'We are realistic, we’re in a fight' - Coach Ben Coulson on Worthing Raiders' battle to secure National 2 South status

Curtis Barnes grabbed a hat-trick of tries in Worthing Raiders' defeat at Barnes. Picture: Colin Coulson
Curtis Barnes grabbed a hat-trick of tries in Worthing Raiders' defeat at Barnes. Picture: Colin Coulson

Ben Coulson admitted Worthing Raiders face a fight to secure their National 2 South status.

But the Raiders assistant coach insists the team will focus on themselves as they look to remain above the relegation places.

Worthing’s winless league run was extended to eight matches after they succumbed to a late 28-26 defeat at Barnes on Saturday.

The club’s last victory came on January 5 and they’ve slipped to 11th in the table having been in the top half at the turn of the year.

But with five games remaining, Raiders do have a 13-point cushion over Birmingham & Solihull in the final relegation place.

And Coulson has emphasised the need for Worthing to address a recent dip in form as they enter the final run-in. He said: “We are realistic, we’re in a fight.

Jack Maslen goes over for Worthing Raiders at Barnes. Picture: Colin Coulson

Jack Maslen goes over for Worthing Raiders at Barnes. Picture: Colin Coulson

“There are 25 points left to play for and we are 13 clear of the final drop place.

“There are any number of combinations of results and plot twists to play out.

“However, the only things we’ll concern ourselves with are our preparation and performances.”

Curtis Barnes ran in a hat-trick of tries while Jack Maslen also went over but Worthing came up short against Barnes.

Maslen’s score ten minutes from time had fired Raiders 26-21 ahead with ten minutes to go, only for the hosts to grab a try with the final play to snatch victory.

And coach Coulson took plenty of positives despite the late defeat. "There were some very good performances and we scored four tries which was pleasing,” Coulson said.

“At the end of the game it would be unfair to Barnes to say we should have won.

“They were more accurate in the pivotal moments and I think ultimately that was the difference.

“We’ve discussed the last period of the game and concluded the defence effort was heroic.

“Again, a minor adjustment here a bounce of the ball there and we’re having a different conversation.”

The league takes a week break before the final run-in. Raiders host leaders Rams and travel to fourth-placed Tonbridge Juddians in their next two matches.

But Coulson is targeting points in Raiders' five remaining matches.

He added: “There are no easy matches in this league, with all the permutations it is important that we do our utmost to again points in every game.

“That’s exactly what we’ll be looking to do from here to the end of the season.”

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