Dawson surprised at Dings’ strength but Raiders march on

Worthing Raiders Rugby Club reaped the benefits of Dings Crusaders’ ill-discipline on Saturday to secure a bonus-point victory after a second-half fight-back.

Worthing trailed 25-17 eight minutes into the second half, but Dings then had two players sinbinned, which handed Raiders the impetus, and Jordan Burns and Matt Miles put down crucial tries to keep pace with the top three in National 2 South.

A last-gasp try and conversion gave Dings a 19-17 lead at half-time and, despite being pleased with the eventual result, Raiders head coach Kieron Dawson admitted the visitors’ strength somewhat shocked his side.

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Dings’ league position is somewhat false, due to a six-point deduction for playing an unregistered player earlier in the season, and that showed in a tense game at Roundstone Lane.

Dawson said: “I think we were surprised at how good they were, so credit to them as they played well and made it tough for us. They moved the ball well and it was a hard-fought fixture for us, so I’m happy with the result.

“Last year, we had Hartpury, Dings and Shelford three weeks in a row as well, that is two down now and we’ll look to get the job done this week at Shelford.

“We are still firing on just three or four cylinders when we get them all going and get back to how we were playing at times last year, we’ll be fulfilling our full potential – although it seems we are saying that most weeks at the moment.

“We are pleased, though, it’s another five points, but, of course, it has showed us there is still lots more to work on for next week.”

Full report in this week’s paper.