CANTERBURY 13 WORTHING RAIDERS 7
In a tight game with few frills the city side defied a late surge from Raiders to squeeze their second win of the New Year.
After dominating first half possession they ended up fighting to hold on as they failed to put away chances against a solid defence. That was to prove costly in the second half as Worthing’s effective game plan dried up the earlier supply of ball
Despite the early loss of prop Sam Kenny with a shoulder injury, against a visiting side languishing in the lower reaches of the league table Canterbury should have made more of their early riches, with skipper Tom Burns stealing line outs at will and the backs making dangerous forays.
Instead, they were restricted to one try and reached half time two points behind. Worthing could have taken an early lead but fly half George Montgomery lost possession in the act of touching down and the game was almost half an hour old before a score came.
Canterbury were making most of the running but errors at crucial moments in attack frustrated them and they were made to pay. A hoisted free kick and a turn over gave Raiders wing Karyim Irving the opportunity to run on to Matt McLean’s clever kick and score. McLean converted the try immaculately from the touchline.
It was a rare attacking moment for Raiders and as Canterbury continued to press they eventually got a reward. A patient build up allowed the backs to probe the right flank where JJ Murray’s slick offload sent Guy Hilton over for his seventeenth try of the season. The conversion was missed but with the wind and slope in their favour after the break the odds were heavily on the city club.
Raiders, however, met that challenge head on and their hard working pack, with Number Eight Dino Lamb always prominent, took control of possession. Canterbury did edge into the lead after good work at the breakdown won a penalty goal for Tom Best, but starved of the ball they were largely neutralised.
It took a good turnover and some quick thinking to maximise one of their shrinking scoring chances. Scrum Half Dan Smart kicked into space and with Will Farris and Kieran Thompson in pursuit it was Thompson who grabbed a bouncing ball to score.
That left Worthing twelve minutes to add to their losing bonus point and they upped their game considerably, winning penalties and prime attacking positions. It took brave, scrambling defence to repel them as, not always wisely perhaps, they chose the scrum as their attacking weapon and Canterbury survived.
Canterbury: A.Moss, G.Hilton (repl J.Jones), JJ Murray, W.Farris, K.Thompson, T.Best, D.Smart, A.Cooper, T.Rogers, S.Kenny (repl J.Green), J.Green (repl C.Townley), G.Edwards, T.Burns (repl R.Cadman), S.Rogers, H.McCormick-Huston, J.Stephens.
|W||22 Apr||Bury St. Edmunds||14-13|
|L||25 Feb||Bishop's Stortford||30-46|
|W||11 Feb||London Irish WG||21-17|
|L||4 Feb||Taunton Titans||5-30|
|D||21 Jan||Bishop's Stortford||0-0|
|L||17 Dec||Old Elthamians||14-18|
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