Raiders lose their captain

OUT: Captain Shannon Wolland is out with two fractured cheek bones, pictured here in a game against Mackay City last year
OUT: Captain Shannon Wolland is out with two fractured cheek bones, pictured here in a game against Mackay City last year Rory Sheavils

THE Whitsunday Raiders have lost their captain and star attacking player, Shannon Wolland, after a head clash at the beginning of Saturday's game against Mackay City.

Wolland has confirmed he has two fractured cheek bones and is awaiting surgery in Townsville next week.

But all is not lost for the injury plagued Raiders following their 39-9 loss to City.

The boys have vowed to channel their disappointment to 'crush Kuttabul' at a home game next week.

Ben Cornish pushed through his own ankle injury to play a solid game for the Raiders after stepping up to take on felled Wolland's role.

Team mate Madison French was highlighted for his tackling and on ball consistency.

Coach Kon Flaherty said City played a physical game as anticipated.

"City have played well all year round and deserve to be in the final, in the game they were hard off the line and hard on the ball," he said.

"City scored few tries early on before we held them at bay, only to have them come out strong in the second half to secure the win.

"Losing Shannon early on was a blow and we had another four injuries during the game with an already small bench - I think despite a huge effort from the guys by the end we ran out of people and energy.

"Coming into next week we will address where we are at with players and injuries, which might mean some shuffling of players and positions.

"Next week's game isn't a foregone conclusion, Kuttabul are playing well and it should be a close match.

"Shannon was our number one attacking player and his talk and direction on the field will be missed."

Shannon said, from what he saw of the game before being taken to the hospital, he was very proud of how his boys played.

"We're a fairly young team, we just need a little confidence to know we can do it."

The Raiders must win next Saturday against the Kuttabul Camelboks in order to go through to the grand final the following week for a re-match against City.

Topics:  fractured skull rugby union shannon wolland whitsunday raiders

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