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Canterbury vs Guernsey Raiders | Match Report

Canterbury vs Guernsey Raiders | Match Report

Zoe Collins20 Mar - 14:33
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‘We had a really fast first 15-20 minutes – we were all over them.'

The statistics indicate it was a familiar tale for Raiders on the road at Canterbury on Saturday.

However, Guernsey’s director of rugby Jordan Reynolds insisted that the scoreline did not tell the whole story.

In fact, he was at a loss to explain just how Raiders found themselves 19-0 down at half-time after such a promising opening quarter from his side, who ultimately succumbed to a 33-19 defeat in National Two East.

‘We had a really fast first 15-20 minutes – we were all over them,’ Reynolds said.

‘We probably got into their 22 on five occasions by around the halfway mark of the first half, but we just failed to convert.

‘One was because of good defence from them, the four others were us just making small errors or going off script slightly. As soon as we got within sight of their line, something was not quite right – we would get to second phase and turn the ball over or we would get into some weird positions with a prop passing to a prop out wide.

‘I think the next 20 minutes after that were probably a reflection of the frustration we felt because we gave up three tries to a side playing up the hill and into the wind. By then, half-time could not come quickly enough.’

Those three Canterbury tries came in the space of just eight minutes, with the middle one being a penalty try which also resulted in Lewis Hillier being sent to the sin-bin for slapping down the ball when coming back from an offside position.

Raiders also had to play another 10-minute period with just 14 early in the second half when James Burger was shown a yellow card.

However, they then managed to fight their way back into the game thanks to a converted try from Tom Ceillam and there followed a couple of tries for Ethan Smith.

Reynolds felt his side remained in with a chance until the hosts scored in the last five minutes when his side were pushing for at least a bonus point or two.

‘The last try they scored was because we were chasing the game and trying to run the ball from our own 5m line, which we would not normally do,’ he said.

‘I thought we regrouped well in the second half and I’m not sure the scoreline truly reflects the game. We did not give up and we played some really good rugby at times.

‘Ultimately, we had lots of opportunities, but it was just one of those days when we could not quite put them away and Canterbury took advantage.’

The coach added that there were ‘lots of good performances’ from his players.

‘I took Dom Rice off because I was conscious of the need to give others minutes and also to look after his shoulder, but he was probably player of the match up to that point,’ said Reynolds.

‘Matt Creber was outstanding again, Ethan Smith was very good, as was Charlie Currie, and Hugo Culverhouse had a big second half for us.’

Reynolds did admit, though, that Raiders must improve their discipline.

‘We have got to sort out these yellow cards. We have had the most in the league.

‘It is difficult to defend at the best of times at this level, but when you are down a man it is even harder.’

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