Redruth ruin Raiders' day

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Worthing Raiders lost 22-17 at home to Redruth - a very disappointing result as Raiders played brilliant rugby at times.

But there was no denying Raiders made errors at key moments that prevented them getting the result they required.

Because of the restructuring of the leagues for next season this was probably the last meeting Worthing will have with Redruth after many great matches over the years. They wish them well in their new league whether that be National One or the revamped ‘western version’ of National Two.

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Game twenty-six of the season and Redruth were the visitors to Roundstone Lane for a match between second and fourth in the table. Title chances for Raiders had receded after last week’s defeat at Hinckley, now the task was simple, win the remaining five games and hope that Esher, Clifton and Redruth might slip up in the run in to the end of the season.

Worthing Raiders' Curtis Barnes sprints for the line and scores under the posts / Picture: Warwick Baker (warwickpics.com)Worthing Raiders' Curtis Barnes sprints for the line and scores under the posts / Picture: Warwick Baker (warwickpics.com)
Worthing Raiders' Curtis Barnes sprints for the line and scores under the posts / Picture: Warwick Baker (warwickpics.com)

Rhys Litterick, Will Scholes, Elliott Quinton and Cassius Cleaves returned to the squad for this important fixture. On a bright, cold afternoon the crowd of nearly six hundred expected a close encounter. Redruth kicked off defending the southern end of the ground in the first half. The visitors opened the score with a penalty after five minutes to take an early lead 0-3.

Raiders took the lead ten minutes later after a good build up, stretching the defence, Kieran Leeming put a well-placed grubber kick in behind the defence and Curtis Barnes scooped up the bouncing ball to score in the corner. With the conversion missed the home side now led by 5-3. Within moments the home side found themselves defending a catch and drive near their own line and after conceding a penalty the visitors kicked to touch and again set up the driving maul. When the maul collapsed the referee awarded a penalty try and yellow carded Liam Perkins. Redruth regaining the lead at 5-10.

Curtis Barnes scores in the corner / Picture: Warwick Baker (warwickpics.com)Curtis Barnes scores in the corner / Picture: Warwick Baker (warwickpics.com)
Curtis Barnes scores in the corner / Picture: Warwick Baker (warwickpics.com)

It didn’t take the visitors long to score a converted try from another catch and drive thus extending their lead to 5-17. In an effort to get back into the game Raiders used their bench earlier than they might have wanted to. Fraser Bruce replaced Rhys Litterick in the front row and Kemp Price replaced Rob Smith in the back row.

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Raiders created chances but couldn’t turn them into points. The closest they came was when Jack Forrest made a break before passing to Curtis Barnes for the run in, unfortunately the referee brought the play back for a forward pass. The half was well contested but Raiders were guilty of making too many errors when they had the ball. Half time score: Worthing Raiders 5 Redruth 17

At half time Cassius Cleaves replaced Kieran Leeming and Raiders restarted the game now attacking the northern end of the ground. It was clear that the home side had to score next or the game would drift away from them. However, it was Redruth that had the first chance to score when they elected to kick for goal from a penalty. Fortunately, for Raiders the kick went wide and the score remained the same.

The home side continued to create chances and Cassius Cleaves almost scored in the corner after a break by Liam Perkins but he was bundled into touch short of the line. On a couple of occasions Raiders had lineouts deep in Redruth territory but lost the ball on their own put in. With ten minutes of the half gone Cam Dobinson replaced Rhys Morgan, Kieran Leeming returned to the game in place of Josh Tusler and Nathan Jibulu went to hooker in place of Elliott Luke.

The home side were now playing their most controlled and penetrative rugby of the match and after a lengthy period of pressure deep in the Redruth territory Curtis Barnes raced in for his second try of the afternoon. With the conversion missed the gap had been closed to 10-17. The home side were definitely having their best period of the match and capped it with a converted try after seventeen minutes of the half. A box kick out of defence was well contested by the Raiders’ chasing players and Fraser Bruce managed to regather the ball before making strides towards the visitors’ goal line. As he was about to be pulled to the ground, he released the ball to Curtis Barnes who evaded the attempted tackles and raced in to score under the posts. Matt McLean converted and the score was level at 17-17 with a quarter of the match to go.

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The visitors came back strongly and it was only good defence by Raiders that kept them from going back into the lead. The home side continued to use their bench to help maintain the tempo of their play. Rob Smith and Josh Tusler returned to the game replacing Frank Taggart and Jack Forrest. With twenty-four minutes played Redruth scored an unconverted try from another catch and drive situation. With plenty of time left the game was still anyone’s at 17-22.

Raiders once more created a chance to score with good running, passing and support play which released Curtis Barnes again on the wing, sadly the last pass was deemed forward and the chance was gone. With the game in the balance and the crowd enthralled we entered the final ten minutes. The final ten minutes made a mockery of the game as the referee gave penalty after penalty, reset after reset so that one scrum lasted the full ten minutes. A further yellow card against Fraser Bruce didn’t help the home side’s cause. But the way the referee dealt with the situation prevented Raiders having any further use of the ball.

This had been a fine top of the table clash but the “last scrum” is not what the game needs if it is to draw crowds and entertain them. The irony of the situation was that after the ten-minute scrum, Raiders were awarded a penalty. With seconds left on the clock and ninety metres to go to the Redruth try line the game came to a dismal end when Cassius Cleaves was tackled high but no penalty ensued.

Attendance: 577

Proto Food Group Man of the Match: Curtis Barnes

Scorers: Tries: Curtis Barnes x 3. Con: Matt McLean

Raiders: Dan Sargent 2. Elliott Luke 3. Rhys Litterick 4. Liam Perkins 5. Will Scholes 6. Rob Smith 7. Elliott Quinton 8. Frank Taggart 9. Rhys Morgan 10. Josh Tusler 11. Curtis Barnes 12. Harrison Sims 13. Jack Forrest 14. Matt McLean 15. Kieran Leeming. Bench: 16. Nathan Jibulu 17. Fraser Bruce 18. Kemp Price 19. Cam Dobinson 20. Cassius Cleaves.

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