Raiders fight back with guts


THE Whitsunday Raiders notched up their second win of the season against Slade Point on Saturday night at the Whitsunday Sports Park.

Downing one of the Mackay District Rugby Union giants 17-12, the Raiders scored their first try through flying winger Scott Vella and never lost their lead.

While it's still reasonably early in the season, fronting up to Saturday's game was do or die for the Whitsunday team.

The Raiders have forfeited twice this season, and one more forfeit may have prompted Mackay District officials to oust the club from the competition.

But the Raiders not only fielded a full team – and a full bench – they also did their fans proud on their home ground and gave Slade Point a real shake-up.

Captain Luke Griffiths was proud of his side's effort as they banded together to prove that they are still a determined unit representing the Whitsundays.

He said it was a great effort considering the week the team had.

“We had a good response with everyone turning up to play. Plus we had four or five new blokes that turned up willing to play as well.

“To beat Slade Point was just great.”

The home side led 10-5 after a try to Rhys Woon early in the second half.

But Slade Point were still posing a threat to the home side and it took a great team try midway through the half for the Raiders to pull ahead to lead by 12 points.

Slade Point came back late in the half, scoring and converting a try to come within striking distance.

The home side were thankful to hear the final siren sound and take the victory.

After coming off the win, the Raiders now face a big challenge as they prepare to take on Mackay Brothers who have been in great form in recent weeks.

President Kon Flaherty is hoping for another good game from his side.

“We should have heaps of guys now that we're at home,” he said.

“It all depends on how we train but we'll be putting up a good show.”

The Raiders take on Mackay Brothers at the Whitsunday Sports Park at 6pm on Saturday.

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