Raiders seek redemption against City
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.