Raiders slip to fourth successive league loss

Worthing Raiders' Liam Perkins charges forward against Cambridge on Saturday (above). Below, action from the game.''' '''''''     PICTURES BY STEPHEN GOODGER
Worthing Raiders' Liam Perkins charges forward against Cambridge on Saturday (above). Below, action from the game.''' ''''''' PICTURES BY STEPHEN GOODGER

WORTHING RAIDERS Rugby Club’s poor form in National 2 South continued at Roundstone Lane on Saturday.

They suffered a fourth successive league loss at the hands of high-flying Cambridge and slipped to fourth from bottom.

Raiders have struggled in recent weeks and trailed 24-0 at half-time after a lacklustre opening 40 minutes.

Cambridge ran in five tries before Worthing could even muster a point as the new league leaders ran riot.

Kieron Dawson’s side did improve in the closing stages but it proved to be too little too late.

Raiders made a woeful start and conceded the first points after just four minutes.

A fine move from Cambridge saw Albert Portsmouth and George Bretag-Norris exchange passes before the latter found Michael Ayrton who went over.

Michael Boshoff kicked the conversion wide but Cambridge still led 5-0.

Raiders were under constant pressure and they conceded a second try on 22 minutes.

Cambridge pushed forward following a scrum with the referee eventually awarding a penalty try.

Boshoff added the extras to extend his side’s lead.

The visitors were in total control and playing some fine rugby and were rewarded again eight minutes later.

Stefan Liebenberg’s pass found Portsmouth, who sprinted for the try line and went over.

Boshoff then kicked his second conversion to make it 19-0.

Things then got much harder for the home side as Elliott Luke received a yellow card for violent conduct on 34 minutes.

Cambridge made the most of their man advantage as Corey Hircock went over to ensure his side claimed the four-try bonus point.

Boshoff fired wide from the conversion but his side led 24-0 at the break.

More misery was piled on four minutes after the restart as a move from right to left saw Portsmouth finish for his second try of the day.

Boshoff kicked the conversion wide, so the score stayed at 29-0.

Ill discipline saw Worthing go down to 14 again on 56 minutes when Liam Perkins was shown a yellow card.

However, that seemed to spark the home side into life and they registered their first points two minutes later.

Sean O’Hagan chased down a lost cause before seeing the ball bounce into his path and went over.

He failed to convert but Worthing reduced the arrears to 24 points.

They did not have to wait too long for a second try as Sam Hewick forced himself over following a scrum on 65 minutes. O’Hagan then bagged his first conversion of the afternoon to make it 29-12.

Worthing were now in control and piling forward but they left themselves just a little too much to do.

Dan Sargent did add a third try with five minutes left but that was the last score as it ended 29-17 to Cambridge.

Raiders head coach Dawson was pleased with his side’s finish and said: “We obviously gave ourselves a mountain to climb after the start. We were 29-0 down with 20 minutes left.

“But full credit to all the boys, we made a strong finish but left ourselves a little too much to do.

“We can take some positives from the way we played in the closing stages, though.”

RAIDERS: Storer, Luke, Sargent, Barlow, Arthur, White, Hewick, Perkins; Peach, O’Hagan, Nielsen, Leeming, Loosmore, Aspland-Robinson, Farnes. Subs: Dawson, Richardson, Fogerty, Miles, Doignie.

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