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Worthing Raiders fired up for historic home clash
KIERON DAWSON reckons he will not have to say much to motivate his players tomorrow when Worthing host Blackheath in their first home game in National One.
No Sussex club has ever reached the third tier of English rugby, the equivalent of League One in football, and newly promoted Raiders face a side that has been part of the fabric of the game from its beginnings.
If Worthing players were in any doubt that they are now mixing with some of the game’s big boys then they only needed to switch on the television on Wednesday night.
Head coach Dawson said: “I watched Rugby Tonight on the BT sports channel and they had some Blackheath players doing lineout demonstrations.
“It was quite interesting for my players to watch a national television rugby show and find their opponents on Saturday are doing the demos.
“This is probably the biggest game ever for a Sussex team, it’s certainly the highest league game ever for a Sussex team played in the county.
“Blackheath are a massive club who are steeped in history.
“The players won’t need much motivation because of the home crowd and its the highest league game ever in Sussex against one of the great old clubs of English rugby.”
Worthing, 38-34 losers despite a late try-blitz in their league opener at Wharfedale, will have no shortage of respect for Blackheath.
But Dawson said: “We are the ones who can score five tries unanswered in 20 minutes and that’s a reputation we want to cultivate. We want to be the dangerous underdogs.”
Lessons have already been digested from that defeat in Yorkshire.
Dawson said: “We watched the video and the frustration was we were the architects of our own downfall.
“But the great thing was we got ourselves back up and scored those five tries with some sublime rugby.
“We need to take that momentum into this game, be confident and play that way from the start.”
Entry is free for under-18s.