first half-hour.”
Following such a lacklustre start, Raiders regrouped and ran in four tries helping them take a losing bonus-point.
After winning the second period 24-21, Levett is hopeful his team go into a testing trip to fifth-placed Redruth on Saturday full of confidence.
He said: “There were some positives to take from it, we won the second half, which is something we haven’t done in a long time, ultimately our start let us down.
“We had some tough words at half-time, so credit to the lads for responding in the second. They had a choice to come out and play or allow them to keep scoring.
“The measure of the boys to come out and really battle in the second half to comeback and get the losing bonus-point was deserved.”
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