Raiders maintain unbeaten run
THE Whitsunday Raiders have continued their undefeated rugby union season by taking out Mackay Brothers for the first time in more than three years, 13-7 in Bowen on Saturday.
Coach Jaymie Worrell was clearly stoked after the win, having never seen the Raiders beat Brothers in his time with the club.
The Raiders forwards once again put on a massive display to dominate the opposing forwards in almost every aspect of the game.
The match started well for the Raiders, as they controlled field position for a vast majority of the first half.
Fullback Dom Croker stood out from his first touch in a man of the match performance. His decision-making was brilliant, as he chose the right time to return with well placed kicks, or counterattack in conjunction with his wingers.
The Raiders moved ahead with a penalty goal to flyhalf Luke Griffiths within the first 15 mintues.
The backline showed improvement on last week, but still have much work to do.
Inside centre Jeff Austin made some strong runs and one resulted in a try. He made a line break and put in a handy chip kick and everywhere man Croker regained the ball.
Up front the game became more heated and minutes before half time the Raiders were left with 14 men, when prop Cornelius Latai-Lakeaa was sin-binned for a high tackle. But the Raiders survived to the break without conceeding another point.
The second half denigrated into a litany of penalties and handling errors and Brothers gave the Raiders a scare against the run of play when a player scored under the posts off an intercept.
But the Raiders hit back quickly as Croker once again had a hand in a try.
He found himself with the ball running down the blindside, then put flanker Shayde Margan into space down the sideline to score the match sealing try.
The Raiders have a chance to lay down their premiership credentials at 5.30pm this Saturday against competition benchmark, Kuttabul, at the Airlie Beach Sportspark.