Positives Come From Defeat
By Katie Daunt
Rams 48 Raiders 14
When the Raiders slipped to 36-0 behind in the first half there was a concern that the coach’s decision to change much of the team that had won at home to Clifton, would backfire and the scoreline could get messy.
But, far from it.
In fact we edged the second half by 14 points to 12 and Jordan Reynolds learnt a lot from the trip.
Raiders were slow to get going, allowing the Rams to take control early on.
Within five minutes a Rams winger scored in the corner and with the conversion missed it was 5-0, soon to be doubled as another try through the backs followed on 8 minutes.
Raiders’ few forays into the Rams half fell foul of their own mistakes and poor ball retention played a big part in the Rams’ third try.
Picking up a loose ball the home side increased the pressure and rumbled over for a converted try: 17-0.
Before it got better, it got a whole lot worse and at the interval the game was clearly lost.
The second half did not start much better. Straight after the kick off a knock-on paved the way for the home side to pounce on the ball, release their backs and score another unconverted try.
Finally, Raiders then started to retain ball and with a few phases attacked the Rams half.
Yet 10 minutes in Rams scored their final try of the game under the posts for a converted try and a 48-0 lead.
Undeterred by the Rams dominance the Raiders continued to fight back and on 60 minutes the visitors forced a tired looking Rams defence into mistakes.
A catch and drive followed by further scrums resulted in young No 8 Matt Creber driving his way over for a try converted by Alex Gow.
Another Raiders try soon followed.
A smart kick by new fly half Henry Greenhalgh caused Rams defence to fumble and Malcolm Barnes pounced over the line to score. Alex Gow converted.
There would have been a third try had the referee not disallowed George Shannon’s effort and Raiders looked by far the stronger team at the end of the game with all the new players settling into what is a new structure and pace to which they are used to.
Sam Steventon, Harry Baron, Layton Batiste, Brad Webb, Nick Merrien (c), Dale Martin, Dom Rice, Matt Creber; Nico Alexandre, Harry Greenhalgh, Tom Teasdale, Malcolm Barnes, Matt Armstrong, Chris Ahne, Alex Gow.
Replacements: Dave Anderson, George Shannon, Robin Le Cocq, Chris Bolton.