Game five and Raiders were on the road visiting one of our oldest rivals in the league, Henley.
Henley have had a flying start to the season and will certainly be one of the sides contesting the promotion spots next April.
Raiders had to make a couple of changes to the squad with Jack Lee and Dave McIlwaine unavailable, so Charlie Spencer started on the wing with Henry Anscombe moving to full back, Jon Whittall came onto the bench and John Dawe returned from international duty with Germany to complete the match day squad. The day was dry but dull with very little wind.
Raiders kicked off to start the game and were quickly on the defensive. The home side started well and capitalised on inaccurate kicks from the visitors. Thus, within ten minutes Henley had two converted tries to their name. an early lead of 14-0. To make matters worse shortly after Raiders lost scrum half, Sam Boyland through injury.
Throughout the half the visitors had very little possession other than in their own twenty two metre area. Henley on the other hand had plenty of possession which they were very good at keeping and using to great effect.
Raiders’ scrum was one of few positives to come out of the game, comfortably winning their own ball and putting plenty of pressure on Hawks on their put in.
The home side were ruthless in converting possession into points and by half time they had six converted tries.
Henley restarted the game after the break and immediately scored another converted try. Despite this the second half saw a much better performance from Raiders.
Having more possession in attacking areas meant they were able to create several good scoring opportunities In the fourth minute of the half Will Grief made a break after the forwards had secured possession at an attacking lineout, from the break down John Dawe crashed over under the posts and Matt McLean converted 49-7.
Jack Forrest also had an excellent sixty metre plus race down the wing only to be stopped inches short of the line. The second half ended up a much closer affair although the home side still out scored Raiders by 21-7.
Full time score: Henley Hawks 63 Worthing Raiders 7
A tough day at the Office and no points earned. It doesn’t get any easier when top of the table Tonbridge Juddians visit the Rugby Park next Saturday.
Although a lot of players are still out injured the squad has many quality players and they are confident they will improve the results over the coming weeks.
Referee: Nick Cook
Scorers: Tries: John Dawe Cons: McLean
Team: 1.Grant Gatford 2. Jordan Gibson 3. Rhys Litterick (Cook 55 min) 4. Scott Barlow (Maguire 41 min) 5. Jack Lake 6. Will Grief 7. Freddie Holmes (Whittall 41 min) 8. Kiba Richards (Luke 60 min) 9. Sam Boyland (Dawe 20 mins)10. Matt McLean – Captain 11. Charlie Spencer 12. Tom Gwyther 13. Jack Forrest 14. Harry Forrest 15. Henry Anscombe. Bench: 16. Elliott Luke 17. Sam Cook 18. Ryan Maguire 19. Jon Whittall 20. John Dawe