Raiders come good to stay in the hunt
RAIDERS came mightily close to severely denting their title hopes on Saturday – but then showed their championship credentials by digging themselves out of a big hole.
Most of their problems were of their own making as they fell 30-12 behind early in the second half at Tunbridge Wells having been down to 13 men at one stage in the first half with sin-bins for both Jacob Pinkney and Dom Rice, but remarkably coach Jordan Reynolds revealed yesterday that he was not panicking.
‘I was more worried during the Hertford game,’ he said.
‘There were just a couple of areas we needed to fix and as soon as we did it we were a different animal.
‘To be fair, it does take a lot from a team to turn it around like that and not implode, which is what the old Raiders would have done.
‘This side managed to correct the problems out on the park and had enough in the tank in the last 20 minutes to see it through. Not many teams in this league could have done that.’
Reynolds reported that he did not read the riot act at half-time, although he joked that his side did not immediately heed his instructions either.
‘At half-time I said we need to be the team to score first in the second half ... we weren’t. So then I said we need to be the team to score second,’ said a chuckling coach.
‘To be fair, though, in the second half we played some really good rugby.’
The bonus-point 33-30 win keeps Raiders two points behind London & South-East Premier leaders Rochford Hundred and three ahead of third-placed Wimbledon, who have a game in hand on the top two.
‘I think if we had lost that game, we would have been out of the running [for the title] as well because I feel Rochford and Wimbledon have one more slip up in them, but not two,’ Reynolds said.
- More in Tuesday's Guernsey Press.