Match report David Hinchliffe.
Taunton Titans 40 Worthing Raiders 32
The Raiders returned from their Christmas break to take the road to Taunton Titans who lay third in the table. The early season game between the two sides had produced a hatful of scores with the Somerset side just edging the game and the Sussex side collecting two bonus points and the return fixture followed the same pattern. The Raiders team remained largely unchanged from the side which defeated Bournemouth before the break but with Matt McLean on the bench.
Taunton showed their intent by taking the game to the visitors from the start and within three minutes were 7-0 up through a try by Nick Mason, converted by Gary Kingdom. Not to be outdone The Raiders responded within a minute when a break down the wing by Will Sanderson was finished off by Will Beer and converted by Henry Anscombe (7-7). The game continued in this end to end vein for most of the afternoon. On eleven minutes The Titans again went ahead with a converted try by Kitson, only for Jon Whittall to respond four minutes later following hard work by the forwards (14-12). Henry Anscombe missed the difficult conversion but was on target three minutes later with a penalty and the visitors had a one-point lead (14-15).
Now it was the home side’s forwards who ground out the hard yards to reclaim the lead through a converted try by No.8 Lee only for The Raiders backs to cut their defence in two, with Jon Dawe reaching the final kick through first and flicking the ball up to the supporting Tom Gwyther to touch down near the posts (21-22). On the stroke of half time the home forwards again had their say and Oliphant-Thompson’s converted try saw the home side go in for the break 28-22 ahead.
The second session began in similar frenetic style, with The Raiders closing the gap through a penalty only for the Titans to increase their lead with an unconverted try by Arnott (33-25). The Raiders backs again pounced almost from the re-start, this time Jon Dawe was able to complete himself and Henry Anscombe’s conversion made it a one-point game (33-32). With thirty minutes still to play the crowd anticipated a cricket score but understandably the players were beginning to tire and as substitutions took effect the pace of the game dropped. The Raiders continued to probe for the break which would bring the winning score but as the clock ticked down it was Taunton who were attacking the visitors’ line. When the referee produced a red card to dismiss Jon Dawe for what the touch judge perceived to be a “no arm” tackle the die was cast. Taunton’s forwards again rumbled over for a last minute try and, cruelly, the conversion robbed Worthing of their losing bonus point (40-32).
Full time score: Taunton Titans 40 Worthing Raiders 32
So, an exciting game for the spectators, a bonus point (so nearly two) on the road against the third placed team in the league and the knowledge that it could have been a “five pointer”. Next week The Raiders make their longest trip of the season to fourth placed Redruth, no easy weekends in National 2!!
Referee: Adam Wookey
Tries: Beer, Whittall, Gwyther, Dawe
Cons: Anscombe x 3
Pens: Anscombe x 2
- Sam Cook (Birch 40 mins) 2. Elliott Luke (Gibson 40 mins) 3. Rhys Litterick (Gatford 64 mins) 4. Scott Barlow 5. Jack Lee (Holmes 64 mins) 6. Jack Lake 7. Jon Whittall 8. Liam Perkins – Captain 9. Calum Waters 10. Henry Anscombe 11. Curtis Barnes 12. Tom Gwyther 13. Jon Dawe 14. Will Sanderson (McLean 51 mins) 15. Will Beer
- Jordan Gibson 17. Henry Birch 18. Grant Gatford 19. Freddie Holmes 20. Matt McLean