Raiders run out of puff

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

THE Raiders’ loss to JCU in Ather­ton on Satur­day has left the team in no doubt what the near fu­ture holds - hard work and a step back to the ba­sics.

While the fi­nal score­line flat­tered their op­po­si­tion, the Raiders slumped with some clumsy at­tack and poor de­fence in the last 25 min­utes, al­low­ing JCU bolt from 7-7 with the game in the bal­ance to a blowout five tries to one 35-7 fi­nal score.

With only eight to 10 play­ers turn­ing up for the past three train­ing runs and only 15 play­ers on the bus to Ather­ton in­clud­ing one in a cast and two play­ers coming back from in­jury fac­ing their first game in six months, team spir­its were still high and the Raiders re­mained con­fi­dent.

Two play­ers drove them­selves to the ground which helped field a team but then three Raiders had to run on for the Table­lands re­serve grade side to shore up their num­bers.

In the A-Grade clash, the Raiders dom­i­nated early in the first half with strong at­tack­ing raids and a solid kick­ing game, de­spite this JCU scored against the run of play.

Port Dou­glas struck back straight away with quick­think­ing from Chica who took a quick tap and ran through the op­po­si­tion and kicked through af­ter hear­ing a call from Grae Gil­bert who scored ad­ja­cent to the posts.

The game sea­sawed early in the sec­ond half with JCU play­ing a dom­i­nant kick­ing game en­sur­ing field po­si­tion and pres­sur­ing er­rors from the Raiders.

From the 55th minute the Raiders’ as­cen­dancy waned as JCU brought on all eight re­serves to breeze home with lit­er­ally a wet sail in the very damp con­di­tions.

Play­ers’ player was Grant Payne play­ing out of po­si­tion at full­back, the two points went to Grae Gil­bert and the one point to Phil ‘‘Meat Tray’’ Ste­wart.

There are no games over Easter so train­ing is es­sen­tial for the Raiders who need to lift for Bar­ron the fol­low­ing week­end.

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