Raiders fall to third successive defeat

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WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club travelled to Bury St Edmunds on Saturday looking to recover from two consecutive defeats but lost again in a proverbial game of two halves.

The sides were evenly matched throughout the first half, with neither side really threatening to score a try.

The first points came in the 14th minute from the boot of Christopher Lord for Bury St Edmunds when they were awarded a penalty after Tim Mann intercepted a Raiders pass and sprinted upfield before being tackled just short of the line.

Raiders’ response came ten minutes later when Sean O’Hagan successfully converted a penalty after an infringement in the ruck.

O’Hagan extended the Raiders’ lead just before half-time, converting another penalty after Bury Sty Edmunds were penalised for collapsing a scrum.

The start of the second half saw both sides show a little more urgency in attack and after 47 minutes Raiders scored the first try of the game when Liam Perkins picked up at the back of a scrum close to the Bury St Edmunds line before driving over to score. The conversion was missed.

This acted as the catalyst which jolted Bury St Edmunds into producing a devastating 20 minutes of fast, aggressive rugby in which they scored four tries.

The first came in the 55th minute when, after a series of drives by Bury St Edmunds, they were awarded a penalty which they kicked for the corner. From the line-out a maul formed eight metres out and crabbed towards the Raiders line before prop Beau Gibson dived over to score. The conversion was unsuccessful.

Bury St Edmunds sustained the pressure on Raiders and five minutes later scored again after Gibson broke through two tackles before passing inside to No 8, Matthew Edison, who sprinted 22 metres to score the try.

Bury St Edmunds’ control of the game continued and they went straight back on the offensive. Raiders responded well and also went on the attack. They were awarded a penalty, which came to nothing after O’Hagan missed the conversion attempt.

Both sides were now in full attacking mode but it was Bury St Edmunds who scored again in the 74th minute when, after a number of drives on the Raiders line and despite some resolute defensive work, Samuel Goatley received the ball and sprinted over to score from a few metres out. The conversion missed.

Bury St Edmunds scored their bonus point try just before the final whistle when, having turned the ball over, their scrum half kicked the ball down field with Christopher Sneeling in pursuit. He kicked the ball on further and dived on the ball over the Raiders try line. David Graham successfully converted.

The final whistle blew and Raiders had lost the game primarily in the second half to a spirited and tenacious Bury St Edmunds side.

Worthing entertain second-placed Cambridge, who have won six of their seven league matches, at Roundstone Lane on Saturday.

Saturday’s defeat leaves Raiders 11th in the National 2 South table, 16 points behind the top two with seven games of the season played.

RAIDERS: Storer, Luke, Sargent, Barlow, White, Whittall, Hewick, Perkins; Govett, O’Hagan, Aspland-Robinson, Leeming, Loosmore, Greenwood, Farnes. Subs: Gibson, Ure, Margetson, Lake, Fogerty.

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