Raiders post 31-0 vic­tory over Bowen

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUGBY UNION

THE Proser­pine Whit­sun­day Raiders got their sea­son off to a good start with the an­nual pre-sea­son Magee’s Cup clash against their re­gional coun­ter­parts the Bowen Mud­crabs on Fri­day night.

It was the first game for 2014 head coach Isi­tolo Maka who was pleased to take out the il­lu­sive Magee’s Cup and see the fi­nal score rest at 31-0 to the Raiders at the Whit­sun­day Sports Park on Fri­day night.

Open­ing the score­board was a daz­zling run from full­back Martin Roveda who showed his usual de­ter­mi­na­tion of at­tack­ing the try line.

But it was a team ef­fort with Luke “Grassy” Grif­fiths prov­ing he is still the mas­ter of trick­ery when he dum­mied to grub­ber kick near the line and skirted through an open gap to score un­der the posts.

The for­wards were put to the test in their li­ne­outs, rucks and mauls dur­ing the hit out as scrum­mag­ing was off the agenda due to the new match sur­face.

The game was also short­ened in the sec­ond half to 20 min­utes to pro­tect the grounds in the wet con­di­tions.

Spe­cial thanks must go to ref­eree Bret Re­gan who drove self­lessly up from Bowen to call the shots in the highly an­tic­i­pated clash.

With many new sea­son play­ers join­ing the ranks, the Whit­sun­day Raiders squad has main­tained great depth with cham­pi­onship play­ers Bill Pratt, Matt Sam­mut, Jack Loft, Tosh Pid­geon, Ol­lie Andrew, Tana Fatu, Shayne Marriner, Bill Cross­ley, Gra­ham West, Madi­son French and Dom Ker­mac re­turn­ing to the field this year.

All play­ers also gave a warm wel­come to 18-yearold Daniel Hayes who is now the sec­ond player to break into the se­nior ranks from the mighty Whit­sun­day Ju­nior Raiders.

Prior to half time, the Raiders put to­gether some strong play with Lo­gan “Jack” Raitt crash­ing through to score hand­somely mak­ing the half time score 26 to nil.

De­spite go­ing down to the Raiders, the Bowen Mud­crabs have stepped up their de­ter­mi­na­tion in 2014 and by no means did the fi­nal score line in­di­cate their enthusiasm or com­pet­i­tive­ness.

Bowen proved this in the sec­ond half with the Raiders hav­ing to work hard for the sin­gle try.

Dash­ing new winger Stu­art Berry was the one to get over the score line af­ter ter­rific back­line play of Shannon Wol­land and Berry’s fel­low new­com­ers Josh Brock, Matthew Eldridge and Scot Du­ran.

The pre-sea­son hit out was good prac­tice for both teams who will be com­pet­ing in a 15-a-side round robin car­ni­val in Mo­ran­bah on April 5.

The boys will be fac­ing off against teams from Mackay and Cen­tral High­lands to raise funds for the Mo­ran­bah club­house which burnt down.

The first match of the 2014 Mackay District Rugby Union com­pe­ti­tion will be held in May.

BIG CLASH: Whit­sun­day Raiders player Madi­son French hit a wall of de­fense dur­ing his side's 31-0 vic­tory over the Bowen Mud­crabs on Fri­day night. Photo by Shar­ron Pratt

NEW RE­CRUITS: Proser­pine Whit­sun­day Raiders play­ers Daniel Hayes, Matthew Eldridge, coach Isi­tolo Maka, Scott Ger­rard, Josh Brock and Stu­art 'Spud' Berry af­ter their im­pres­sive 31-0 vic­tory over Bowen at the Whit­sun­day Sports Park on Fri­day night.

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