WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club drew a blank in a heavy 44-0 defeat against title-chasing Rosslyn Park this afternoon.
An injury-hit Raiders were forced to make five changes from the side that lost at Esher last week and they came up against a powerful second-place Park in the National 1 clash.
The visitors ran in six tries, three in each half in a dominant display which included a hat-trick from Hugo Ellis.
For Raiders, Finlay Coxon-Smith, captain Matt Miles, Scott Barlow and Rob Smith all missed out while Pete Cleveland dropped to the bench. Coming into the starting 15 were, fresh from England duty, Kiba Richards, Kerry O’Sullivan, James Arthur, Jamie Redmayne and Chris Sewell, with Simon Gaynor taking over captaincy duties.
With the wind behind them, Park took the lead after just three minutes as Scott Sneddon slotted them ahead after a penalty, given for not releasing after a tackle.
The visitors extended their lead on seven minutes as Jack Gash collected and easily ghosted through from a line-out deep in Raiders’ 22 and Sneddon put over the extras for a 10-0 lead.
Raiders’ own attack turned into defence on numerous occasions as the powerful Park restricted them from breaking forwards.
And the hosts could have been further behind on 16 minutes as Rosslyn broke with numbers on the far side, but a combined effort from Ben Loosmore and Kiba Richards stopped the break.
O’Sullivan then held up a Park attack on the line before Park added another three points via the boot of Sneddon, with the assistance of the wind, after a penalty given for not rolling away.
Rosslyn’s dominance in the set-piece continued as Worthing gave away another penalty. The visitors ignored the call from their coaches to kick for the posts and instead drove a scrum towards the line before Ellis picked up to dive over.
Another successful conversion from Sneddon took the score to 20-0 with seven minutes of the half remaining.
Park added their third try of the afternoon a minute before half-time as Ellis raced over after a successful charge down from a kicked clearance, although the last action of the half saw Sneddon’s extra attempt hit the left-hand upright.
The second half started in the same vein as the first as Park soon added to their score after a couple of missed tackles allowed Peter Hodgkinson in under the posts and Sneddon slotted over the extras.
Ellis completed his hat-trick on 52 minutes as the result of another drive after a scrum and the trusty Sneddon obliged with the extras to take the score to 39-0.
The visitors dominance continued as Adam Bellamy got in on the act on 55 minutes, diving over in the far corner.
Kiba Richards and Chris Sewell stood out for the hosts as they battled against their powerful opponents, but when they did get clear, errors saw the ball turned over.
Worthing’s golden chance to trouble the scoreboard saw Kieran Leeming break free, but Jack Maslen - who had a relatively clear run home - knocked on and the chance was gone.
An off-the-ball fracas saw both sides reduced to 13 men on 68 minutes as Raiders’ Burns and Cleveland and Park’s Aaron Liffchak and William Bowley were all shown yellow cards meaning uncontested scrums.
That had little effect on the match in a day to forget for Raiders.
WORTHING: Maslen, Greenwood, O.Richards, K.Richards, Loosmore, Leeming, Govett, O’Sullivan, Pointing, Sargent, Gaynor, Arthur, Redmayne, Hewick, Sewell. Subs: Cleveland, Heaver (Sullivan, Arthur 45), Burns (Pointing , Lasis, Whittall (O.Richards, Hewick 62).
PARK: Hodgkinson, Broughton, Staff, Mackey, Cole, Sneddon, Gash, Liffchak, Bellamy, McKenzie, Bowley, Boyle, Shires, Broadbent, Ellis. Subs: Cobb (Bellamy 46), Ward (McKenzie 62), Ball, Vincent (Cole, Mackey 44), Grant (Dash 72).