Raiders lose top spot

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CLASSIFIEDS -

THE Port Dou­glas Raiders have given up top spot on the lad­der af­ter play­ing their worst half of the sea­son against Broth­ers last Satur­day.

The game was locked up at 19-all with 15 min­utes re­main­ing but not ex­e­cut­ing the game plan with ball in hand at the back end of the half saw care­less er­rors lead to turn over ball in bro­ken play which in­hib­ited cover or scram­bling de­fence be­ing ef­fec­tive and the Raiders paid a big price and now sit third in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Lead­ing 13-7 at half time, the Raiders had dom­i­nated much of the play in first 40 min­utes and Broth­ers were for­tu­nate that the score was not far worse for them but they scram­bled well and even with the penalty count not in their favour (23-5 by the end of the game) stopped the Raiders con­vert­ing pos­ses­sion into points.

Grae Gil­bert opened the scor­ing with a penalty and on the back of solid and dom­i­nant for­ward play at the line out and scrum the Raiders pres­sured Broth­ers line re­lent­lessly with Adam Cal­craft scor­ing two tries from half­back, both un­con­verted.

With a cou­ple of key play­ers in the back­line away with work com­mit­ments and a few nig­gling in­juries car­ried into the sec­ond half, we let the game slip away with the worst 20 min­utes of rugby played and prob­a­bly the worst half of rugby played this year.

On the other side the Broth­ers did lift and with end­less turnovers by the Raiders and fal­ter­ing scram­bling de­fence scored to late con­verted tries to end the game vic­tors 33-19.

All fo­cus is on train­ing for this weeks game at home against JCU, with four new ad­di­tions to the squad on Tues­day night at train­ing the Raiders are work­ing at re­deem­ing them­selves this week­end.

Shane Branch from the Raiders said he ex­pects a good game.

‘‘If we play our game and stay at our game we will win,’’ he said.

‘‘Struc­tured rugby will win the com­pe­ti­tion and that is our goal - dom­i­nate the set plays, con­trol the break­down and the rest will come, this gives the backs time and op­por­tu­nity and they can at­tack the line or strate­gi­cally kick for field po­si­tion.’’

Omar Katana is back from in­jury and back from work com­mit­ments is Pete Gil­more and Dal­las Abel.

Out with in­jury is Adam Cal­craft with a dis­lo­cated thumb and Nick Sher­ston with a knee op­er­a­tion which will see him out for four weeks.

Come and en­joy some great rugby its al­ways a big oc­ca­sion be­tween th­ese two rugby clubs.Re­serve grade is at 2.30 and the Raiders take the field at 4pm.

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