Worthing Raiders head coach Jody Levett issued a warning to his squad after seeing them record a third successive National 2 South triumph for the first time since September 2015 on Saturday, insisting: “Our performance levels must be better.”
Jack Maslen took his season try tally to 11 with a hat-trick, while Matt McLean, Sam Hampson and Jack Forrest also went over as Raiders completed a bonus-point 40-34 win over strugglers Old Redcliffians at Roundstone Lane.
The victory followed up successes over Broadstreet and Clifton, ensuring they made it a trio of wins in succession for the first time in more than two years.
Raiders remain a place outside the top half – sitting in ninth – following a sixth triumph of the campaign but Levett has not been satisfied with recent performances.
He said: “We have to be honest with ourselves, which is what I’ve said to my players, we’ve got maximum points from our previous two games but we are disappointed with our performance for parts of both.
“In patches against Old Redcliffians we were very poor. I think when you are winning, you can be harsh on yourselves. We’ll reflect and realise that performance was nowhere near where we needed to be. The guys must respond to that. They (Old Redcliffians) could well have won it at the end and if they’d have done that I would not have been surprised at all. We were very, very poor, if I’m honest.”
Raiders were pushed all the way by an Old Redcliffians side who had won just once all season going into the contest.
Third-from-bottom Redcliffians nearly overturned a 40-27 deficit in the final ten minutes – only being denied by a forward pass call from Jack Sutton as winger Jermaine Jones looked destined to go over with the final play.
Though happy to see Raiders record a third straight win, head coach Levett knows improvement must be made.
He added: “I felt our discipline let us down, we gave away penalties in silly positions, we doubled up on mistakes, which are going to happen but we went penalty, mistake, mistake and another penalty – that is what kills you.
“We said to the guys going into it that Redcliffians’ league position does not reflect the team that they are. We were in a similar battle zone position to them last season, so we knew what we’d face.”
Levett believes winning three games in a row, without being at their best shows the quality within the squad – and is why more is being demanded.
“We’ve taken 15 points from a possible 15 but the way we’ve played has not been good enough,” Levett added.
“We have to be honest with the fact it hasn’t been good but we’ve won our last three and hope to keep progressing now.”