Raiders seek re­demp­tion against City

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUGBY UNION

RE­VENGE for a first round thrash­ing is at the fore­front of the Whit­sun­day Raiders’ mind this week­end, as they face a red-hot Mackay City.

The Red­skins are un­beaten in the Mackay and Dis­trict Rugby Union com­pe­ti­tion and will take con­fi­dence into Satur­day’s grand fi­nal re­match hav­ing dis­man­tled Whit­sun­day 27-5 back in March.

“There is a lit­tle bit (talk of re­venge),” Raiders coach Rama Chand said.

“It’s the two fi­nal­ists from last year. Cities cleaned the boys up in the first round but we weren’t at our best.

“If we stick to our game plan we should be fine. It will be a test for us to show guys where they are in this com­pe­ti­tion.

“This will show how ‘back’ we are.”

Af­ter drop­ping their first two games, Whit­sun­day has clicked into gear with three con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries – in­clud­ing the week­end’s 33-0 de­mo­li­tion of Broth­ers.

Although such an em­phatic win sounds good, it was far from a com­plete per­for­mance, ac­cord­ing to Chand who also played his first game for the club.

“It wasn’t our best per­for­mance by far. Out of the three I’ve coached it was our worst,” he said.

“We kept Broth­ers to zero which is al­ways good but I used that game more as a trial, to test guys in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions and see how they re­act.

“Some stood up and oth­ers didn’t... we never had the best team on the field.

“Say­ing that, we still should’ve cleaned them up by 40 or 50.”

The Raiders led 19-0 at half­time and used the match to tin­ker with po­si­tional changes and pre­pare for the rest of the sea­son, which will be played with­out an un­lim­ited in­ter­change.

“We didn’t roll subs at all,” Chand said.

“We ac­tu­ally named two teams. Team one played the first half and team two played the sec­ond. It wasn’t new teams, just play­ers mov­ing around.

“We only used 23 play­ers so one thing that’s go­ing to be strong for us is... fit­ness.

“I still think we’re a long way away from where we need to be.”

Full­back Fo­rian Marin con­tin­ued his stel­lar sea­son with a hat-trick while coach Chand crossed in his Raiders’ de­but.

Neil Ba­casno also crossed while half­back Dom Cro­ker was su­perb with the boot, kick­ing four from five at­tempts.

Satur­day’s match at the Whit­sun­day Sportspark will kick off at 3pm.

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