Davies hopes for strong end to 2017

Worthing Raiders celebrate a try earlier in the season. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Worthing Raiders celebrate a try earlier in the season. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Worthing Raiders high performance team manager Ian Davies hopes to finish 2017 strongly.

Raiders were without a game in National 2 South at the weekend but now have a run of what looks to be favourable fixtures between Saturday’s trip to Clifton and Christmas.

Currently tenth in the table, Raiders face Clifton, Old Redcliffians, Barnstaple and Wimbledon – all teams in the bottom five at present – in four of their five matches before the year is out.

A steady start to the season has seen Worthing collect 25 points from 11 games to date – which is a total they did not manage to reach until mid-February last term.

Davies is now looking to end 2017 in style and said: “We have highlighted consistency as something we are striving to achieve. To be a top six team you need to perform consistently.

“We are a work in progress, not the finished article. The fixtures coming up are against teams in and around us in the table, so hopefully the boys can give it one more push up to Christmas. They have worked really well so far and a few more performances (and victories) would be a great way to end 2017.”

Davies, who took up the position of high performance team manager at the start of last season – along with Jody Levett (head coach) and Ben Coulson (assistant coach) – is seeing signs of progress.

Raiders only avoided National 2 South relegation on a tense final day back in April but Welshman Davies feels improvement is being made.

He said: “We have made no secret that last season was a learning curve, a fact finding year. We created the culture we wanted but needed to break a culture.

“We are getting there, we have more to do, but we are getting there. We want to be a top-six team year on year, so there are a few more boxes to tick.”

Raiders’ attacking style has seen them rack up four or more tries in six matches so far.

Reward for that sees only London Irish Wild Geese (seven) outside the top four with more than Worthing’s six bonus-point tries collected.

Davies is pinpointing that as one area of improvement: “I think this is all part of the evolution of the squad. Some of the additions, Matt Walsh, Kemp Price, Jack Forrest, Jack Maslen, etc have certainly added to our game. Suddenly we have more threats than just Liam Perkins, Matt McLean and Kiba Richards!

“We can ask questions of the opposition from multiple areas of the pitch and that is certainly something that we have focused on.”