Raiders’ Justin Cullen on his way to the line after a nice fend.
Raiders’ Justin Cullen on his way to the line after a nice fend. Blainey Woodham

Proud Hornets respect Raiders

CUDGEN Hornets and Tweed Coast Raiders are ready to lock horns in a neighbourhood battle this afternoon at Ned Byrne Field.

With community pride at stake the Northern Rivers Rugby League round 11 clash is sure to have some extra bite.

Coach Con Theodossiou said the Hornets would head into the game confidently but they were still giving the Raiders some respect.

“It is always a tough one no matter where the teams are positioned and the Raiders have a few good players,” he said.

“Matt is doing a good job and I think they’re doing okay – they have something.

“To beat Casino a few rounds back in a tough game says something because Casino is a strong side.”

The Hornets have been victorious seven times securing them third spot opposed to the Raiders who have been successful on two occasions, which is holding them in the bottom three.

Coach and captain Matt Slattery said it was usually a tough local derby and he didn’t expect anything to be different this year.

“Cudgen are particularly strong in the forwards, so we will look to attack out wide,” he said.

“When we played them in our trial game it was a pretty tight game but I am quietly confident this time around.”

The Green Machine has had a selection of factors causing the team to feel aggravated and exasperated.

Slattery said the injury toll was starting to hamper his team again and a lot of players had been sidelined.

“I couldn’t even start to name all the players who are out, there are that many,” he said.

“Their injuries have started to pile up over the last few weeks and there are a few with niggling injuries as well.”

Kick-off is 5.30pm.

Across town, Murwillumbah Mustangs are hoping to iron out the crinkles in their recent form when they clash with Grafton Rhinos tomorrow at Stan Sercombe Oval. The Mustangs have a perfect home record of five wins this season and they aren’t looking to blacken it.

Coach Troy McLean said his team really appreciated the support it had when it plays at its home ground.

“It really lifts us up another gear and it is a great experience, especially while we’re winning.”.

The Mustangs are eager to break into the top five and are counting on bringing home the two points.

“It is a really tight battle to get in the five and there are about six or seven sides fighting for positions,” McLean said.

“We are going into this game with confidence and I think they better at home than on the road like most teams.”

Kick-off is 2.45pm.



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