Frustration for Raiders as Juddians storm back

Skipper Liam Perkins scored a try in Worthing Raiders' defeat at Tonbridge Juddians. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Skipper Liam Perkins scored a try in Worthing Raiders' defeat at Tonbridge Juddians. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Worthing Raiders assistant coach Ben Coulson was left disappointed after watching his team fall to defeat at Tonbridge Juddians on Saturday.

Raiders scored three tries in an impressive first half display but Juddians staged a stunning comeback to run out 25-21 winners in the National 2 South clash.

Coulson came away wanting more than just the bonus-point they managed to collect for their efforts.

Having worked themselves in to a good position following a flying start, Raiders’ assistant coach felt they should have won the match.

He said: “The disappointment at full-time was evident to all, we could and should have won the game but we didn’t deserve to win.

“Accuracy cost us points in the first half when we were dominant. Every team is going to have a good period during any given match, TJs were everything we thought they would be including clinical when opportunities presented.

“They hung on, were dogged when under pressure and stayed in the contest. We couldn’t finish it and were punished accordingly.”

Early scores from skipper Liam Perkins and Max Coyle gave Raiders a 14-point cushion, while they lead 21-10 at the interval.

Hugo Watson, who got one try in the first half, completed his hat-trick after the restart to inspire a Tonbridge comeback.

Coulson believed his troops missed a trick not capitalising on a solid start to the match.

He added: “Every time we don’t play to our potential we are disappointed, this was such an occasion.

“The first and second halves could not have been more different in terms of performance across the field.

“We were not accurate enough to complete the task we so positively started in the first 40 minutes. Any time we place ourselves so advantageously and don’t convert we consider it a missed opportunity.”

Raiders dropped a place to ninth following the defeat - leapfrogged by Tonbridge - and now have a free weekend.

They return to action on Saturday week when place-below Canterbury visit Roundstone Lane.

“We’ll prepare as normal looking to do everything in our powers to achieve the win against Canterbury as we do any other team at any other time,” Coulson said.

“It is always nice to play at home and we’ll hopefully give the Raider faithful something to cheer about a week on Saturday. Again we’ll be looking to get four tries and challenge the opposition across the field, as we do every other week.”

Worthing high performance team manager Ian Davies echoed the views of Coulson and said: “Even when we were a couple of scores ahead we were never comfortable, accuracy let us down.

“Where we finish will be indicative of how we have performed over the 30 games played. There is no set target (on a finishing place).”