From the Stands: Round Nine
What an incredible win last weekend was?!
I’m sure many of us were expecting a bit of a Raiders bounce back, but who saw 60-6 coming? Not this fan, but I sure will take it.
The game started well with a couple of quick tries to the Raiders, but when the Tigers scored to bring the game 6 points closer, it looked like our boys could’ve been in an arm wrestle.
As it turned out, that was to be as close as the Tigers could get, as the men in green piled on an incredible 48 unanswered points!
After a couple of disappointing weeks, it was a great performance to watch.
There were standout performances across the field, but a special mention has to go to Jordan Rapana.
With four tries, a try assist, and a Houdini effort to get out of his own in goal at a vital stage of the game, he was outstanding.
Once one of the most underrated wingers in the game, a few teams will now be keeping a careful eye on Rapana.
Between his four tries, Leilua’s double, and Hodgson’s vital direction out of dummy half, finding a man of the match was harder than picking a favourite Justin Bieber song. So many good ones!
But as good as last week was, we need to remember it was still only worth two points on the competition ladder.
If we want another two points, our boys will need to back up that performance with another great one as we take on the Panthers on Saturday.
The Panthers will be fired up and ready to go after what was a very close loss to the Sharks last weekend.
And not only will they be out to avenge that loss, but they’ll also be looking to get one back after the mighty Raiders pipped the Panthers by 8 points back in round 1.
It was a hard fought game last time and it could have gone either way until Shaun Fensom skipped his way to the try line in the dying minutes to put the result beyond doubt.
Our boys will need to be prepared to grind it out in much the same manner in Bathurst, as 2016 looks to be the year of the close game for the Panthers.
Since the 8 point round 1 loss to the Raiders, every single Panthers game has been decided by less than a converted try.
In our favour though is the fact we’ve been through all of this before. The Raiders had their fair share of nail biters in 2015, and here’s hoping we’ve learned plenty from the experience.
The Raiders have the talent to take this game out and it’s all going to come down to desire.
If our boys want it more than they do, hold the ball, and play smart footy, they’ll come away from the road trip with the two points.
Just one tip for Raiders fans. Have a relaxing Saturday morning because your heart may be tested come 3pm. It’s got all the makings of a great one. Go Raiders!