Raiders finally back playing on the road

RUGBY is back and Raiders are back to winning ways.

Raiders centre Matt Armstrong gets wrapped up in the tackle by two Westcombe Park opponents. (Picture by Mike Marshall, 29875416)
Raiders centre Matt Armstrong gets wrapped up in the tackle by two Westcombe Park opponents. (Picture by Mike Marshall, 29875416)

Guernsey took 38 players to Westcombe Park on Saturday for back-to-back pre-season outings as the club’s first team look forward to next month’s National Two South return and they took the honours in both – 48-24 in the noon kick-off and 40-38 in the second game a couple of hours later.

The Raiders director of rugby Jordan Reynolds called the first game ‘a decent hit out’ and took plenty of positives from that performance, although he was far from satisfied with what followed in the second game.

‘We’re excited to be back playing, but there’s a lot to work on,’ he said yesterday.

‘Westcombe Park were solid and, in fairness, I do not know how we won the second game because we missed a lot of tackles, we were poor at retaining the ball and we gave away double the amount of penalties we usually would.

‘We couldn’t have had any complaints if we had lost and it would have possibly done us good if we had not won it, but we did it ugly.’

While Reynolds admitted he was not pleased with the performance, he added that not having played English opposition for so long might have contributed to a greater extent than he had anticipated.

‘The biggest concern we had was overplaying,’ he said.

‘Funnily enough, we had trained really well on Thursday and that can often be a bad omen for us.

‘It has been a long time since we have played and people were definitely keen, but there was a flatness about us and that could be from our mental state.

‘It could be that we have been looking forward to this for so long that we have ended up over-thinking it and we had nothing left in us mentally.’

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