Barlow hopeful of a strong second half

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club captain Scott Barlow is confident his side will be a formidable force in the second half of the National 2 South season.

Worthing Raiders captain Scott Barlow makes a tackle during his sides win at home to Chinnor in November
Worthing Raiders captain Scott Barlow makes a tackle during his sides win at home to Chinnor in November

It has been an up and down campaign so far for Raiders and they currently sit 12th, with six wins and nine defeats from 15 games.

Their inconsistent form means they are only three points above third-from-bottom Canterbury and the relegation places.

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Barlow admitted that the season so far has been below what the club was expecting and said: “I think everybody at the club has been a little disappointed with how we have played so far.

“It’s not been great but we have a young squad this season and they are adapting all the time.

“It was always going to take time for them to get used to this level but, as a team, I think we are getting better now.”

Raiders were edged out at local rivals Dorking 31-26 in their final game before the Christmas break.

However, Barlow sees January’s run of fixtures as an opportunity to start the new year well.

Raiders come up against seventh-placed Old Elthamians on Saturday, then Barnes, bottom-side Cornish All Blacks, Redingensians Rams and Southend Saxons, with Barlow seeing this as a good chance to get some points on the board early in 2016.

He added: “If you look at the fixtures in January, we have a good chance to pick up some five-point victories.

“Obviously, no game is easy in this division but we are not facing any of the top teams in that run.

“I think, on our day, we can beat any team in this league and we need to prove that in the second part of the campaign.”

Despite a poor first half of the season, Raiders remain just eight points behind Old Elthamians in seventh and Barlow believes his side can now climb the table.

He said: “It’s a really tight league this season.

“If you look between us and seventh, there is only an eight point gap.

“We haven’t set any particular targets. We will just be taking each game as it comes and hope to win that one.

“From all the teams we have faced this season, not one has been outstanding.

“In any game we play, I feel we are in with a good chance of coming away with a victory but it’s important we start the new year really well.”

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