No. 10 a special Rice to order

DAN RICE was the toast of Footes Lane on Saturday.

Two-try hero Tom Ceillam. (Picture by Martin Gray, 30095287)
Two-try hero Tom Ceillam. (Picture by Martin Gray, 30095287)

It was a day to remember for the young No. 10 making his first National Two South start for Raiders in the absence of the injured Owen Thomas as he kicked the winning penalty in the 85th minute to give Guernsey a 17-16 victory in a real nail-biter against Henley Hawks.

Jordan Reynolds will have been sorry to have missed it while he waited on a PCR test, although his assistant Malcolm Barnes joked afterwards that Guernsey’s director of rugby might not have been able to cope with all the drama and excitement.

Rice certainly did, though, and ended with seven points having earlier converted Tom Ceillam’s two second-half tries as Raiders cameback from being 13-0 down after an hour.

‘Obviously with no OT [Thomas] today, he really stepped into those boots well,’ Barnes said of the fly-half. ‘He nailed the first two [kicks], which I think were a little more difficult, but he does strike it very well off the tee so I’m very glad he got it [the third].’

Barnes added that his side were expecting a tough and tight match against a Henley side who had won their previous three.

‘They fought the whole 80 minutes and we knew we were going to have to play the whole 80 minutes.

‘We were probably in their 22 six or seven times [in the first half] coming away with absolutely nothing, so for the boys to stay in it for 80 minutes and get a penalty at the end to close it out – we will take it.’

The victory keeps Raiders third in the table, four points behind leaders Worthing while second-placed Redruth remain the only unbeaten side having won six from six and they visit Footes Lane on 30 October.

However, Barnes insisted Raiders will not get ahead of themselves.

‘It’s a long road to the end of the season so we don’t want to count our chickens too early, but Henley were a very difficult side, a very formidable team so we’re very glad to get the win on a nice day in front of our supporters here.’

  • Report in Monday's Guernsey Press.

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