Sudden death for Raiders after big loss
RUGBY UNION A GRADE
MINOR premiers Kuttabul proved to be too much to handle for the Proserpine Whitsunday Raiders as they stormed home to a 39-6 win in Saturday’s qualifying final.
The Camelboks now move on to the grand final while the Raiders face a sudden death clash with the Mackay City Redskins in Airlie Beach this Saturday.
After an early penalty goal to the Raiders, last year’s premiers hit back with two tries and were up 14-3 before another penalty closed the gap to 14-6 at half time.
The ‘ Boks kept the Raiders scoreless in the second half while adding a flurry of late tries to run away as comfortable winners.
Coach Hemi Taukiri said after the match his players could not be too happy to have been beaten the way they were.
“The attitude seemed to be just too cruisey and we just didn’t turn up to the finals fully. Whereas Kuttabul desperately wanted the win. There will be a few surprises at training and selections this week as a result.”
The Raiders must now defeat a determined Mackay City Redskin outfit, who troubled them in last year’s preliminary final. RESERVES The Raiders reserves also fell to Kuttabul, going down 38-18 in Mackay on Saturday. Despite fielding one of their strongest teams of the year the Raiders couldn’t keep pace with their Kuttabul rivals in the 20-point loss.
Kuttabul dominated the first half but were unable to kill off a resilient Raiders team that hung on to trial 14-13 at the break.
Unfortunately, as in the A Grade, Kuttabul scored first after half time and followed this up with another try to stretch their lead to 26-13. A Raiders highlight came from a quick ball from the scrum which enabled halfback Justin Chengody to fly down the sideline and score untouched.
The reserves must now turn up fresh and play the game of their lives if they are to beat Bowen this Saturday and advance to the grand final against Kuttabul.
Finals rugby is at the Whitsunday Sports Park this Saturday, starting with the reserves against Bowen at 2pm followed by the A grade game against Mackay City at 4pm.
HARD YARDS: Whitsunday Raiders player Shane Marriner tackles a Kuttabul opponent during Saturday’s qualifying final in Mackay.