Kiwis crunch Raiders
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.”
Ouch: Raider Dylan Sharpham puts his body on the line (inset) injured Nick Sherston