Angry Furner blasts Raiders
Canberra Raider coach David Furner speaks to the media during the Raiders Recovery session at CISAC. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Canberra Raiders coach David Furner has officially lost patience with his misfiring side, and looks set to make changes for this weekend's vital clash against Manly at Brookvale Oval.
Furner described the Raiders' 44-22 home loss to Cronulla on Sunday as ''terrible'' and ''not good enough'', and a handful of players' first grade spots are in serious jeopardy.
Starting hooker Glen Buttriss (knee) should be available for selection despite copping a knock against the Sharks, but Furner hasn't ruled out shifting veteran utility Shaun Berrigan from right centre to dummy half.
The Canberra Times also understands youngster Jack Wighton may be recalled after being omitted from the team to play Cronulla after fullback Josh Dugan was a late inclusion.
Should he return it may be at the expense of established centre Jarrod Croker, who was exposed on several occasions by the Sharks' superb kicking game.
If Berrigan moves to No 9 Furner's options are playing Wighton or second-rower Joel Thompson in the centres, or handing star Toyota Cup centre Edrick Lee a debut.
''Berro is an option there [at hooker] and we need to have a look at it, a serious one,'' Furner said.
''I've spent a good time having a look at our best side, and there's definitely possibilities [for changes].
''It's not about chopping and changing, it's about getting players in there that are going to do the job.''
Lee, 19, has been outstanding in the under-20 competition, and his 196cm frame and basketball background could help the Raiders address their struggles with defusing high kicks.
''There's some good form with some of the 20s players, certainly Edrick who was with us pre-season could play first grade,'' Furner said.
''Certainly there's guys there that if they're comfortable [in NRL], changes need to be made. Certainly 44 points [conceded] at home, a good crowd … not good enough.''
Furner was particularly incensed at a first-half try by Cronulla's John Morris, created by a Paul Gallen short pass with no defenders making the effort to cover inside space, which was exploited.
''There were times in the game where we missed our assignment and got punished,'' Furner said.
''You can't be lazy on the inside, and we made some decisions under fatigue that weren't good enough.
''We have a team that should be more competitive than that, and it needs to be.
''Confidence is a wonderful thing and we need to get that into the team quick smart.''
Furner said the lack of on-field talk against the Sharks was also an issue he would address with the Raiders' leadership group this week.
Injured skipper Terry Campese is renowned for barking instructions on the field, and his absence was sorely felt.
''The feedback I was given was our talk at time was panicky,'' Furner said. ''Campo is a very good talker, so is [injured vice-captain] Brett White, but that's a responsibility with the other players and it's not an excuse.''
Canberra's stand-in captain David Shillington said his side would spend the majority of this week undergoing an attitude adjustment in defence.
''In the middle we weren't as effective as we could have been and let them pop balls out the back, and on the edges we clean missed too many tackles,'' Shillington said.
''They jumped over a couple of our players [to score off kicks] and scooted down short side and isolated defenders, those things come down to desperation.''
NRL Round 9: Manly Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders at Brookvale Oval, 2pm. TV Time: Live on Fox Sports 2.