Reef Raiders farewell Portuguese player in style


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Damien Friedrichs centre, Juan Dillan right Locky Cowe left. All images: Joanne Cowe.

Portuguese international centre Manuel Perrera bowed out in style on Saturday when he scored a hat-trick of tries in the Reef Raiders’ 31-22 win over the Mudcrabs in this FNQ Rugby Union match.

This win puts the Raiders back in the top four, but will go into this weekend’s clash against Penrhyn without Perrera who is returning to Portugal.

“His departure will be sorely missed. He is a class player and he once again displayed these attributes on the weekend,” said Raiders coach Travis Gooch.

The Raiders produced a much improved second half after trailing 17-14 at the break. Their points came from tries by Perrera (3), centre Esteban Correa and flyhalf Ben Huckenhull. Perrera added three conversions for a tally of 21 points.

Coming into the match after a bye, the Raiders struggled to find their feet in the first half, but found their rhythm in the latter when they were more structured and put phases together.

This half was not without incident when two Raiders players within a space of one minute were yellow-carded for repeat infringements at the breakdown. But full credit to the team for their relentless defence with only 13 players during the 10-minute ‘sin bin’ period.

Gooch said he would not be taking Penrhyn lightly despite their 32-7 victory over the Cairns team in the first round.

“They had a good win on the weekend and now that we are back in the top four we need to stay there,” he said.

The match against Penrhyn on Saturday is at the Port Douglas Sports Complex and kick-off is at 4pm.  

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