Raiders cruise in top-of-the-table encounter
RUGBY UNION: Not even an undermanned Raiders can lose at the moment, the reigning premiers thrashing Mackay City in a grand final rematch last Saturday at Quarry Hill.
Whitsunday was ruthless in recording a 39-15 win, their ninth in succession, to claim outright ownership of first on the Mackay and District Rugby Union ladder.
"In terms of proudness, it was the gutsiest performance of the year," coach Rama Chand said.
"We only went down with 18 and zero back reserves, whereas Cities had a whole bench and it was a big occasion for them with their charity.
"Physically, it was good to be part of and it would've been a good spectacle. Our first half was outstanding, our structures were on and our forward pack was awesome."
Chand said naming one player of the match was difficult because of an inspired team effort, but praised former Welsh international Brent Cockbain (brother of former Wallaby Matt Cockbain), Jimmy Smith, Matt Sammut, Alex Cousin and Brook Cadwallader.
Chand being away with Queensland Rugby Union and missing a host of Raiders' regulars were reasons for concern last week, but the team did well in trying circumstances.
"Going into that match, I was a bit worried. I hadn't been at training through the week so I was a bit concerned to see how they came out of that," he said.
"But now we're in the business end of the season, I definitely have confidence in the boys. If we can pump (City) with 18 guys, it bodes well for us."
The Raiders will host Bowen at the Whitsunday Sportspark on Friday night.
Raiders 39 (S. Marriner 2, T. Elson, N. Bacasno-McIlwain, R. Chand, J. Kane, B. Cadwallader tries) def City 15