Whitsunday Raiders win at home
SATURDAY night saw another strong performance from the Whitsunday Raiders as they held off the Slade Point Slashers for a 38-19 win at the Whitsunday Sports Park.
The 19-point win came on the back of some brilliant tries by the Raiders backline, but it was Slade Point who scored first to build a 7-0 lead after 10 minutes.
After weathering the storm for half an hour the home side bounced back with a sterling try to galloping Irishman Ron Croker to even the ledger.
The Slashers responded quickly with a try almost directly after the kick off but the Raiders refused to lie down and inside centre Scott Vella crossed shortly after, with the conversion handing his side a 14-12 lead at half time.
It took the Raiders 10 minutes to score the first try of the second half with Dom Croker at outside centre planting his try under the posts. Missing the first half through a niggling injury, Raiders Argentinean fullback Martin Roveda was back on in the second half and scored a try to extend the lead to 26-12. Playing Coach Hemi Taukiri then crossed before the Slashers hit back with a late try to arrive at the final score of 38-19.
Coach Taukiri gave three points to Jon Fatu, two to Scott Vella and one to Ron Croker in his player day awards but made special mention of Jim Cochrane and fullback Hank Verwoerdt.
The Raiders enjoy a bye this round but will face a huge test the following week when they host the undefeated Kuttabul Camelboks.
After losing by just one point last time they faced off with Kuttabul, the Raiders are desperate to claim the points and will be banking on home support to get them across the line.
Kick off is at 4.30pm Saturday, July 21 at the Whitsunday Sports Park with all supporters welcome to come and watch the Raiders in their run home to the finals.
Full Time: Raiders 38 points (tries: George Johnston, Ron Croker, Hemi Taukiri, Scott Vella, Dom Croker, Martin Roveda; conversions: Ryan Edkins 2, Martin Roveda 1) defeated Slashers 19 (3 tries, 2 conversions)