Raiders players band around sidelined winger
A GROUP of retired rugby union players have successfully returned from a master’s carnival in Argentina unscathed and healthy.
The Whitsunday Whales travelled to Mar del Plata to contest the World Golden Oldies tournament – a competition consisting of three matches against teams from around the world held every second year.
The Whitsunday Whales have been in existence for more than 30 years, providing an avenue for players 34 and over to tie the boots once again.
Team manager Bob Corskie said the team thoroughly enjoyed themselves this year, posting a win, a draw and a loss from their three games against an invitational side, Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata.
A big opening ceremony greeted the team on night one, followed by a mid- week excursion and the final night’s sitdown meal. “Everyone enjoyed themselves and the boys have returned with no major injuries,” Corskie said.
Corskie said ensuring players returned with a clean bill of health was his main concern, and was relieved to report the squad of 25 were all fit and firing.
The Whitsunday Whales have previously played festivals in Cape Town, Edinburgh, Sydney and Japan.
WHITSUNDAY Raider Tai Roberts was forced to watch his beloved Raiders’ claim successive grand finals from the sidelines after a devastating knee injury derailed his 2014 season.
His knee was pinned during a routine tackle in a game against Slade Point in May this year, and subsequently he has been off work and unable to play ever since.
The winger also missed Whitsunday’s second straight premiership, as the back-toback winners overcame Mackay City Redskins to complete an undefeated year.
Roberts was honoured to discover that the Raiders had raised $4500 to assist his recovery and medical costs.
“As I am unemployed due to the injury, the funds will assist greatly for living expenses and medical expenses. My family and I are truly touched and grateful for the club's generosity and continued support,” he said.
Roberts’ sister Rachel Cooper organised a framed jersey to be auctioned at the Whitsunday Raiders’ presentation night late last month.
To his surprise, the club, led by coach Kon Flaherty, organised a further two jerseys to be auctioned and a raffle with all proceeds going to his recovery.
Roberts said that injury or not, he is a Raider for life.
“I hope to make a full recovery but am uncertain if I will be able to play in the future. I’ll remain part of the team and never forget what the club has done for me,” he said.