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1st XV - Match centre

Worthing Raiders
Sat 12 Jan 14:00 - RFU National - National 2 South Full time

Clifton maintain positive start to 2019 with 49-29 win at Worthing


A second half resurgence sees Clifton take maximum points.

A second half resurgence sees Clifton take maximum points.

[i]“To keep one of the best attacking sides in the league to 21 points, including the interception is testimony to our energy and focus.”
Matt Salter

Clifton arrived at Worthing on the back of a promising performance against Taunton last week and were looking to secure their 3rd straight win at The Rugby Park in 3 seasons. On a dull, cold afternoon the crowd of over four hundred anticipated an open game and that is exactly what they got.

Raiders kicked off attacking the southern end of the ground and were quickly into their stride with a multiphase attack which took them deep into Clifton’s territory. The first stoppage in play didn’t come until three minutes had elapsed.

Clifton’s first use of the ball in Raiders’ territory was well defended and ended with a twenty two metre drop out. Jack Forrest kicked long and the home side’s chase was good putting pressure on Clifton as they tried to run out of their own half. Raiders second row and Harlequins DR George Hammond intercepted the ball on clifton's ten metre line and sprinted forty metres unopposed to score the first try of the day. With the conversion missed Raiders had an early lead 5-0.

After an excellent kick in open play from Jack Forrest, Raiders had a lineout deep in the Clifton twenty two. A multiphase attack close to Clifton’s try line should have resulted in a try for the home side but a forward pass prevented any addition to the score.

Over the next fifteen minutes Raiders had plenty of possession in Clifton’s half but the Clifton defended well, emphasising their preperation throughout the week and eventually got themselves into some good attacking areas before scoring their first try after Sam Goatley steamed in on twenty five minutes. With the successful conversion from Francis they took the lead 5-7.

As the first half moved into the last ten minutes the scoring by both sides suddenly erupted. From a ruck just inside Clifton’s territory Harry Barlow found himself at scrum half – he picked up and sprinted forward splitting the close defence then set off to outpace the cover and dive in under the posts. Matt McLean converted to regain the lead 12-7.

It only took another three minutes and Raiders scored their third try. Clifton brought the ball forward and in an attempt to continue the attack the ball was kicked forward on the floor, Matt McLean won the race to the ball and used his football skills to kick it forward – the ball bounced kindly for him enabling him to collect it and sprint forty metres to score under the posts. He converted to stretch the lead to 19-7.

At this point things looked good for Raiders but during the final few minutes of the half Clifton scored twice, through Niall Gibbons and Will Pomphery to snatch the lead back just on half time.

Half time score: Worthing Raiders 19 Clifton 21

Clifton restarted the game after half time and within two minutes had scored another try with captain Mitch Spencer sniping through following another sublime break by Chris Leversley. Barnes adding the extras. The lead was now 19-28.McLean replied shortly afterwards with a penalty to narrow the gap to 22-28.

Both sides were playing good rugby and the game was going from end to end however it was Clifton who were being more accurate and clinical in their finishing and it wasn’t long before they added another seven points through Sam Goatley hammering through the middle and crashing over, 22-35.

Raiders played with glimpses of quality but were inconsistent and couldn’t maintain the pressure on the visitors, with Clifton's defence looking increasingly comfortable.
A good passage of play after runs from Curtis Barnes and Harry Barlow eventually led to a second try for George Hammond. With Matt McLean converting the gap closed to 29-35.

With twenty five minutes to go the game could still go either way. After a further twenty minutes there had been no more scores for either side. Entering the last five minutes the next score was going to decide the game. Unfortunately for Raiders it was Clifton who finished the stronger with Sam Goatley again collecting a brace before the final whistle.

Full time score: Worthing Raiders 29 Clifton 49

Matt Salter, Clifton Head Coach:
"What is exciting for me is this club is becoming stronger and stronger and there is a lot more to come from this side, There are a number of new faces in a team that will only get better in the coming weeks. We focused all week on how we were going to approach today; our defence was very good. To keep one of the best attacking sides in the league to 21 points including the interception is testimony of our energy and focus. We've got two big games at home now in Redruth and Guernsey in our January block, we need to maintain focus and hard work in the next few weeks to keep this momentum up."

Referee: Philip Davies

15. Reece Dunn 14. Hugh Campbell 13. Chris Leversely 12. Sam Goatley 11. Will Pomphery 10. Tom Francis 9. Mitch Spencer - Captain 1. Callum Simpson 2. Dave Wheeler 3. Jack Spencer 4. Henry Harper 5. Matthew Hall 6. Dan Hill 7. Cam Terry 8. Niall Gibbons

Bench: 16. Mark Roberts 17. Jack Williams 18. Matthew Davies 19. Aidan Ali 20. Brad Barnes


15. Matt McLean – Captain 14. Curtis Barnes 13. Kiba Richards 12. Harrison Sims 11. Harry Barlow 10. Jack Forrest 9. Dan Peach 1. Grant Gatford 2. Jordan Gibson 3. Tom Adams 4. George Hammond 5. Jack Lake 6. Ryan Maguire 7. John Dawe 8.Rob Cuffe

Henry Birch 17. Kieran Sassone 21. George Harris 19. Jon Whittall 20. Jack Maslen
Attendance: 419

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

League round up

Other National 2 South results

Old Albanian
Tonbridge Juddians

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Rams 30 139
2. Canterbury 30 121
3. Tonbridge Juddians 30 120
4. Henley 30 120
5. Taunton Titans 30 100
6. Clifton 30 70
7. Redruth 30 69

Team sponsors

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