Raiders reach for glory

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT - By STEPHEN KISBEY-GREEN

Over the 12-13 Au­gust week­end, the Rhodes Raiders Ul­ti­mate Fris­bee team took part in the South African Fly­ing Disc As­so­ci­a­tion (SAFDA) Opens Na­tion­als in Port El­iz­a­beth. The team, which is made up largely of Rhodes stu­dents and a few Gra­ham­stown lo­cals, wanted to par­tic­i­pate in their first com­pet­i­tive tour­na­ment since their for­ma­tion last year.

An Ul­ti­mate match is sched­uled for 90 min­utes, with the object of the game be­ing able to each 13 goals within that time.

If a team se­cures 13 goals be­fore the end of 90 min­utes, they are de­clared the win­ner, and the match ends, re­gard­less of how many min­utes have been played. If, after the time limit, the scores are tied, a uni­ver­sal point is played and the first to score wins the match.

The Rhodes Raiders were in a dif­fi­cult pool on Satur­day, as they faced off against one of the tour­na­ment favourites Home Bru, from Cape Town, as well as Lions River, Rex and the en­er­getic start-up team, Wild Coast. The Raiders were un­able to se­cure a win in their pool, as they were dis­patched 13-0 after a long match by the even­tual third-place Home Bru. Rhodes were more com­pet­i­tive in their next two games, ul­ti­mately los­ing 10-4 and 13-2 against Lions River and Rex re­spec­tively.

The high­light of Rhodes’s Satur­day came in their last match of the day against the equally in­ex­pe­ri­enced Wild Coast.

De­spite the su­pe­rior fit­ness and speed of the Wild Coast team, Rhodes man­aged to use their com­posed at­tack and de­fence to drag the match out to a uni­ver­sal point. Plagued by in­juries and poor light­ing, Rhodes ul­ti­mately con­ceded the fi­nal point, go­ing down 11-10 on uni­ver­sal point.

Sun­day was slightly more prof­itable for the Rhodes Raiders, as they were matched against teams with sim­i­lar re­sults from the Satur­day. In their first match of the day, the Raiders were clearly tired from the pre­vi­ous day, as they went down 13-2 against Ma- ties, one of only two other uni­ver­sity teams at the tour­na­ment. Their fol­low­ing match, how­ever, was much bet­ter for the Gra­ham­stown side, as they eas­ily dis­patched the hosts of the tour­na­ment, Gale Force, by 13-6.

The last match of the week­end for Rhodes saw them take on Soweto in another en­er­getic and close fought bat­tle. In the last few min­utes of the match, the Soweto en­ergy won out and they ul­ti­mately tri­umphed by 13-11.

Rhodes fin­ished the week­end in 12th place over­all, one place above last placed Gale Force. Cap­tain and so­ci­ety chair­per­son, Ja­son Wehmeyer, was happy with the growth of the team.

“There were ups and downs, but we ex­pected that. Rhodes Ul­ti­mate is grow­ing fast, in the space of 18 months we have de­vel­oped into a se­ri­ous team and look to con­tinue do­ing so,” Wehmeyer said. “Most of our play­ers were be­gin­ners, and showed that it didn’t af­fect us in big games. Yes we lost, but we pushed ev­ery team we played to the limit.”

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