DEFENCE IS KEY: Tweed Coast Raiders coach Brent Kite said his side needed to ensure its defence stayed in tact as they try to defend their premiership.
DEFENCE IS KEY: Tweed Coast Raiders coach Brent Kite said his side needed to ensure its defence stayed in tact as they try to defend their premiership.

Defence is key for defending premiers in lead-up to finals

THE defending premiers have not yet secured a spot in the top five, meaning a slip-up this weekend could have massive ramifications.

Tweed Coast Raiders coach Brent Kite reminded his players this week about the importance of staying focused and not falling victim to a side well below them on the table.

The Raiders face bottom-placed Evans Head on Sunday, with a recent loss to a side out of finals contention still firmly on their minds.

"We dropped a game to Northern (United) a few weeks ago which was disappointing,” Kite said.

"This week there is a big gap on the ladder but we have learnt the hard way this season not to take any team lightly.”

A staple of the Raiders' premiership win last season was their stern defence.

Kite said ensuring his side's defence was as solid as it could be was a major focus at training as semi-finals approached.

"Defence is something we pride ourselves on and it has been tested and has been shown-up a few times so it is something we need to get right,” he said.

"We have had a few close games recently but what was pleasing is we have been able to keep teams to just a couple of tries.

"What we need to do now is get our offence clicking into gear.”

The round-15 NRRRL clash between Tweed Coast and Evans Head will be played at Les Burger Field, Cabarita, on Sunday at 2.45pm.



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