RAIDERS RUGBY UNION IN TWO GRAND FI­NALS

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

AF­TER the heart­break of last sea­son’s con­tro­ver­sial grand fi­nal loss to the Kut­tabul Camel­boks, the Proser­pine-Whit­sun­day Raiders are out for re­demp­tion this Satur­day.

A grade cap­tain Trent El­son has served the team for the last eight years and this is his least sea­son.

He is im­plor­ing his team­mates to leave noth­ing out on the pad­dock as they chase their first premier­ship for the club in 13 years.

“A lot of our play­ers who were in­volved in the grand fi­nal loss last year have hung around for an ex­tra year to get a shot at re­demp­tion. The way we lost was very dis­ap­point- ing and now we are out to make his­tory,” he said.

“Our club went from be­ing a rel­a­tively strong club to fold­ing three years ago as the re­ces­sion took hold but we have come back even stronger. The club hasn’t had a re­serves team for 10 years and to have both teams in the grand fi­nal this sea­son shows that we have come a long way.”

El­son will lead from the front as his for­ward pack looks to set a plat­form for po­ten­tial game break­ers Shan­non Wol­land and Martin Roveda. “I want the team to have no re­grets af­ter the fi­nal on Satur­day. You don’t want to sit on the bus on the way home think­ing that you could have done more,” he said.

“It would be a great win for our club and the town and we need to leave it all on the pad­dock.”

El­son praised the work of all the club’s sup­port staff this year and thanked their vol­un­teers for their work help­ing to set up and in the can­teen for home games. The re­serves kick off at the rugby grounds in Mackay at 2pm, fol­lowed by the A grade game at 4pm

The sup­port­ers bus de­parts the club­house at 11.30am, Domino’s at 11.35am, BP Cannonvale at 11.40am and BP Proser­pine at 12.05pm. For more in­for­ma­tion text 0414 467 553(do not call) or email info@whit­sun­dayu­nits.com .

Martin Bar­reneche, 27, back/for­wards, ver­sa­tile, tough and gutsy.

Mark Kel­lett, 25, cen­tre/wing, of­fers 100 per cent and de­cep­tive.

Dom Croker, 25, util­ity back, cham­pion club man and ver­sa­tile.

Trent El­son (c), 32, flanker, ex­pe­ri­enced gutsy leader

Shan­non Wol­land, 29, half back, best of the best, key man

Leam Wil­liams, 22, hooker, big stamina, solid per­former

Terry Saun­ders, 22, lock/No. 8, brings strength and sta­bil­ity

Hemi Taukiri (coach), 40, glo­be­trot­ting all skills given

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