Raiders ready for ‘physical’ clash against City
PROSERPINE Whitsunday Raiders are looking to start the season with one of its toughest clashes, facing Mackay City in a Super Saturday event this weekend.
However, it’s a battle Raiders coach Andre Houston welcomes with open arms after a successful series of shakedown trial matches in Rockhampton.
He called the round-robin event against the Gladstone Goats and the Rockhampton Brothers a “good hitout”, which helped to analyse some areas to work on in the lead up to the start of the 2020 season.
“It was very hot and muggy, but it went well and really got the momentum rolling,” Houston said.
“They boys got a feel of the field, and a feel of playing together which was important.
“There’s also the bonding aspect that comes from the trip down (to Rockhampton), and sometimes the bonding is just as important to the success of the team then the play.”
He looked forward to the Super Saturday event held in Kuttabul, with all Mackay district teams playing on the day.
Houston said opponents Mackay City, who have been grand-finalists for the past six years, were “the team to beat”.
“City is going to be a physical side, so we just have to match them and then do better,” he said.
“It’s going to be a huge battle and really it’s about who shows up on the day and takes the opportunities when they come.
“It’s the question of which team is going to work a little harder to stop that try, who’s going to push a little faster to score. We need to make sure that team is us.”
Still working out specific positions for some of his new recruits, Houston said it would be interesting to see the changes made in some of the Mackay teams.
“Our numbers are good, and I’m confident in the boys we have in the team this year,” he said.
“It’ll be interesting to see the other teams and what we’re facing this year.
“I encourage anyone who is interested to come support the local boys this year, anyone who has moved to the area and misses a bit of rugby, come down and watch some matches.”