Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Whitsunday Raiders travelled to Quarry Hill, home of Mackay Cities for the last competition round for 2023.
With the overcast skies and no wind, for a change, it was going to be a tough mental game as well as a physical one.
The Raiders started the game, kicking off to Cities, and managed to turn the ball over and scrum half, Brodie Stillman, managed to sneak across the line and add the first 5 points of the game after just 2 minutes.
Cities were not giving an inch and scrummaging was a tight tussle, that the Raiders seemed to be gaining the upper hand.
It took the raiders another 20 minutes of determined defence and skilful running rugby to post another 7 points on the scoreboard to take a 12-point lead.
The Cities forwards started to get some momentum and managed to pick up a five-pointer close to half time.
The score remained 12-5 in favour of the raiders going into the half time break.
The second half was another arm wrestle with both teams getting a share of the ball.
Big hits, strong defence, great line outs, and successful mauling, showed why the Raiders are at the top of the MRU table.
They kept the big Cities men out of the game and ran in another four converted tries, a double to fullback Aden Spence, a try to winger Jack Briskey, and then finally an intercept try from impact player, Enelaki Faataape, right on full time, saw the Raiders finish the competition in first place with a 40-5 win, to become 2023 Minor Premiers.
Semi-finals at home next Saturday 29th July.
Contributed with thanks to Craig Spence.
Ratu Jone Tovata hitting the line with support by Rhys Ward
Connor Spence taking the ball to ground, Chad Stocking in support. Photo credit: Hanny Spence