RUGBY: Worthing captain Jody Levett's weekly column (January 29)

IT was great to be back playing after missing last week's game, and it was made even better by what was a fantastic performance by the squad.

Our previous encounter with Henley was incredibly close, and we lost by only four points in a game we could have won.

Therefore, the motivation was certainly there to prove we are capable of beating teams and to make amends for losing out in the last, close, encounter.

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The game was played almost between the 10 metre lines in the opening exchanges with no team able to take real control of the match. And it was our indiscretions that led to Henley's first opportunity for points.

However, the miss that followed signalled that perhaps it was going to be our day.

The previous game with Henley had been a fractious affair and very physical. However, having been able to compete and nullify Rugby Lions the week before, the forwards were able to build on this, with some powerful and dominant scrummaging, led as always by Ryan Storer.

This enabled the backs to play on the front foot, which they did with relish.

Some strong running by the midfield, and light footwork from Ben Dudley, set up the first try. But it has been the work and time put in place over the last few months which has allowed us to begin to play with more confidence, shape and understanding.

I'm not saying it is perfect, in fact, far from it, but the belief is now there, which is half the battle.

At half-time, we firmly believed we were in control of the game and were relishing the second half. Where there had been nerves at Rugby Lions the previous week and players jittery, when it was a clear head that was required, there was a marked change on Saturday.

The squad was more confident of what was required and were able to focus and maintain both discipline and control when it mattered. This saw us able to build pressure in key areas of the pitch, which led to Henley having to chance their arm from deep within their own half.

As a result, we were able to capitalise on the mistakes made and push forward for our second away win of the season '“ against a team placed fifth.

This coming week will certainly be a very different challenge. We face Chinnor, who are playing well, but, like us, are fighting for their survival in this league.

Sometimes when a team is safe from relegation, but promotion is not a real possibility, motivation can be an issue.

Perhaps it was for Henley. But we will expect no such apathy from Chinnor, who will be desperate to turn around the home defeat of several months ago, and to continue their excellent run of form.

People talk about top-of-the-table clashes being vital, but for both of us this game is far, far, more important. We are looking forward to the challenge because matches like this are why you play rugby.


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