This Saturday saw the Raiders on a trip to the West Country to take on the league leaders Taunton Titans, writes Colin Coulson.
Raiders made several changes to the side that played the previous week due to injury and player rotation. Max Coyle and Pete Cleveland made their first appearances of the season.
On a dull, windy afternoon Raiders kicked off with the elements in their favour. The first few minutes went well for the visitors winning two lineouts and moving the ball through the hands to put real pressure on the Titans’ defence. However the home side soon showed their strengths and from a five metre scrum scored their first try which was converted to make the score 7-0 after five minutes.
Titans played an expansive style of rugby and stretched the visitors’ defence to the limits and it wasn’t long before their lead was increased to 17-0.
The visitors looked capable of breaking down the Titans’ defence whenever they had the ball but the amount of possession they had was limited. After fifteen minutes Raiders received a penalty at the ruck and elected to tap and run, Kieran Leeming released Jack Forrest who put a grubber kick through which Matt McLean controlled, picked up and scored a try which he converted to close the gap to 17-7.
Although the home side were dominant, Raiders tackled manfully in defence led by Jamie Redmayne who was captain for the day. Despite their spirited play in attack and defence Raiders trailed 41-7 at half time.
Titans kicked off to start the second half and like the first half Raiders started really well stringing together many phases of play which took them from deep in their own half to within five metres of the home sides’ goal line. Unfortunately the try evaded them and it was the home side who picked up the first points of the half.
Raiders had another good spell with ball in hand resulting in Matt McLean’s second try of the day, which he converted to make the score 46-14 after fifty minutes.
The visitors used all their replacements in an effort to remain competitive but the home side proved too strong on the day and ran out easy winners 81-14.
A very disappointing result in the end but again some very positive individual performances on the day. Jack Maslen and Jack Forrest both showed a clean pair of heels to the opposition on more than one occasion and Max Coyle performed well on his debut.
Coach Jody Levett felt that Raiders created enough chances to have scored four tries and achieve a bonus point but accepted that Titans were the better team on the day as they maintained their position as league leaders.
Final Score: Taunton Titans 81 Worthing Raiders 14
Scorers: Tries: Matt McLean 2 Cons: Matt McLean 2
Team: 15. Kieran Leeming 14. Jack Maslen 13. Ross Miller 12. Jack Forrest 11. Sam Hampson 10. Matt McLean 9. Sam Boyland 1. Jide Ajayi 2. Will Grief 3. Rhys Litterick 4. Jack Lee 5. Jack Lake 6. John Dawe 7. Jon Whittall 8. Jamie Redmayne – Captain
Replacements 16. George Harris 17. Tom Adams 18. Grant Gatford 19. Pete Cleveland 20. Max Coyle