Raiders cruise in top-of-the-ta­ble en­counter

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

Not even an un­der­manned Raiders can lose at the mo­ment, the reign­ing pre­miers thrash­ing Mackay City in a grand fi­nal re­match last Satur­day at Quarry Hill.

Whit­sun­day was ruth­less in record­ing a 39-15 win, their ninth in suc­ces­sion, to claim out­right own­er­ship of first on the Mackay and Dis­trict Rugby Union lad­der.

“In terms of proud­ness, it was the gut­si­est per­for­mance of the year,” coach Rama Chand said.

“We only went down with 18 and zero back re­serves, whereas Cities had a whole bench and it was a big oc­ca­sion for them with their char­ity.

“Phys­i­cally, it was good to be part of and it would’ve been a good spec­ta­cle. Our first half was out­stand­ing, our struc­tures were on and our for­ward pack was awe­some.”

Chand said nam­ing one player of the match was dif­fi­cult be­cause of an inspired team ef­fort, but praised for­mer Welsh in­ter­na­tional Brent Cock­bain (brother of for­mer Wal­laby Matt Cock­bain), Jimmy Smith, Matt Sam­mut, Alex Cousin and Brook Cad­wal­lader.

Chand be­ing away with Queens­land Rugby Union and miss­ing a host of Raiders’ reg­u­lars were rea­sons for con­cern last week, but the team did well in try­ing cir­cum­stances.

“Go­ing into that match, I was a bit wor­ried. I hadn’t been at train­ing through the week so I was a bit con­cerned to see how they came out of that,” he said.

“But now we’re in the busi­ness end of the sea­son, I def­i­nitely have con­fi­dence in the boys. If we can pump (City) with 18 guys, it bodes well for us.”

The Raiders will host Bowen at the Whit­sun­day Sportspark on Fri­day night.

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