Raiders v Japan
On a hot Sunday afternoon the Raiders warriors gathered at Thu Duc to battle the Japanese samurais. Always a tough battle.
This time there was a confidence in the Raiders squad. One of them was heard chucking to himself that he was ‘giddy’ just looking at the attack formation.
Game kicked off and immediately Hoggy and Clemens charged forward not allowing the Japanese to even trap the ball. Their first touch was a first time drop kick over the line deep into Raiders territory. Did they think they were playing rugby?! Raiders immediately pressed them again and that lad Fola tore down the right wing and whipped in a perfect cross for Clemens to head home – 2 minutes on the clock. This set the pattern for the first half with Raiders camping in their half and restricting them to a few break aways which the defence and the on fire Mirko easily dealt with.
On 12 minutes Hoggy added number two after a super solo run through the heart of their defence and on 25 minutes added number three after a dazzling run by the ever dangerous Emmanuel.
All over the park the Raiders boys dominated. Hung, returning at centre back alongside James was a colossus. Ben M pulling the strings in the middle of the park again and Mike in a new role as defensive midfielder was outstanding and deservedly took MOTM.
The game was effectively over at this stage and coach began rolling players on in the attempt to let everyone join the party.
The coach warned the team at half time not to let the Japanese get a sniff of hope. Within 2 minutes of the restart Mike swung in a corner that James Q met and ended up taking it to four. Raiders continued to control though the game lost its edge as the full squad rotated. For a seemingly fair challenge the ref decided to award Japan a penalty late in the game and it ended up being the last kick of the game. Again we are denied a clean sheet.
Looking strong, Raiders.