Both the Raiders Harold Mathews and Tarsha Gale Cup teams are through to the finals for 2017, but unfortunately the SG ball side fell just short of making the finals despite a good win on the weekend.
Illawarra Steelers 16 (Ethan Abou-Ghaida, Blair Grant 2, Tries; Zaan Weatherall, Blair Grant Goals) def by Canberra Raiders 30 (Gideon Afemui, Joe Roberts, Tremayne Chatfield, Lorenzo Leapai, Jermayne Cook Tries; Jahlon Governor 5 goals)
The Raiders SG ball recorded a big win on the weekend but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the finals, falling agonisingly short on a spot in the semi-finals on for and against.
The injury riddled SG ball side finished in 10th position, tied on eight points with the Central Coast, Manly and Balmain.
A few big losses in the middle of the season came back to hurt them as they fell short of eighth position and a spot in the finals thanks to for and against.
Raiders coach Adam Kyle, is pleased with how his side performed in the back end of the season, despite the loss of some important players.
“We were pretty happy with how they finished up,” Kyle said.
“Unfortunately we’ve got a limited squad size and had some season-ending injuries early on to 3-4 of our key players and we’ve had to blood a lot of young kids.
“It was fantastic to defeat two semi-final teams in the last two games.”
Despite not making the finals, there is plenty to look forward to for this young Raiders team, with nine of this year’s team backing up again next season.
“To have nine boys to back up and play SG ball again in 2018, it’s gonna help the squad all over the park.”
“The fact that they’ve had that year experience and another year of development in the gym, they’ll be very strong and competitive next year.”
Harold Mathews Cup
Illawarra Steelers 52 (Kane Ball 2, Jayden Sullivan 2, Hamish Holland 2, Duke Grant 2, Max Feagai, Jack Walsh Tries; Connor Muhleisen 2, Jayden Sullivan 4 Goals) def Canberra Raiders 10 (Ryan Longhurst, Cooper O’Connor Tries; Nicholas Hall Goal)
The Steelers were too good for the Raiders over the weekend as they scored 34 points in just the first half, after doubles to two of their players.
The second half was much better for the Raiders, only letting in two tries while scoring one themselves, but the gap was too much to make up as the Raiders prepare for an elimination final this weekend.
The Raiders will face off against the Rabbitohs this Saturday the 15th of April at Belmore Sports Ground at 11.15am.
Tarsha Gale Cup
Illawarra Steelers 14 (Keeley Davis 2, Nyeasha Hoskins-Moore Tries; Keeley Davis Goal) def Canberra Raiders 10 (Taylah Frost, Hollie Deaton Tries; Monique Bullock Goal)
The Raiders have narrowly missed out of trumping the Steelers and recording a win before the finals kick off, falling short by just one try.
The Raiders made the third placed Steelers work for the win after they opened the scoring but couldn’t hold the lead for the rest of the match.
The Raiders will still advance through to the finals and fight to take out the inaugural Tarsha Gale Cup.
The Raiders will come up against the Rabbitohs this Thursday the 13th of April at North Sydney Oval at 5.15pm.