Bulls too good for Reef Raiders in union season opener


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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A penalty with time running out proved to be a heart-breaker for the Port Douglas Reef Raiders rugby union team in their opening match of the season against defending champions Barron Trinity on the weekend.

After trailing 19-5 at the break, they clawed their way back to 19-19 through two converted tries, but conceded a penalty in the dying moments of the game and lost 22-19.

Raiders’ eighthman Matt Mallard produced an all-round outstanding effort and was well rewarded with a hat-trick of tries. Ethan Hoffman added two conversions.

Raiders coach Travis Gooch said he was delighted with Matt’s performance and he was unquestionably the player of the game.

“Overall, we showed exceptional commitment, especially against a multiple winner of the premiership. It is always disappointing to lose when it’s this tight, but it was still a most encouraging start to the season.  

“The players all played for each other, our defence was strong and we are heading in the right direction. If we can keep building, the results will come,” said Gooch, who is also pleased with the good numbers turning up to training.

The Raiders have a bye this weekend and because of the Easter break, their next match is at home against the Mudcrabs at 4pm on 27 April.



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