Ki­wis crunch Raiders

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - DONNA-MARIE MILNE

THE Port Dou­glas Reef Raiders were out­classed by the Awa­tere Rugby club last Fri­day at the Port Dou­glas Sports Com­plex in their in­au­gu­ral pre­sea­son clash with the New Zealand team.

Awa­tere dom­i­nated the trans-tas­man clash, crush­ing the Raiders with a 37-0 de­feat.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing not to get a try, but given our pos­ses­sion of the ball we should have scored,” Raiders coach Adrian Ban­ner­man said.

“The other team were bet­ter drilled than our team.

“It was the first game of the sea­son, the first game against the ex­pe­ri­enced team and we didn’t know what to ex­pect.”

“We know now what we need to do - we need to not com­mit to the ruck so much, con­trol the ball more and strengthen de­fence.”

Stand­out player of Fri­day’s clash was Ethan Hoffman who won Player’s player.

Un­for­tu­nately four play­ers sus­tained ma­jor in­juries dur­ing Fri­day’s game in­clud­ing Cairns Dis­trict League Player of the Year Raiders half back Nick Sher­ston who went out with a high an­kle sprain.

“He’ll be out for a month or so and his skill will be missed,” Ban­ner­man said.

“It does mean an op­por­tu­nity for play­ers to step up and stake their claim for po­si­tions made avail­able through in­juries.

“We’re go­ing to be hard at train­ing and work on our weak­ness be­fore the sea­son kicks off on March 17.”

Pho­tos by DAR­RYL KIRK

Ouch: Raider Dy­lan Sharpham puts his body on the line (inset) in­jured Nick Sher­ston

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