Raiders win on the road at Cambridge

WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club made it back-to-back bonus-point wins in National 2 South with victory away to Cambridge on Saturday.

Finlay Coxon-Smith touched down Raiders fourth try at Cambridge
Finlay Coxon-Smith touched down Raiders fourth try at Cambridge

It was a gutsy performance by Raiders in front of a large contingent of travelling fans.

The first 25 minutes of the game was lively and fairly evenly balanced, with the only points coming from the boot of Worthing’s Matt McLean after 11 minutes.

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Raiders then started to take control and got their first try on 27 minutes. Rob Smith was stopped just short of the try line after a powerful drive, before Liam Perkins picked the ball up and went over, although McLean was unable to add the extras.

McLean made amends four minutes later when Alex Nielsen took a quick penalty and sprinted up field, before passing out to McLean to score for the third successive game.

The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but there was still time for Raiders to add a third try before half-time.

Worthing’s dominance continued and Dan Sargent touched down after a series of drives involving the forwards and backs.

McLean converted to give Raiders a 20-0 lead at half-time.

The first ten minutes of the second half saw a number of unforced errors with neither side taking control.

However, after 52 minutes, Cambridge elected for a scrum after being awarded a penalty. The ball found its way along the back line and, after successive drives, Albert Portsmouth drove over to score, despite some spirited Raiders defence. Charles Pask added the extras.

McLean kicked a penalty to put Raiders 23-7 ahead on 56 minutes when the home side were penalised for offside.

Cambridge won the ball straight from kick-off and their backs and forwards drove their way up the pitch, before it was passed to James Ayrton, who sprinted 22 metres up the wing to score in the corner. Charles Pask successfully converted to bring the score back to 23-14.

Worthing responded well and got their four-try bonus point on 64 minutes.

From a line-out, Sam Hewick and Charlie McGowan both made penetrating drives for the line, before Finlay Coxon-Smith received the ball to score in the corner but the conversion was unsuccessful.

Raiders finished the game strongly as they continued to attack the Cambridge line but there was no further scoring.

The win moved Raiders up two places to sixth in the table.

Worthing entertain bottom-of-the-table Dings Crusaders on Saturday. Dings won just their second game of the season on Saturday, 43-20 at home to second-from-bottom Shelford.

RAIDERS: Storer, Piper, Sargent, Redmayne, McGowan, Smith, Hewick, Perkins; Waters, Leeming, Nielsen, Dudley, Coxon-Smith, Forrest, McLean. Subs: Luke, Burns, Finney, Dawson, Gaynor.