Raiders run riot against Kut­tabul

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT -

RUGBY UNION: It’s called one of the tough­est games of the Mackay Rugby Union sea­son but in the end the Whit­sun­day Raiders won the bat­tle against Kut­tabul Camel­boks 17-12 on Satur­day.

In the first rugby match at Whit­sun­day Sportspark this year, the Raiders made the most of their home field ad­van­tage as they dom­i­nated the game de­spite a spir­ited Kut­tabul out­fit.

Head­ing into half-time up 10-5, the Raiders crossed again early in the sec­ond half through Nathan Brit­ten to take a 17-5 lead and they never looked back.

Coach Kon Fla­herty was happy with his side’s per­for­mance, which takes them to two wins from two.

“Nor­mally it’s a pretty fierce ri­valry. I think it was re­ally well spir­ited. It was just a good game,” he said.

“The guys went well. Our fit­ness was tested in the sec­ond half.”

The Raiders took the early ad­van­tage on Satur­day be­fore Kut­tabul came back strong in the sec­ond half to be within strik­ing dis­tance. But the Raiders’ de­fence did not let up, de­spite con­tin­u­ous at­tack­ing raids.

“They came back danger­ous in the sec­ond half,” Fla­herty said. “They were run­ning from deep with a few press­ing runs and we did well to cover de­fence.

“It was a pretty ner­vous time as they kept bounc­ing back on the counter attack.”

It was a spe­cial oc­ca­sion for Raiders young gun Ben Cor­nish as he made his se­nior de­but, which con­tin­ued a club tra­di­tion.

“Ben’s dad played for the Raiders for a fair while,” Fla­herty said. “He’s part of a dom­i­nant age group that is com­ing through the ranks and he played re­ally well.”

Nam­ing cap­tain Shan­non Wol­land and Nathan Brit­ten as stand-out play­ers, Fla­herty said it was good to get the win at home.

“It was re­ally good to see the crowd turn out and see the Sportspark up and ready (post cy­clone). It’s a tes­ta­ment to them to have the field up and run­ning again,” he said.

The Raiders will look to for a hat-trick of wins when they take on Broth­ers in Mackay this week­end.

“We’ve got a few new play­ers and peo­ple still get­ting used to our sys­tems. We’ll be work­ing on our aware­ness and fit­ness and build­ing that base,” Fla­herty said.

PHOTO: INGE HANSEN

ON THE RUN: Whit­sun­day Raiders player Trent Cad­wal­lader makes a run on Satur­day at the Whit­sun­day Sportspark.

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