Raiders coach Matt Slattery calls the shots at training for Ian Colqurtt, Chris Robinson, Chris Burger and James Shean.
Raiders coach Matt Slattery calls the shots at training for Ian Colqurtt, Chris Robinson, Chris Burger and James Shean.

Raiders on mission to hit back

THE opening round of the Northern River’s Rugby League season has been brutal for the Tweed Coast Raiders.

Last week’s game was a double blow for the Raiders – they lost their first home game and their centre Paul Windle to a potentially season-ending knee injury.

Coach Matt Slattery said he wanted to put the battle scars behind him and was focusing on this afternoon’s game against Mullumbimby at Les Donnelly Field.

“Losing Windle for what could be the entire season has put a big hole in our side,” he said.

“We will fill in the gap and I am expecting our halfback Justin Cullen and five-eighth Cale Rowston to put in strong performances.”

It is measuring up to be a good match-up as the Raiders are hungry for a win and Mullumbimby had a draw last week.

Slattery said he wasn’t sure what to expect from Mullumbimby, even though they had made it to the preliminary finals last year.

“They are a bit of an unknown and I don’t know if they will be as strong because some of their men have retired,” he said.

“I am quietly confident that we will give them a good shake.”

All the action starts at 4.30pm.

Across town, the Cudgen Hornets tasted success last week when they blew Casino off the park and hope to keep up their shining form in tomorrow’s 3pm match against Grafton Ghosts at Ned Byrne Field.

It will be a pretty tough game against a benchmark side, coach Con Theodossiou said.

“They have an excellent roster and will definitely be tough to beat,” he said.

“We have been playing really well and we have a good outfit.

“It isn’t a do-or-die match but it is still important that we stick to our guns.”

Conversely, Murwillumbah Mustangs are seeking a win and are ready for today’s battle with Lower Clarence at Stan Sercombe Oval at 2.45pm.

Elsewhere, Evans Head play Byron Bay, Northern United attack Casino, Kyogle tackle Marist Brothers and Grafton Rhinos match up against Ballina.



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