Raiders ready for league leaders’ visit

Raiders captain Rob Smith
Raiders captain Rob Smith

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club will be looking for a third successive win when they host National 2 South leaders Taunton Titans on Saturday.

Raiders won 26-21 at Chinnor at the weekend for a second successive victory. It was the first time in ten months that the club had won back-to-back games and they have not won three games in a row since April, 2013.

Despite taking on a Taunton side who have won all four of their matches so far, Raiders captain Rob Smith says his side will just approach it like any other game.

He said: “It’s just another game and all we can do is take one at a time.

“There is no easy fixture in this league as all the teams are really tightly matched.

“Taunton have started well but, for us, it’s about how we play.

“We go into every game looking to continue doing the things we did right on a Saturday, while also looking to improve on the things that were wrong.

“We try not to think too much about who we’re playing. Obviously, you know in the back of your minds, but we just plan to go out there and do what we do.

“Hopefully, the back-to-back wins will show the league that we have woken up and the teams above us will start to look over their shoulders.

“There’s a lot of heart and a lot of spirit in our team and we’ve got confidence as well now after the last two results.”

Smith believes there will be a big crowd at Roundstone Lane for the game as well and said: “Taunton get a good crowd and I guess people will look at it and say it’s a big game, too, against the leaders and we always get good crowds for games like that.”

Smith was delighted as Raiders held on for the win at Chinnor under intense pressure in the closing stages, as the hosts had two tries disallowed.

He said: “It was a gripping end to a good game and it was good to hold on. The win the week before gave us a lot of confidence and set the standard of how we want to try and play.”

Raiders head coach Kieron Dawson’s six-week touchline coaching ban ends after Saturday’s match.