Raiders rue late fadeout against Sharks

RUGBY UNION

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Damien Friedrichs on the charge for the Port Douglas Reef Raiders. IMAGE: Joanne Cowe.
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THE Port Douglas Reef Raiders rugby union team is paying the price for not playing the full 80 minutes.

This proved to be their downfall against Penrhyn Sharks on Saturday when they blew a 21-10 lead and lost their composure with only eight minutes to go and lost 27-21. The Raiders led 17-10 at half-time.

It was the Murday brothers, Tom and Jack – playing together for the first time – who lifted the team and it was through their efforts the Raiders found themselves in a comfortable position with time running out.

But the Sharks were not to be outdone and their ability to score 17 quick points is testament to why they are one of the most feared and respected teams in the FNQ Rugby competition.

But despite the loss, club president Donnie Murday said this was the best team the Raiders have fielded this season.

“It was a massive bonus for us that both Tom and Jack could play and as flank and eighthman they were a competitive duo and led from the front,” Murday said.

“But sadly, we leaked too many penalties and this is an area we need to work on. But compared to the 2016 season when we struggled each time we took the field, there are many encouraging signs and we have lots of positive elements to work on.”

On Saturday, the Raiders are away to the Northern Beaches Mudcrabs at Petersen Park. Kick-off is at 5pm.

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