Home form will be key for Raiders' run-in
Worthing Raiders Rugby Club's Matt Farnes feels maximum points from three of their final four home games will see them to National 2 South safety.
Raiders were left looking over their shoulders a little following a disappointing 38-8 away reverse to Chinnor last time out.
That loss left Kieron Dawson’s side in tenth place but just nine points clear of third-from-bottom Dorking with six games to go.
It does not get any easier for Raiders as their next two fixtures are against fifth-placed Redruth and second-placed Old Albanian.
Raiders then finish the season with three of their final four matches at home and Farnes feels a 15 point return from their remaining games will ensure safety.
He said: “Obviously, losing to Chinnor was not ideal and left us in the mix a little. I think it’s such a tight division this year and six teams are probably still involved in that relegation battle.
“We have been really inconsistent but I think maximum points from three of our remaining home games will be enough to keep us in this league.
“The aims at the start of the season were not for us to be in the position we are now. But we are where we are and staying in this league is vitally important.”
Raiders’ home form in 2016 has been exceptional and they will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the new year until April when the season is out.
Worthing’s current home run has seen them collect three wins and a draw since the turn of the year and Farnes believes his side can take something from that.
He added: “We have done quite well at home this season and we need to keep that going until the end of the season now.
“As I said earlier, winning those remaining home games will be massive for us to ensure we remain a National 2 South side.”
Farnes admits this season has been a little too inconsistent for his liking but he puts that down to the loss of so many influential players at the start of the campaign.
With experienced players such as Charlie McGowan not playing, Matt Miles moving on and Rob Smith, Alex Nielsen and Matt McLean not featuring much in the early stages of the campaign, a few younger players were blooded.
But Farnes believes those younger guys being given a chance will only benefit them in the future.
He said: “It was tricky at the start of the season with so many younger guys. But that will benefit them and if we stay in this league those younger guys will have a base to build from going forward.
“It’s good for the club with so much talent coming through and each of them will learn from this season.”
Raiders return to action on Saturday when they host Redruth.
At the weekend, Redruth went down 29-18 at home to Old Albanian, while Taunton Titans beat Cornish All Blacks 76-5 in the only other game played.
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