From the Stands: Round Eleven
With a week to shake off the trauma of last week’s fiasco, it’s time for the Raiders to bounce back!
I’m sure many a Raiders supporter is still a little traumatised from the Dragons game, but there’s no better way to soothe the pain than with a win.
This weekend’s game against the Warriors offers a range of opportunities for our boys.
It’s no secret the land of the long white cloud hasn’t always been the happiest hunting ground for the mighty Raiders, but what a time to end that run?
Off the back of last week, the boys should be ready to fire for this one.
A number of individuals will be keen to make amends for the loss, really looking to prove themselves.
Also in our favour, is the fact that the New Zealand away game presents a bit of a homecoming for some of the men in green.
Not only does that mean we should have a little support in the crowd, but there’s also the added inspiration for some of the boys to impress in front of their families.
There is no limit to the amount of inspiration the Raiders have to feed off this week. Expect a bounce back.
On the other side of the coin, the Warriors too will be out to make amends.
It’s no secret their form has been a little below par in 2016 and they’ll be keen to get their season back on track.
Given their recent form against our boys, they’ll no doubt be backing themselves to do exactly that.
With two sides looking to impress, it makes the first 15 minutes of this one incredibly important.
The Warriors are a ‘confidence’ side, meaning if they start well, they’ll feed off that and be hard to beat.
If the mighty Raiders get on the front foot early, however, the Warriors confidence will take a hit, paving an easier way for our boys.
So as usual, it all starts in the engine room. The Raiders forwards will need to dominate the middle of the field and get involved in the rough stuff.
Dominate the territory battle, respect the ball, and a victory will be on its way. It’s that simple.
If we lose the battle of the forwards and make as many errors as last week, it could be a long day.
The bookies may have written our boys off, but don’t expect it to go that way.
With so much to play for, and the fact that the Raiders feed off the underdog status, Raiders fans have plenty to be optimistic about.
It’ll be a tough game, but it’s absolutely winnable.
The Raiders are still well in the hunt for 2016, don’t you worry about that.
So if you’re lucky enough to make your way to New Plymouth this weekend, make your voices heard, Raiders fans! For the rest of us, find yourself a tv and cheer on the redemption. Go Raiders!