Raiders send message with 31-0 thumping of Mudcrabs

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Howard Salkow

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FLYING HIGH: Raiders win lineout ball in their 31-0 thumping of the Mudcrabs at the sporting complex on Saturday. Image: Mark Letcher.
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The Port Douglas Reef Raiders rugby union team sounded an early warning they can be a force to be reckoned with when they resoundingly defeated the Cairns Northern Beaches Mudcrabs 31-0 at the sporting complex on Saturday. The Raiders led 17-0 at the break.

The Raiders’ points came from tries by Ben Hockenhull, Andres Pacheco, Dereck Letcher and Adrian Bannerman. Ethan Hoffman added four conversions and a penalty.

It was a performance that not only won over the large crowd, but brought the broadest smiles from an extremely satisfied Raiders coach Travis Gooch and club president Don Murday.

Few could argue this was the Raiders’ best performance in a long time and besides their overall supremacy in the match, they enjoyed the satisfaction of not conceding any points.

Although it is still early in the season, it makes up for the past three years when they have failed to win a game; spending a season in the wilderness and at times suffering the ignominy of not being able to field a full team.

They now have the luxury of players fighting for positions; 100 per cent attendance at training and players’ dedicated commitment to the success of the team.

Although the Raiders have a number of elements to work on – which is a good thing – they displayed an ability to play as a team and this was evident in their inter-passing and support. 

Equally impressive was their defence which held firm for the 80 minutes and the Mudcrabs barely had any opportunities to cross over.

A key feature was the Raiders’ total domination of territory and possession and this provided them with constant platforms from which to strike.

But handling did let them down at times and they could have scored three or four more tries. This is an area coach Gooch will no doubt be looking at.

The Raiders are away to Penrhyn on 4 May, Southside on 11 May and return home on the 18th when they host Brothers.


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