Raiders return empty-handed from 47th Battalion Carnival
RUGBY LEAGUE: While the results didn't fall in their favour, Gladstone Raiders under-20s coach Dennis Moore is confident the side can improve over the coming 12 months.
Gladstone finish sixth at the 2017 47th Battalion U20s Carnival held at Yeppoon last weekend after failing to win a game.
There were some close results in two out of the young Raiders' three games, although Moore's side proved no match for the Bundaberg Bears during their second game.
Gladstone kicked the carnival off with a close loss against Central Highlands.
The Raiders allowed Central to jump out to a 22-0 lead after as many minutes before responding with a try to Matt Wilson in the 25th minute.
A further two tries to begin the second half saw the Raiders only trailing by six points, but Central rallied with another try to establish a 10-point lead with nine minutes remaining.
James Cody's second try offered Gladstone some hope but it was Central who held on to take the victory.
Gladstone second match of the carnival was one they'd rather forget after copping a 56-0 mauling at the claws of the Bears.
Saturday's results meant Gladstone would playoff for fifth spot against South Burnett Eagles the following day.
In another tight contest, the Raiders went down by 30-24 with Ben Ryan scoring two tries.
Moore said the first and third games were obvious highlights for his side.
"Both of those games were nearly a mirror of each other,” he said.
"We didn't get off to the best start and we came back but couldn't make the ground up.
"We never really got out of the blocks against Bundy.”
Moore picked Brothers' fullback Jack Morgan as his best for the weekend, with Tannum's Jack Cameron also playing well.
He expects the majority of the U20s squad to stick together next year.
Game 1: Central Highlands 26 defeated Gladstone Raiders 22 (James Cody 2, Logan Pengelly, Matt Wilson tries; Mason Collette 2, Pengelly goals).
Game 2: Bundaberg Bears 56 defeated Gladstone Raiders 0.
Game 3 (5th/6th playoff): South Burnett Eagles 30 defeated Gladstone Raiders 24 (Ben Ryan 2, Logan Pengelly, Mason Collette, Jai Parter tries; Pengelly 2 goals).