SIX points off the top and the so far relentless pace of Wimbledon and Rochford Hundred, but ‘no worries’ for Jordan Reynolds’ men after this fifth win in six at London Irish.
Over the years London Irish has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Guernsey greens but the new side is looking very resilient and proved adequately so to carve out a 17-point lead by half time and then hold onto it in the wet.
The only surprise and slight annoyance from the coaching team was that the visitors did not extend the advantage after the break and pick up a bonus point.
Overall, though, the coach was pretty satisfied with the long day’s work.
‘We created a lot of opportunities but just a little bit unlucky in not taking them,’ he said on return.
‘We had four clear opportunities to score after half time but couldn’t take them, but it was good to see that at least we created them.’
It was the most solid of away-day displays and the gloom was lifted by a brilliant try by Asher Veamatahau who beat five or six men to score one of the outstanding tries of the season, certainly from a Raiders perspective.
‘It was his best game for us and definitely deserved his man of the match award which was great to see,’ said his fellow Australian.
‘Playing at 12 allowed him to get his hands on the ball.
‘Both sets of brothers played well though.’
Raiders had three tries in the bag by half time courtesy of a typical catch and drive move finished off by Tom Ceillam, a score in the corner for Luke Sayer and Asher’s brilliant effort.
Joe Andresen kicked one conversion and added a penalty.
‘We defended extremely well and probably kicked away a little bit aimlessly to be honest,’ added the coach.
‘When we had ball in hand we were excellent. We must have had 75% possession in the first half and a good amount in the second.’
London Irish had been previously unbeaten at home and the Raiders coach is convinced they remain one of the division’s better sides despite their current lowly position.
A plus point, too, is that Raiders picked up no obvious new injuries on a day when they utilised just one off the bench, Cameron Craine coming on for Jacob Pinkney at half time.
And with Lewis Hillier, Layton Batiste and Owen Thomas all due back for this week’s home game against CS Stags 1863 the coach faces some testing selection issues and has the ability to rotate his squad, never a bad thing when the games come thick and fast.
Sam Steventon, Tom Ceillam (c), Jacob Pinkney, Nick Merrien, Brad Webb, Courtney Raymond, Dom Rice, Doug Horrocks; Jake O’Connor, Joe Andresen, Luke Sayer, Asher Veamatahau, Matt Armstrong, Naki Veamatahau, Anthony Armstrong.
Replacements: Cameron Craine, Leon Gardner, Lucas Barker.