THE WA Raiders will head to Brisbane for next weekend’s Australian Gridiron League decider with an opportunity to reverse last year’s national title loss.
But they will have to battle the Queensland Sundevils without playmaking utility Damien Donaldson, who suffered a horrific broken leg during last Saturday’s 34-6 home win over South Australia.
Donaldson was in at quarterback for a two-point conversion attempt midway through the third-quarter and was carrying the ball when he was pulled down from behind and injured in the tackle.
Play at Centenary Park in Belmont was delayed more than half an hour while an ambulance was called to transport the injured player to hospital.
Earlier, Donaldson had been a key figure in the Raiders establishing a 16-0 first-half lead.
He caught a pass from Raiders quarterback Ben Gastarov for the game’s first score and had seen time at running back, receiver, defensive back and on special teams before the conversion attempt following the team’s third touchdown went horribly wrong.
Even without Donaldson, the Raiders’ offence managed two more scoring drives in the fourth quarter while their defence extracted three turnovers as South Australia’s offence tried valiantly to fight back into the contest.
The Raiders remain undefeated in the 2016 campaign, having also routed NSW 60-20 on April 16.
Queensland beat South Australia in their first match and host NSW this weekend ahead of the Raiders visit on May 7.