From the Stands: Round 14
How much better is life after a win?
The sky is bluer, the grass is greener and the air is that little bit fresher.
There’s no need to duck and dodge media reports during the week.
In fact, I look forward to consuming them.
I love trawling through newspapers to see who said what about our boys and their impressive weekend performance.
After a less than ideal 2014, how good is it to read report after report that rate the Raiders as one of the real surprise packets of 2015?
Yes, it’s only the halfway mark of the season but even the most conservative Raiders supporter must take a little pride out of the current situation.
The same ‘experts’ that had the Raiders written off at the start of the year are now well and truly on our bandwagon.
And why wouldn’t they be? Our club’s story thus far is a thing of beauty.
For a team that had no ‘names’ and no chance are now starting to dominate the back pages.
Calls for Blake Austin to be unleashed in the Origin arena couldn’t be louder.
Josh Papalii can consider himself very unlucky not to have his Queensland jersey back.
Jarrod Croker is breaking milestones and must be close to his own rep honours.
Our overseas buys are also getting their fair share of attention.
Soliola has become one of the most feared men in any defensive line and Josh Hodgson has brought creativity out of dummy half we haven’t seen in years.
Two of my favourite stories however; are still well and truly in progress and their endings are not yet written.
Firstly, the story of Sam Williams. The young Cooma product has literally been around the world searching for a place to belong and ironically, his place was at home all along.
Since replacing Mitch Cornish, he has been a revelation at halfback.
Sam is playing with a level of confidence, control and maturity he has always been capable of.
2016 will bring a real challenge for Sam with Aidan Sezer joining the club and it’s clear he intends to fight tooth and nail for the halfback position.
My other favourite story under construction belongs to another one of the club’s fighters.
David Shillington started the year under real pressure to show he still has what it takes in the NRL.
Not only is he fighting his way through the pressure, he’s absolutely thriving.
In the last few weeks, he’s been one of our dominant forwards, displaying all the fighting qualities we expect out of this rejuvenated Raiders side.
These are just a few of the stories I’ve loved following in the Raiders 2015 season. What are yours?