Matt Baker looks to pass during Raiders rugby league team training ahead of the weekend’s game against Central Highlands.
Matt Baker looks to pass during Raiders rugby league team training ahead of the weekend’s game against Central Highlands. Christopher Chan

Raiders set for first clash of the season in Clermont

THE first clash of the season for Gladstone Raiders is set to put the boys to the test as they head to Clermont to take on Central Highlands on Saturday.

Coach Peter White said it would be a full day for Raiders who would leave Gladstone at 7am for a six-hour bus trip and be back on the bus straight after the game to arrive home at 2am on Sunday.

"It's a huge ask," White said.

"But they'll step up."

The representative side was named last Sunday night and although White said some players had to pull out due to work commitments, he was happy.

"I think it is a strong side," he said.

"I know the boys will do well and do Gladstone proud."

He said Central Highlands, coached by former State of Origin player Steven Bell, would be tough competitors.

Raiders are coming off the back of what White said was possibly the side's most successful year, only losing one game at the annual 47th Battalion carnival and narrowly losing to Cairns in the North Queensland Championships.

What let the team down, White said, was the amount of travel that was required of them last year.

"Unfortunately, all seven games were played out of Gladstone," he said.

But this year will be different as Raiders prepare to host the 47th Battalion on May 11 and 12.

White said it was a coup to secure the carnival as it had never been held outside Bundaberg before.

The under-20s side will also travel to Clermont to compete.

RAIDERS

  • Matt Craven (Valleys)
  • Hfanga Rebakewa (Valleys)
  • Anthony Flores (Tannum)
  • Mitch Hallinen (Calliope)
  • Ramon Filipine (Valleys)
  • Joel Smallwood (Wallabys)
  • Matt Baker (Wallabys)
  • Dean Lude (Tannum)
  • Price Trevor (Brithers)
  • Matthew Mizzi (Valleys)
  • Aaron Hall (Valleys)
  • Reece Cook (Tannum)
  • Dan Beahan (Wallabys) (C)
  • Smith Samau (Valleys)
  • Chris Butler (Wallabys)
  • Max Uaol (Brothers)
  • Les Nicholson (Valleys)