What an amazing start to the season?
We might only be one game into this season but Raiders fans should be feeling better already about 2015.
Personally, the close victory over the Sharks was very satisfying due to some slightly chirpy Sharks loving friends of mine.
After the Jack Wighton show, those same friends weren’t so chirpy Sunday night.
Already, the team looks fitter, faster and a whole lot slicker than in 2014.
This was partially due to some of the regular faces but also due to the injection of some new blood.
English hooker Josh Hodgson was very sharp out of dummy half. He made a couple of great runs and had the forwards doing what they do best – going forward.
He looks like he’s got a bit of a kicking game as well so look out for some solid impact there.
Iosia Soliola was another great addition to the mighty Green Machine.
He was a bit of a workhorse in Round 1, notching up 15 hit-ups and adding some real defensive starch with 38 tackles.
Blake Austin looked great at five-eighth. He’s very quick off the mark and was always looking for an opportunity to run. Don’t expect him to be on the nudie run come the end of season.
Frank-Paul Nuuausala was also very good off the bench. He was invaluable as he got through a lot of work in just under 40 minutes.
And last but far from least, what a great pick up Sisa Waqa looks for the Raiders?
He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, and is very dangerous out on the left wing.
Sure he scored the match winner, but it was his spectacular catch off a Sharks bomb that had fans off their seats. Bomb to his wing at your peril, Warriors!
And that brings us to this weekend. The Warriors have been a bit of a bogey team for the Raiders in the past but don’t expect the same old this weekend.
The roster is looking strong and the boys should be up for it.
The key will be being switched on from kickoff. The Warriors are a team that are brutal when their heads are up and worse than offal when their heads are down.
By muscling up early and putting the Warriors on the back foot early, the Raiders will have a real chance on Sunday.
So get to GIO Stadium and cheer the boys home. There’s nothing like the first home game of the year. I can’t wait!
Just one hot tip for Jack Wighton: Put the guns away this weekend. Something tells me the Warriors pack a few guns of their own.
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