| || ||1||2||3||4||5|
|27||28||29||30||31|| || |
At 3-00pm, the last late start until March, The Raiders kicked off with the wind and were quick to envelope the receiver. Dings were unable to clear their lines under pressure and the first scrum was awarded to the attacking side, wide out on the left. Worthing worked their way across field and back but were unable to break down the visitors’ defence and eventually won another scrum in a similar position to the first. This time the forwards took route one and, as they forced their way over, it was Sam Hewick who claimed the grounding, much to the enjoyment of his fan club. Joe Govett struck a superb conversion from the touchline and The Raiders were ahead after six minutes. (7 – 0)
The re-start was knocked forward and with advantage being played Dings kicked deep into the home side’s left corner, forcing Matt Farnes to side foot into touch for a lineout on the 5m line. With a Southwest speciality catch and drive on the cards, the defence set themselves for the anticipated assault. Several drives were repulsed, including a breakaway unit of four who crossed the home line but did not take the ball with them! The home side infringed and Dings chipped the resulting penalty to touch to set up another speciality. This time the maul was better formed and as it wheeled to the corner Bufton grounded, Woodrow’s conversion into the wind falling short. (7 – 5)
Worthing reclaimed their re-start and play remained in the visitors’ half for the next few minutes. After a series of phases, Ben Dudley put in an excellent kick to turn the defence. The wind took the ball beyond Alex Nielsen’s chase but his pressure forced the defender to carry over his own line and ground the ball, thus winning a 5m scrum for the home side. Dings disrupted the scrummage well but Rob Smith and Joe Govett cleared up and the ball went through a couple of phases before being released to the right for Will Harris to “score” in the corner. Unfortunately the pass to Will was adjudged forward and the try was disallowed. The Raiders continued to press but a number of promising attacks were snuffed out by a steadfast defence. On twenty two minutes a poor clearance kick resulted in a lineout in the visitors’ 22m and a training ground move put Sam Hewick in for his second try, to the obvious delight of his fan club. Govett’s difficult kick from a metre inside the right hand touchline had the direction but not the legs so the lead returned to seven points. (12 – 5)
The re-start was dealt with efficiently and lines cleared. From an attacking scrum just inside the Dings half the ball was worked wide right and Jordan Burns pace took him close to the try line. Having broken the first tackle, he was caught by two covering defenders and as he reached for the line the ball was dislodged. Dings worked their way up field and were awarded a penalty midfield on the home 22m, previously described speciality move coming up. Lineout, catch and drive, drive, drive, drive, drive, etc. Try scored near the posts by Joyce and converted by Woodrow with 32 minutes gone. (12-12)
Worthing upped the pressure and kept the visitors in their own half. Jordan Burns, running towards his own line, caught a clearance kick and his pace and strength in contact forced Dings to concede a penalty, followed by another at the resulting lineout. The Raiders worked the ball left and Burns was in the line to cut through for a score out wide, Govett’s conversion hitting the upright. (17 – 12)
Two minutes to half time and a five point lead but Dings won a penalty from the re-start and kicked into The Raiders half. This time the maul was too far out to score but it was set well and allowed clean ball for the backs. Cox broke the line and raced for the posts but was caught a couple of metres out by Farnes. Both players hit the post and the ball rolled free but the officials were happy it had been grounded correctly and the try was awarded, converted by Woodrow as the last act of the half. (17 – 19)
Farnes received treatment during half time and was fit to continue but McIntyre was not so fortunate and a back strain picked up just before the break saw him replaced by Cleveland for the second period. Dings kicked off and the home side conceded an early penalty at the breakdown for Woodrow to notch up another three points. (17 – 22)
A good interception by Darren Clayton put The Raiders on the offensive and only a last gasp tackle prevented Jordan Burns from scoring in the corner. Harry Sloan replaced Will Harris but as play moved back and forth across half way, Worthing were penalised on their 22m and Woodrow extended their lead to eight points (17 – 25)
More than a score down with half an hour remaining and the home side knew it was time to up the tempo. As they began to exert pressure, territory and possession forced the visitors to concede penalties. Twice in as many minutes The Raiders crossed the whitewash but were adjudged to have been held up but on 58 minutes Joyce received a yellow card for not retreating at another penalty, giving Worthing a one man advantage. The Southeast speciality move failed to work and the ball was cleared to halfway but from lineout it was worked wide on the left where Alex Nielsen made good ground. Dings pressured the ruck but left the door open and Govett was through. A deft chip over the defender by Joe set up the foot race and Jordan Burns proved the winner to close the gap to three with the bonus point try, Govett being unable to make the conversion. (22 – 25)
Charlie McGowan replaced Will Stutchbury and within two minutes was on the receiving end of a punch from Cooke, which earned the Dings prop a ten minute rest. Down to thirteen men, the visitors had to replace the missing front row and Uren was sacrificed to allow Flooke to take the field. The penalty kick was kept in play by Dings under dubious circumstances and they held out until Joyce returned, reducing the disparity to one man. The Raiders took possession and attacked down the right wing then switched play quickly to Nielsen on the left. Quick ruck ball moved play back to centre field and Captain Matt Miles broke the stretched defence to put Worthing ahead, Joe adding the extras. (29 – 25)
McLean and Heaver replaced Nielsen and Arthur and Worthing set about holding their lead for the remainder of the game. Both sides needed a score and neither could afford to concede so it was a cagey final few minutes but with The Raiders holding back a Dings drive in their 22m, Mr Lewis signalled the ball was held in and then blew for no side. Five points against a tough side, job done. Pretty it may not have been but a win it was. Jordan Burns, with two tries and two very near misses, was man of the match, much to the disappointment of the Hewick fan club!
Elsewhere, Taunton went down away at Launceston, Barking lost heavily to Henley at home and Chinnor held Hartpury to an 8 – 22 loss in Oxfordshire. Lydney gave visitors Redruth a scare with an unanswered twenty point comeback, Bournemouth got back to winning ways at home to Southend and next week’s opposition, second placed Shelford, won 30 – 7 at Canterbury. As for the league, with the top five all taking bonus point wins, the status remained quo’d!
Team: Pointing Miles, McIntyre, Stutchbury, Barlow, Arthur, Hewick, Smith, Govett, Dudley, Nielsen, Clayton, Harris, Burns (Jordan), Farnes. Subs: Cleveland, Heaver, McGowan, Sloan, McLean.