What a difference a week makes?
The boys were an altogether different side against the Bulldogs.
While a lot of the focus has been on the return of Blake Austin and Aiden Sezer, the sheer dominance of the Raiders pack should not be understated.
Sezer’s impressive kicking game off the back of good go forward made a big difference, but the relentlessness of the massive Raiders pack was something else.
From the kickoff, our boys made huge metres through the middle of the park, and followed it up with wonderful enthusiasm in defence.
If there was defensive one set that typified the performance, it was the set where the Bulldogs had failed to make more than 10 metres from their first 4 tackles of the set. The Dogs panicked, spread the ball and Morris dropped it right on their own line.
Time and time again, the Bulldogs had no answer to the Raiders’ enthusiasm.
They were bashed, they were contained, they were totally outplayed.
Even when our boys felt like some defensive practice for the entire second half, the Bulldogs were rarely able to trouble the Raiders’ line.
If not our most impressive win of the season, it’s definitely close. To think, it all happened at the opposition’s ‘spiritual home.’
And long may the season’s improvement continue!
The boys will barely get a break as the oh so topical five-day turnaround hits the Raiders.
Not only is the turnaround short, but we’re back to Sydney to face the in from Parramatta Eels.
It’ll be a stern test for our boys that will no doubt be looking to carry last week’s momentum.
The halves combination of Foran and Norman, while new like ours, are already beginning to click.
They’ve got an enthusiastic forward pack that will be looking to do to us, what we did to the Dogs.
But here’s the red, hot tip. Ours is better! Or at least, if the Raiders pack plays to its potential, it’s stronger than the Eels’.
And that’s what this week will come down to. Both sides have electric back lines that can and will take advantage if they have the field position.
We all know that holding onto the ball and limiting mistakes is king on the Rugby League field.
Never will that be more true than this Saturday. The team that holds on to the ball and out enthuses their opposition will take this one out.
There’s no reason our boys can’t do it. Last Monday had to be a huge confidence boost for the men in green and they must surely know that on their day, they can beat anyone in the competition.
There’s room to improve, but again, there’s plenty to like about the Raiders in 2016.
Hopefully there’ll be even more to like after this weekend. Go Raiders!
CLICK HERE for the Raiders v Eels match preview.