Top of the table clash for Raiders

RUGBY UNION

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Reef Raider player Juan Dillon during a previous game this season. Image: Joanne Cowe
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The Port Douglas Reef Raiders rugby union team will be put to the test on Wednesday night when they meet last year’s premiers JCU Mariners in a top of the table clash at the sporting complex. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

The Raiders are second on the table with 18 points from four wins and two losses. They are currently undefeated at home this season (three wins).

And there is a reason for Wednesday’s night game.

“A clash of dates with the grand final has meant FNQ Rugby has had to bring the season back a week and therefore having to squeeze in a game.

“We will therefore play three games in eight days: 22nd (Barron); 26th (JCU); 29th (Wanderers). This will be a tough toll on the players, which will really test the depth of our squad,” said Raiders coach Travis Gooch.

This past weekend, the Raiders finally overcame their nemesis Barron, beating them 24-17 at Machans Beach.

“This was a great result for the team having been beaten three times by Barron last season. We are now 2 from 2 this season against last year's grand finalists.

“It was a game that went back and forth on the scoreboard. We managed to score with 10 minutes to go and then held firm in defence to pick up our first away win of the season.

“There were all-round performances from both forwards and backs. Standout performers were Liam Cowe, Cole Watson and William Brown,” said Gooch. 



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