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Canterbury 33-19 Guernsey Raiders
Canterbury 33-19 Guernsey Raiders

Having put their mark on the game with nineteen unanswered points in the first half Canterbury eased to a solid victory which keeps them in seventh place in the National 2 East table. 

A late rally by Raiders, which brought them two well worked tries, was never enough to trouble a city side who kept the islanders at comfortable arms length.

In the process their five tries earned a bonus point but it wasn’t until the end of the first quarter that the scoreboard got a move on. 

Frank Morgan scored the first of his two tries after 23 minutes but it was Guernsey, with a stiff breeze in their favour, who dominated the early territory and asked questions of the home defence.  

Their failure to crack it, the intensity of the tackling forcing them into handling errors, was to prove costly.  A lineout turnover led to Morgan’s opener and having got the taste the Canterbury backs split Raiders open again three minutes later. 

Lewis Hillier batted down a try scoring pass illegally and it cost him  a yellow card and his side a penalty try.  

Prop Elliot Lusher was in support of flanker Eoin O’Donoghue’s run to claim a third before half time and Frank Reynolds conversion stretched the lead further.  

Guernsey finally found a way to the line twelve minutes into the second half with a catch and drive score by Tom Ceillam, converted by Ciaran McGann, but it was treated as a minor inconvenience. 

Some of the rugby was untidy but it was Canterbury who held a clear edge and the balance was restored when they worked an overlap for Presley Farrance and Reynolds converted from wide out. 

The last five minutes of the game saw a flurry of tries, two for Raiders wing Ethan Smith, the first converted by McGann, as the island side went through some excellent phases. 

Sandwiched between those scores, however, came Morgan to snap up a converted try and underline Canterbury’s  good work after Will Waddington forced a Guernsey error.

CANTERBURY: W.Waddington, G.Jones (repl B.Law), F.Morgan, T.Best (repl B.Cooper), A.Orris, F.Reynolds, P.Farrance, E.Lusher, N.Morris (repl C.Macmillan), D.Herriott, S.Kerry (repl W.Hunt), C.Murray, A.Evans (repl T.Mackenzie), E.O’Donoghue, J.Stephens.

Pictures supplied by Phillipa Hilton.