The back of Ash Widders the Parkes defence got used to seeing yesterday. The flying Macquarie Raiders winger scored three tries in a 36-18 defeat of the Spacemen.Raiders captain-coach Matt Stott and his two outstanding backs Quinton Dickerson and Ash Widders exposed some massive defensive weaknesses in the Parkes defence on the way to a commanding 36-18 win at Apex Oval yesterday.
Widders helped himself to three tries and Dickerson one as their expansive game caught Parkes napping.
The man who laid the platform for several of the seven tries scored by Macquarie was their captain-coach, half-back Matt Stott.
His vision and short passes were a constant worry for Parkes. Firstly he sent fullback Chris Daley in for the first of his two tries and before halftime he laid it on for Dickerson and Widders to creative havoc down the left side of the field.
While Parkes scored first, through hooker Benjamin John, the Raiders had all the running before oranges and were in front 22-12, the second try for Parkes coming from bullocking lock Epi Sadrodro.
But it wasn’t until Dickerson and Widders had crossed again in the space of 10 minutes for a 30-12 lead that the Raiders looked to be heading towards a win.
Stott later heaped praise on his forward who finished on top of their Parkes opposites.
“The forwards today were great,” he said. “They went for the full 80 minutes and despite the size of Parkes never stopped going.
“Considering we were without two of our best forwards Ben McQuillan and Kinni today, it was a great effort.
“If there was a criticism it was that we are still making some basic mistakes. Last week we came up two vital turnovers, today another two and each time they proved costly.”
Tall forwards Zac Rennick and Ash Coon both had great games up front while Stott, Dickerson, Widders and Daley were magnificent in the backs.
While Parkes were competitive they were also fairly predictable although Group 11 hooker Benjamin John cut some nice holes in the defence and he was always a menace.
Some of their positional changes to cover for the absence of Moran didn’t work out.
Captain-coach Pat Rosser – who played on after dislocating a finger on his left hand early in the game – conceded the better side on the day won.
“They were more structured than us, had more competitions than us – simple as that,” he said.
“We lacked confidence in a lot of things we did and didn’t push the ball the way we have been doing.
“Today was a good kick in the pants for us and hopefully we can get it right next time.”
Lock Epi was dangerous, Zarin Barber and Heamani Lavaka were tireless up front but that was about it for the beaten side.
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