Raiders issue challenge to Southside for finals
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.
On the charge: Kyle Lemon