Notes from the changing room

Raiders player-manager Matt Farnes
Raiders player-manager Matt Farnes

ANOTHER week, a different Raiders performance. It made totally different viewing this weekend, as the Raiders blew away the visitors Lydney from the outset.

Lydney were no Taunton, but if the Raiders had showed half as much endeavour as they did on Saturday, then the result the previous week down in Taunton could have been a lot different.

Nine tries in total on Saturday and, considering the conditions underfoot, the Raiders played some brilliant rugby and scored some brilliant tries.

There were some notable performances from Tom Walker up front, in his first start for the Raiders, as well as Dave Yates coming on in the second row, providing some great power going forward.

In the backs, the half-back pairing went really well on some decent front football, which enabled the centres and back three to benefit.

Matt McLean had a hand in five of the nine tries and had a particularly good afternoon out of position on the wing, while Alex Nielsen also grabbed three more tries.

There are many positives to take going into the rest of the season. This weekend, we have the very tricky trip to Bishop’s Stortford, who are one place below us in fifth but level on points.

They have very good home form and the Raiders are going to need to be at their best to come away with the points.

The bus journey back from Bishop’s Stortford is a particularly good one if you are on the right side of a result. A certain Raiders Disco Bus back in 2006 lives forever in my memory.

There were some interesting results elsewhere in the league, and it is very tight at the top as Henley and Dorking seem to be getting a little bit itchy.

There’s still all to play for and taking every game as it comes will help determine the best possible finish for the Raiders.

We are lucky enough to be training at Brighton & Hove Albion’s new Lancing training ground over the coming weeks.

In Rugby World Cup year, it is a great move to help strengthen Sussex rugby. Tickets are also now on sale for England under-20s v France under-20s at the Amex Stadium on March 20. The possibility of two ex-Raiders and one current Raider being involved makes for a great evening of top-class rugby.

I hope as many of you as possible can get along to Stortford this weekend for what promises to be a belter of a game. Let’s keep drilling hard and bring home the points this weekend. Raid on!