By Katie Daunt
Raiders 8 Rams 59
YOU can make that a record 17 straight wins.
The National Two South league leaders showed no sympathy for injury-wrecked Raiders with this nine-try romp at Footes Lane which proved a tough baptism and eye-opener for the two Jersey Athletic front row lads loaned to their Guernsey rivals in midweek after they had lost two more props in the win over Clifton.
Ewan Davies and George Thomas were drafted in after the RFU gave clearance on Friday, but Raiders, who had won two tight games on the bounce, conceded a converted third minute try to Gutteridge and never recovered.
It was easy to see why fast and clinical Rams are top of the table and by half-time they had added further scores through Corrigan (two) and Illingworth, two converted by Seers, for a 24-3 interval lead.
The second period was only four minutes old when Henderson squeezed through a narrow gap to score a fifth try, again converted.
Duffelen got the sixth, converted again by Seers, and just when Raiders were beginning to show some confidence with ball in hand, they dropped a loose ball and Nightingale raced away to get another. Seers again converted and it was 45-3.
To their credit, Raiders did not let their heads drop and one great break from Jason Batiste set up an attack which eventually led to his brother Layton scoring a consolation try for the home side in the 64th minute.
It went unconverted by Owen Thomas, but at least the big crowd had something to cheer on a distinctly chilly afternoon.
Layton’s score made it 45-8, but amid the mass late inter-changes Crame and Gutteridge added further scores, both converted by replacement kicker Humberstone.
Even allowing for their shed-load of absences and obvious disruption, Raiders did not cover themselves in glory when it came to tackling, a point quickly picked upon afterwards by the coach.
But there were pluses, most notably Douglas Horrocks, who was absolutely immense in all facets of the game.
Also worthy of a mention was novice scrum-half Tom Teasdale, who distribution off both hands was impressive, as was his awareness considering his lack of game time in a No. 9 shirt.
Later, Reynolds reiterated his gratitude to Jersey Athletic for loaning props George Thomas and Ewan Davies to ensure that the game could go ahead.
With London Irish Wild geese winning we drop one place in the standings to next to bottom where Birmingham & Solihull, who were without a game because of the weather, now sit.
It is the ‘Bees’ next up for Raiders away in the Midlands this weekend where the hope is some of those injured men can return.
Guernsey Raiders: G. Thomas, Ceillam, L. Batiste, Webb, Merrien, Creber, Rice, Horrocks, Teasdale, O. Thomas, Ahne, Campbell, Jones, Aremu, Armstrong.
Replacements: Davies, Baron, Shannon, J. Batiste, Lomas.
Rams: Steadman, Henderson, Baker, Taylor, Thomson, Crame, Vooght, Guttridge, Illingworth, Seers, Corrigan, A. Humberstone, Jones, Rossiter, Duffelen.
Replacements: Drew, McDonnell-Roberts, Nightingale, T. Humberstone, Lloyd.