Sharks suffer humiliating loss at the hands of Raiders

Matt Orford was out, and the Raiders were written off. Enter Sam Williams. A kid, making his first-grade debut against the Sharks, and what a game he had!

After being the stand-out in the Raiders win, the club is desperate to retain him long-term, and currently in negotiations with Williams.

Williams, who is still only 19, is off-contract at the end of this year has emerged as a priority signing, and they will endeavor to do so, before other teams come knocking.

‘We’re talking to Sam and his manager, and we’re getting closer to finalising an agreement,” Raiders chief executive Don Furner said.

”Hopefully, we’ll be able to do that soon. We see Sam as an important part of the club’s future. He had a great season in Toyota Cup last season and represented the Junior Kangaroos as well, and he’s made a terrific debut today.”

Williams, who only played due to the late withdrawal of Greg Inglis, turns 20 on Friday at the Raiders next home game, and if Orford is still injured, Williams will get the chance to play on his birthday.

Williams, at 19, is still eligible to play in the U20’s competition, is eager to stay with the Raiders for the long-term.

”There is something on the table from the club and I hope to be able to work something out with them soon,” Williams said.

”I really enjoy it at the Raiders, and I want to stay here long term.”

The downfall for the Raiders despite their win however, was an injury to inspirational captain Alan Tongue, who is expected to be out for about 10 weeks.

The Sharks also had their own injury concerns, with Albert Kelly going off with a suspected concussion. That was not their only concern however, as the Sharks had Paul Aiton sent off for a suspected headbutt in the 74th minute.

Raiders new recruit, and prop Brett White, will face an anxious wait, after being put on report in the 70th minute, a high-knee that concussed Albert Kelly.

Raiders centre Blake Ferguson was also knocked down, going for a bomb, that ensued the brawl that saw Paul Aiton sent off.

”I don’t remember that,” he said. ”I got hit pretty hard – I’m lucky I’m still standing. But it doesn’t bother me. I’m just happy to get out there and play. There was a little bit of sledging from my old teammates … but that’s good. It’s part of footy.”

Flanagan, who was at the hospital with Kelly, said that it did not appear that there was any damage to Kelly’s neck, which was a very good sign.

‘He came to in the dressing room,” Flanagan said.

”He’s a brave kid. At this stage, it looks like he doesn’t have to go to hospital.”

Dally M Points

3 Sam Williams
2 Dane Tilse
1 Jarrod Croker

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