Injuries and availability takes toll on Raiders

Injuries and availability takes toll on Raiders

The Port Douglas Raiders returned to mediocrity on Saturday in Cairns against last season Premiers Barron Trinity Bulls, who scored a late try to narrowly pip their guests 19-7.


With the form that has been produced in the past two outings and the Bulls backing up from a loss in the top of the table clash against JCU Mariners, the fixture as a consequence was another one that got away rather than the potential upset that many had anticipated. Again, as had been in the seasons beginning, Port Douglas went into the match with an injury toll and unavailability of key players and was forced to make positional changes.


Losing the toss and running into a head wind for the first half may have added to their woes, but it was the Raiders who made a strong start with some solid play to achieve good field positioning and possession. Barron had to work hard to regain composure and made the most of their chances and was able to limp to a 7-0 half time lead.


Port Douglas made another solid and influential start in the second spell pushing their hosts to be desperate in defence. It became more of an error ridden affair as both sides regularly lost possession through trying to promote creativity, yet it was the Bulls experience that prevailed. Dominating set plays and adding a further two tries, Barron wore down the Raiders who were only able to reply with a try to Tim Sladden, playing at Inside Centre, and converted by Fly Half Todd Funch.


Rob Benton was busy all day and was awarded Man of the Match, Sladden earned two points for his tireless effort and Sam Westerna made a good debut performance to receive one point from Full Back.


This Saturday the Port Douglas Raiders return home against the physical Southside Crusaders with a scheduled 3pm kick off. A win will not only coincide with Carnivale celebrations but will also put the home side back in the frame for finals contention.