Raiders is­sue chal­lenge to South­side for fi­nals

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

THE Port Dou­glas Reef Raiders will be look­ing to ce­ment their po­si­tion as one of the top teams in the com­pe­ti­tion when they tackle South­side on Satur­day.

As the com­pe­ti­tion heats up, the Raiders are jostling for sec­ond po­si­tion and can claim the spot with a win over South­side who will be look­ing to re­bound from a sur­prise loss last week­end.

With a home ground ad­van­tage, the Raiders will also be out to make amends against South­side for last week’s 28-10 loss to com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers Bar­ron Trin­ity last week­end.

South­side are the only team to have beaten Bar­ron Trin­ity this sea­son.

The Raiders went into last week’s match qui­etly con­fi­dent of hand­ing Bar­ron their sec­ond loss of the year, but some­one for­got to pass the mes­sage on to Bar­ron and af­ter 25 min­utes into the game, the Bulls were ahead 20-0.

This was due to some poor de­fence and penal­ties plus the lack of ball control and poor op­tions in at­tack.

With the fi­nal 15 min­utes of the half, the Raiders had bet­ter ball control and found them­selves in bet­ter field po­si­tion to see Todd Funch score be­fore the half and the Raiders also had a fi­nal chance with one minute to go, only to see the ball hit the deck.

The break saw the Raiders get their breath back and talk about what was hap­pen­ing and it made a huge dif­fer­ence to their at­ti­tude as the Raiders were camped on the Bulls’ line for 15 min­utes.

With a huge amount of ball, it saw Funch cross for his sec­ond try out wide and the Raiders were back in the game but that would be the Raiders’ last points for the match, not for the lack of try­ing.

The play­ers that stood out for the day were Clint Kachel, “Disco” Stew Cowe and the Paddy’s Bar Man-ofthe-Match was snatched by Paul Fer­rero.

Coach Adrian Ban­ner­man said he was pleased with his side’s ef­fort at this stage of the sea­son.

“We’re get­ting good num­bers to train­ing and play­ers are com­pet­ing for po­si­tions which is a re­ally solid out­look for the club,” he said.

“As far as the game against South­side goes, we know how to beat ’em and we know where we stand.

“We just need to get a bit more ag­gres­sion into our game and have bet­ter ball control and im­prove our one-on-one de­fence.”

Ban­ner­man said the Raiders were shap­ing up as fi­nals con­tenders but the com­pe­ti­tion was very tight.

“Any­one can beat any­body this year, you just have to be con­sis­tent,” he said.

He said he ex­pected a big game from five-eighth Ethan Hoff­man this week af­ter be­ing kept quiet against Bar­ron Trin­ity.

The re­serves kick off at the Port Dou­glas Sports Com­plex at 2pm with the Raiders tak­ing the field for the main game at 4pm.

Photo by DAR­RYL KIRK

On the charge: Kyle Le­mon

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