Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Raiders Simply the Best in Comp

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Raiders Simply the Best in Comp

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon McCarthy Rugby League

IT was all on the line on Saturday - the representative title and spots in the Capra's side for 2009 - Gladstone came out firing.

The Yaralla Gladstone Raiders managed to secure the win in their second and last game of the season.

Though from the kick-off it looked like anyone's game.

Central Highlands came out with some very physical defence, the likes of which the side didn't encounter in their win against Rockhampton a fortnight ago.

The Raiders rose to the task and stepped up their defence and in the end were rewarded with the opening points.

Central Highland were dazed, but still mounted pressure and in the 25th minute were rewarded with their first try of the game, courtesy of some nifty footwork by Logan Sullivan, the scores tied at 6-all.

That was until ten minutes before half time when Gladstone applied more pressure.

The tired Central Highlands defence crumbled under continuous pressure, allowing Andrew Murdoch to dive in for four points.

Then moments later the side backed it up again and managed another four-pointer; the floodgates had opened.

Gladstone came close again but several losses of the ball sent them down the other end of the park.

However, the home side, playing on the Gladstone Junior Fields in front of a vocal crowd, applied pressure in their own half and in the end Spencer Mariner was set up for a 30m dash to the line by Jay Mahlitner.

When the whistle had blown on half time Gladstone had jumped out to a formidable 20-6 lead.

Gladstone Raiders coach Aaron Farrar admitted targeting the last ten minutes of each half had been talked about at training.

"We knew if we completed our sets and toughed it out, we could take it to them in the back of each half," he said.

Farrar said he also knew that Central Highlands would come out firing in the second half.

They did just that and the Gladstone defence was hit by some big hits.

The Raiders' attack was also halted as Central Highlands looked to make up for the last ten minutes before half time. …

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