Even though director of rugby Jordan Reynolds insisted beforehand that revenge was not on their minds for their trip to Rochford Hundred, Guernsey’s 42-24 bonus-point victory against the side they were promoted with from London & South-East Premier last year would have tasted particularly sweet.
Rochford came up to level four as champions, despite being behind Raiders when the 2019-20 season was curtailed because of Covid, but they are still waiting for their first victory this season whereas Reynolds’ men improved markedly on their week-one performance in defeat to Worthing to pick up a maximum five-point haul and moved up to sixth at this early stage of the season.
They started as they meant to go on with Matt Armstrong setting the standard as he claimed the ball from Owen Thomas’ opening kick off.
But it was the older Armstrong brother, Anthony, who opened the scoring for Raiders with a try in the corner.
The hosts drew level through Rob Gardner’s try, but a converted Charlie Davies score and a try from debutant Callum Roberts put Guernsey 17-5 ahead at half-time.
They extended their lead early in the second half as Thomas converted his own well-worked try but Rochford responded with a seven-pointer of their own.
Respecting the threat posed by the hosts, Thomas took the option of adding three points from a penalty before the home side narrowed the gap once more with another seven points to move within eight of the visitors.
However, Raiders then took control through two Matt Armstrong tries, one of which was converted, to build a 20-point lead.
Rochford had the consolation of adding a bonus-point fourth try, but Thomas had the final word with a 30m drop goal to complete the scoring.
Guernsey continue their September on the road away to Dings Crusaders this week.
At the top of the table, Clifton, Esher and Worthing all have a maximum 10 points from their opening two games while Redruth and Old Albanian have also won two from two.