Star fly-half named Raider of the Year
IT WAS a flawless season for the Whitsunday Raiders, led by Raider of the Year and co-captain Shannon Wolland.
Originally from New Zealand, Wolland was one of the stars of the Mackay and District Rugby Union competition, excelling from no. 10 to lead the Raiders to back-toback titles.
“It was a really good season for the Raiders,” he said.
“It’s good to have a tight group of lads with great coaches...it’s a great club. For all the club has been through, the people who have been here for a while enjoyed it [winning back-to-back premierships]. To go undefeated showed how committed everyone was.”
Wolland started playing rugby in the backyard with his sister aged five, before progressing to school-grade union across the Tasman.
When he turned 21 Wolland left New Zealand for Australia, and even played a couple of seasons of AFL in country Western Australia.
After spending time playing Gold Coast rugby and even with neighbours Kuttabul, Wolland finally found his rightful home with the Raiders.
Wolland, who was instrumental in the club romping through the 2014 season undefeated, said he was proud of this year’s campaign from a personal perspective. “I was probably more consistent,” he said. “Being captain I tried to help the other boys more and really lead them.”
Moving forward Wolland said he is keen to hang around, and potentially guide the Raiders to an unprecedented three-peat.
“I’m definitely going to try and hang around. It’s a great club and it feels like one big family,” he said.
Wolland also praised coach Kon Flaherty, who stepped up to the mark mid-season after Isitolo Maka left due to personal reasons.
RAIDER OF THE YEAR: Whitsunday Raiders' fly-half Shannon Wolland was crowned this year's Raider of the Year at presentations last month.