Ta­ble-top­ping Raiders aim to stay

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

TOP OF the Cairns Dis­trict Rugby Union lad­der, the Port Dou­glas Raiders are fresh from a bye last week­end and have been train­ing hard this week for their match against Broth­ers.

The Raiders are hav­ing a tough week of train­ing with more com­ing tonight with solid work­outs needed af­ter lighter ses­sions last week and the bye week­end.

Tues­day night was a se­ri­ous ses­sion of full con­tact drills just to get the mus­cle mem­ory back on track with team­mates caus­ing a few knocks and bruises amongst each other to get into the right mind­set af­ter a week off.

Raiders stal­wart Shane Branch said the game on Satur­day against the Broth­ers is ex­pected to be a phys­i­cal one.

‘‘It was im­por­tant to get con­tact back into train­ing, per­haps more so than nor­mal just to get the body used to be­ing hit and hit hard es­pe­cially for tech­nique and tim­ing at the break­down and tack­les, the lads en­joyed their week­end off very much and now its back to the task at hand,’’ he said.

‘‘Over the next two week­ends we play the two sides that de­feated us in the first rounds so we have a lot to play for and much to achieve.

‘‘ Ev­ery side we play will be stronger with rep play­ers back and a round of rugby un­der their belts which will have im­proved fit­ness and game struc­ture.

‘‘ The same ap­plies to the Raiders, we are a much stronger side than the first round which will be needed as we sit atop the ta­ble and ev­ery team we play week in and week out will lift to bring us down a rung.’’

The Raiders play Broth­ers in a home game to be played at Ather­ton this Satur­day at 4pm and will take on JCU at home over the Car­ni­vale week­end.

‘‘We have the foun­da­tion of a suc­cess­ful sea­son, we just need to de­liver on our po­ten­tial,’’ Branch said.

Pic­ture: NEIL WEAVERS

TEAM TO BEAT: the Raiders will be try­ing to re­main on top of the ta­ble this week­end

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