WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club head coach Kieron Dawson believes his side sent out a message to the rest of the league with their convincing win against leaders Henley Hawks on Saturday.
Henley had won all 14 of their National 2 South matches heading into the match but Raiders recorded a 30-7 victory to the delight of Dawson and the majority of the 900-strong crowd.
Raiders had a full-strength side out for the first time this season and Dawson admitted there was motivation from the players to show that they are better than the sixth place where they currently sit.
He said: “The lads wanted to send out a message to the rest of the league that we’re not done and dusted and we’re not a spent force.
“Henley are smashing everyone every week but our performance was great. Our defensive performance was epic and if another couple of things had gone our way, we could have scored 40 or 50 points.
“All of our tries were good and it was good to get a bonus point win and starve them of any points as well, so that will give us confidence and the players are buzzing now.
“It’s just disappointing that it’s taken until December to get this team out on the pitch and to get this type of performance in.”
Worthing now host second-placed Dorking, who have won 14 successive league matches and trail Henley by just a point, on Saturday.
Raiders are sixth and trail Dorking by 18 points, with 15 matches to play.
Dawson is hoping the Worthing crowd can again play their part and said: “The crowd were tremendous today. It’s the first time we’ve heard that roar for a while and it’s great to have it back and they got well behind the team.
“Dorking is probably a bigger game and, hopefully, we’ll get a big crowd down again. We’ll look to put on another epic performance like today.
“We’ll look to get another five points just for our own sanity to prove that we are better than what our position suggests because we want to be up there at the top.
“We won’t take Dorking lightly, they’re one point off the lead now and will have everything to play for if they can beat us.”