Guernsey Press

Raiders respond to their half-time rollicking

The ‘hairdryer’ treatment had the desired effect as Guernsey overturned a 14-point half-time deficit and maintained their 2024 winning run on Saturday.

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Ciaran McGann scored two tries among his 21 points against Worthing, but will miss Guernsey's next game due to the concussion protocols having taken a knock to the head. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32918070)

Director of rugby Jordan Reynolds admitted he ‘yelled’ at his side at the interval when they found themselves 21-7 down to hosts Worthing in the battle of the Raiders and he got the response he wanted as they turned things around in the second half to win 31-28, picking up a four-try bonus point into the bargain.

‘It is probably the first time I have done that this season,’ said the Guernsey head coach of his half-time rollicking.

‘Defensively, in the first half we did not have the same intensity as we had against TJs or Wimbledon.

‘Tom Ceillam came on around 20 minutes in due to an injury to Carter Hackett and he put in three big tackles, so I asked them at half-time why that intensity had not been there from the rest of them.

‘They needed that stern talking to at half-time and, to be fair, in the second half we battered them. It was dominance after that, we had them pinned in their half just through smart rugby.

‘You do not want to be in the position where you have to get loud, but the good thing is now the squad and the leadership group find a way to overcome such situations.

‘You need moments like that to shape your development as a team and before December I think we would have probably folded, whereas now we have had a massive confidence boost to know that we can still fire shots having been in such a position.’

Tom Teasdale had scored Guernsey’s only try of the first half, while after the break Sam Boyland began the comeback before Ciaran McGann touched down twice on a day when he contributed 21 points.

‘Our attack was actually really good, but in the first half we could not get past the third phase – just when we got in a scoring opportunity, the ball would go to ground. We were a bit clunky in that sense,’ Reynolds said.

‘Overall, we probably had 11 or 12 opportunities to score and scored four tries whereas Worthing had three opportunities in the first half and scored all three, so they were at 100% ratio.

‘A big contrast between the two sides was that, although it was wet, we managed to find width and still play rugby whereas when they got their third try, they tightened up. They only got out of their half a couple of times in the second half.’

Reynolds added that the in-form Boyland had another fine game for Guernsey, as did Ethan Smith who ‘had the ability to threaten and break their line all day’.

Unfortunately, Hackett’s shoulder injury is likely to sideline him while McGann took a knock to the head and will now have to go through the concussion protocols before he returns.

• Guernsey Raiders Ladies registered their first win of the season on Sunday with a 26-10 success away to Aylesford Bulls Women. An impressive team performance was rewarded as two tries from Aideen Le Prevost and one each from Marni De Freitas Alves and Liv Kenneally earned the win on the road.