Raiders on the receiving end of a Redruth mauling

RAIDERS were taught a harsh lesson on Saturday as Redruth gave a masterclass in mauling to return to the top of National Two South.

‘It pretty much all came from catch-and-drive, which is something we have not had an issue with all year before now,’ said Guernsey director of rugby Jordan Reynolds.

‘If you take away the catch-and-drives, it was three tries apiece. It was one of those things that defensively against the catch-and-drive, which we are normally excellent at, we were exactly the opposite on the day.

‘We are taking responsibility for that as players and coaches. It was disappointing how slow we were to react to it. We needed to find solutions quickly and we did not do that.’

Raiders were not helped by losing Tom Ceillam to a yellow card early on in proceedings when he was penalised for bringing down a Redruth driving maul.

‘Everyone was pretty amazed by that and it sort of set the tone for the game,’ Reynolds said.

‘If they were about to go in for a try, maybe, but they were still at least 10m out and it was not guaranteed they were going to score.’

With Ceillam in the sin bin and Redruth playing with the wind at their backs and going down the slope, they quickly took the lead.

Raiders responded well and worked the ball through several phases before Oscar Baird went over in the corner to level the scores at 5-5, but they were to be the visitors’ only points of a first half in which they lost Owen Thomas to a shoulder injury, which also caused some disruption.

As the penalty count started to mount, Redruth kept going to the catch-and-drive and it continued to pay dividends as they built a substantial 33-5 lead by half-time.

‘We had some good possession in the first half, but we were always playing catch up and we had to make some changes which hurt the flow of our game,’ said the Raiders coach.

After the turnaround, Thomas’ replacement at fly-half Joe Andresen scored a fine try which was converted by Charlie Davies to briefly narrow the gap.

Joe Andresen scores his try early in the second half. (Picture by Mike Marshall, 30575337)

However, soon Redruth’s forwards were at it again and they added a further three tries before Guernsey had the last word in the game via an Anthony Armstrong try.

‘That is now two really poor performances on the road, which had been a strong point for us this season,’ Reynolds said.

‘We spoke beforehand about wanting to improve on where we were against Henley, but any improvements were few and far between.

‘With a scoreline like that it is difficult to find positives. We have not seen one of those scorelines since the last time we were in National Two and the quality of our squad then was not what it is now.’

Guernsey host Clifton this coming Saturday, with Reynolds hoping to welcome back some players to the fold.

‘A few guys will definitely be back in contention for selection,’ he said.

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