Red­skins break Raiders’ hot streak

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUGBY UNION

ALL good things must come to an end. The Proser­pine Whit­sun­day Raiders lost the open­ing match of the 2015 sea­son to Mackay City Red­skins over the week­end, bring­ing to an end a win­ning streak that en­com­passed 16 games and two sea­sons.

The win­ning streak equalled the ef­forts of the cham­pion 1985 raiders, who drew their first game and went on to win 16 in a row.

Let down by a lack of num­bers with only 15 play­ers turn­ing up to Mackay Quarry Hill for the Grand Fi­nal re­play from last year, the boys were over­whelmed by a large pack of Red­skins who were itch­ing for a win. In the end, the Red­skins pre­vailed 27 – 5. It was a gutsy ef­fort from the Raiders, with three men on de­but, no sub­sti­tutes, and many play­ing out of po­si­tion.

The Red­skins scored their first try five min­utes into the match with a con­ver­sion to lead 7 – 0, plac­ing the boys on the back foot from the start - de­spite a strong wind ad­van­tage.

City came out with guns blaz­ing and de­ter­mi­na­tion but the Raiders re­grouped and made a de­cent half of it.

Down 7-0 at half time cap­tain coach Ron Cro­ker was very adamant the boys were truly in the match and ral­lied the boys to con­tinue on where they left off from the first half. How­ever it was not to be. The Red­skins scored four un­con­verted tries in the 50th, 52nd, 63rd and 70th min­utes.

The high­light of the game and sec­ond half came in the 65th minute, when Madi­son French, who was one of the best play­ers on the field, scored a try af­ter a lot of lead up work.

Other tries went beg­ging as it looked like the Raiders were com­ing back, but the colt had bolted.

Train­ing con­tin­ues on the top field, far end, at the Sportspark on Tues­day and Thurs­day nights 6pm.

The Fraiser Ford Raiders have their first home game for 2015 this Satur­day March 21 from 4pm at the Green En­ergy Whit­sun­day Sportspark against old ri­vals Kut­tabul Camel­boks. All are wel­come, as well as any new play­ers for 2015.

The sea­son draw is yet to be fi­nalised.

AIR­BORNE: City's Jade Billing­ton dur­ing the game against the Raiders on Satur­day.

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