OPTIONS: Whitsunday Raider Petelo Kelemeti sets off with the ball.
OPTIONS: Whitsunday Raider Petelo Kelemeti sets off with the ball.

Raiders set sail for season finish

RUGBY UNION: Cathy Freeman Oval played host as the battleground for the region's union teams on Saturday with the Whitsunday Raiders playing Slade Point in the final game of the day.

The tightly contested game saw the Raiders secure a 22-17 win, moving them into second spot on the ladder.

Raiders coach Ben Matters said it was a great day of rugby.

"The boys all said the atmosphere was brilliant," he said.

"It was great for all clubs to get the support and for Slade Point hosting the games as well."

Matters said he expected Slade Point to come prepared on the day.

"We knew they were going to be up for a game, and they showed it," he said.

"The game was scrappy, it left the boys battered and bruised. I am proud of my boys for getting the win despite some tiny errors."

Matters said his team focused on what he wanted them to do and it showed.

"The boys played well, it was a great team effort," he said.

"Our plan was to get the ball out wide to our backs. It was great to see some tries scored out wide as a result of the game plan."

Matters credited Slade Point for its strength around the rucks in the game.

"They were brilliant and we had to work hard to stop their big forwards," he said.

"Some of our boys had to really defend all day to shut them down."

The Raiders' win over Slade Point sets them up for a top of the table clash this week against Cities.

"It will be the first of two tough home games for us leading into the finals," Matters said.

"Our focus will be on structure this week, leading into this clash with Cities. It will be a tough test."


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