Raiders open their season
Tue 16 Feb
By Esrom Lafituanai
The Port Douglas Raiders had their first game last Saturday narrowly going down 22-21 against last year’s Grand Finalist JCU Mariners.
After only four training sessions and yet another new look playing roster the Raiders had no real expectation for their first outing, but for players to exercise their abilities and give an indication on how to form their team composition.
Playing 15 minute quarters, JCU scored an uncontested converted try in the first spell, but Port Douglas were able to hold the Mariners to a scoreless second period and go into the halftime break trailing 7 nil. In the third quarter the Raiders were first to cross the line through powerhouse forward Adam Calcraft and was successfully converted by a young Fly Half Hugo Marks, though the Mariners equalised with only minutes remaining.
The Mariners continued their dominance early in the final stanza and the Port Douglas came back midway through the period with Esrom Lafituanai crossing the line from a penalty tap. JCU again scored out wide taking the score line to 22-14 before Marks crossed under the post in the final minute for a personal tally of 11 points.
Halfback and Captain Nick Sherston played his last game for the Raiders as he finishes his duties with Cairns Thunder before departing on a North American tour with the Australian Barbarians squad.
Port Douglas’s next game is in two weeks time in Cairns when they take on last season’s Premiers Barron Trinity Bulls.