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Raptors' pride despite missing Sunbowl glory

Posted: 12pm 18 Dec 2021

Moreton Bay Raptors are celebrating a season of firsts in Gridiron Queensland.

This year has seen Raptors/Spartans Men and Mixed teams reach semi-finals for the first time, while the Juniors made the Sunbowl final.

Raptors/Spartans Juniors went down 28-12 to Gold Coast Stingrays on Saturday, but it took little shine off an excellent year.

They reached the Sunbowl with a 26-6 victory over Logan Bears thanks to an opening quarter, 15-yard touchdown from running back Kazioa Newick-Matthews

Picture gallery - scroll through

Quarter-back Tom Huber fired a long touchdown pass to wide receiver Newick-Matthews before Raptors/Spartans took control in the last two quarters.

Head coach Vinny Tupi said it was a “solid performance across all facets of the game” with “pressure and control” sealing their place in the Sunbowl final.

The men’s team went down 31-18 to Brisbane Rhinos in their semi-final with Tupi describing it as “one of our best games of the season”.

It was only in the last five minutes that Rhinos ensured victory in a close-fought match full of “terrific textbook plays from both teams” said Tupi.

“The game’s offence highlights was seeing veteran Ben Gough from the Sunshine Coast half of the team running through the Brisbane Rhinos defence like a possessed steam train,” he said.

Wide Receiver Max Schlatter took a deep field pass to open the scoring while Nathan Tunafai and Robbie Barwick made crucial interceptions mid field.

“What a finish considering we were struggling to field a team from the start,” Tupi said.

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