Raiders run out of puff
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.