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Home > News > Worthing Raiders 7 - Rosslyn Park 14
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Your News Worthing Raiders 7 - Rosslyn Park 14

Park never quite managed to get into top gear, let alone overdrive, but still managed to win by 7 tries to 1 at wind-swept Worthing on Saturday. They started well, playing into a strong breeze: almost from kick off Charlie Cooper nearly sent Chris Simmons in but the pass was fractionally behind him. An “over-the-shoulder” pass proved an elaboration too far and then a likely score was halted in its tracks by an accidental offside.

Eventually Worthing cleared their lines with a mighty kick out of defence, nearly stretched the defence but for a foot in touch and they gained the first real chance with a penalty in the 13th minute. It was missed, but Raiders clearly were not there just to make up the numbers.

Park got on the scoreboard after 15 minutes following a good “steal” at the lineout, the ball being quickly worked across to Nick Canty who made the score look easier than it was. Rhys Gosling added a conversion for 7-0. The visitors were straight back on the attack, James Strong made a good run up the right, a poor clearance allowed Park to build up a head of steam close to the line and Adam Gates powered over, Gosling again adding the extras.

Worthing gained a penalty almost straight from the restart but the kick was a poor one. Nevertheless, Raiders refused to just accept their punishment and a good, incisive move out of defence caught Park napping and winger Farnes ran in, Coulson converting to make it 14-7 after 26 minutes.

Play soon switched back to the other end, and hooker Amo Tauialo launched a bullocking run, stopped just short of the line. The Park backs were now playing fast and loose but could not find a way through the home defences until the 31st minute when a clever piece of juggling close to the line by Billy O’Driscoll – in which he never really caught the ball himself but still managed to pass on to James Strong outside him – saw Strong go over for 19-7.

Back on the attack, a superb run through the middle by O’Driscoll ended with a penalty right in front of the posts, which was taken as a quick tap for Howard Quigley to go close but just as the move seemed to have lost momentum the ball was whisked out to the corner where Strong went over for the try that gave Park a bonus point before the interval. A very difficult conversion attempt by Gosling hit the post.

Things went from bad to worse for the home team early in the second half following the (now apparently weekly) intervention of a touch judge, this time for one of those “handbags at ten paces” scuffles that the players used to sort out for themselves. It seemed the two hookers had clashed, and the Worthing man was sent to the sin bin. (The consensus around your reporter was that if he did indeed engage Amo in unarmed combat then he was rather more deserving of a bravery medal than a yellow card).

With numerical and wind advantage, it didn’t take long for Park to assert themselves with skipper Rob Jewell forcing his way over for 29 – 7.

The forwards, having punched holes in the home defence all afternoon for the benefit of their backs, decided to take a hand in matters and replacement flanker Doug Rodman made a telling run through the middle to score.

As the pressure grew Worthing were forced to touch down behind their own line. They defended well but had no answer when Gates powered through the middle and the personnel needed in order to stop him left space enough for Hayden Roche to nip through for a final try and 41-7. Allowed to play, Worthing were a useful side and it’s a fair measure of how far Park have come that they can score 7 tries against them without ever really finding top gear.

Park: Simmons; Strong, Jewell, O’Driscoll, Canty (Swords); Gosling; Barr (Roche); Charlton, Tauialo (Blemings), Blom (Huggett); Forster, Quigley; Jones, Cooper (Rodman), Gates.

Park scorers: Strong (2T), Canty (T), Gates (T), Jewell (T), Rodman (T), Roche (T), Gosling (3C).

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