Brothers battered by hot Raiders
RUGBY UNION: Ahead of their grand final rematch with City this weekend, the Raiders made it eight straight Mackay and District Rugby Union wins.
Whitsunday triumphed 48-0 last Saturday at the Whitsunday Sportspark, dominating a hapless Brothers.
The Raiders, winners of the past two premierships, led 31-0 at halftime following tries to Daniel Hayes, Neil Bacasno, Brent Cockbain, Alex Cousin and Shannon Wolland, who didn't let the wet conditions hamper their try-scoring abilities.
After the break, Iosefo Vulu scored on the back of a stunning 40m burst from Shayne Marriner, but then the match turned into a hard slog as Brothers found the benefit of the referee's whistle.
The visitors put together a solid 15-minute attacking phase but they weren't able to penetrate Whitsunday's staunch defence. Scott Gerrand capped another strong outing at fullback, producing a stunning solo effort.
Gerrand pounced on a loose ball and soccered ahead twice, covering more than 50m in a move against the run of play.
Cockbain, Hayes and Wolland were named the three best players for Whitsunday while veterans Luke Griffiths, Trent Elson and Simon Corby made comebacks in the dominant win.
This week the Raiders will travel to Mackay for a clash with City in what will be a top-of-the-table battle.
The game will be played at Quarry Hill from 4pm while the team's next home game will be against Bowen on Friday, June 26.
Meanwhile, the Raiders farewelled fullback Florian Marin who is returning to France.
The speedster, who has been one of the club's best players so far this season, will be a big loss for Whitsunday team already missing back Ollie Cackett.
In other news, Raiders' coach Rama Chand has been named the Mackay and District Rugby Union's new development officer. "His attributes you could almost say exceed the position. He's going to be really good," Mackay rugby president Mick Saunders said.
Raiders 48 (D. Hayes, N. Bacasno, B. Cockbain, A. Cousin, S. Wolland, I. Vulu, B. Cadwallader, S. Gerrand tries; D. Croker 4 conversions) def Brothers 0