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Raiders fans turn backs as over-confidence strikes again

Date

Jon Tuxworth

Joel Thompson show his disappointment after the loss. Click for more photos

Titans hammer hapless Raiders

All the action from the Canberra Raiders' round 19 38-26 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Canberra Stadium on Sunday, July 15. Photo: Rohan Thomson

 

World beaters one week, cannon fodder the next.

The Canberra Raiders' consistency issues reared their ugly head again after they produced one of their most disappointing efforts of the year in a 38-26 loss to Gold Coast at Canberra Stadium yesterday.

After clinical back-to-back wins, including last week's 40-12 upset in Melbourne, the Raiders were heavy favourites to notch up a third straight victory.

But some Raiders fans in the 8240 crowd booed the players at half-time after the Titans racked up a 22-4 lead, with many heading to the turnstiles well before the match was over.

It was the lowest home attendance since 6500 watched the Raiders thrash the Panthers 74-12 in round 22, 2008.

Canberra only avoided the blowout it deserved through an ordinary goalkicking day from Gold Coast halfback Scott Prince (three from eight attempts) and three late Raiders tries.

The Raiders were never in the hunt as the Titans ran in eight tries to five on the back of a big two-try game from former Canberra fullback William Zillman, prop Luke Bailey (184m) and strong efforts from halves Aidan Sezer and Scott Prince.

The loss is a savage blow to Canberra's finals hopes - the Raiders could have moved to within two points of the top eight with a win.

Canberra began well enough when a short pass from fullback Reece Robinson found straight-running centre Blake Ferguson, who scored in the third minute.

But from there it was all the Titans, who continually exposed poor Canberra defence on both edges.

Afterwards Raiders coach David Furner stopped short of saying his side was overconfident or complacent. But Canberra clearly has mentality issues it needs to resolve after again failing to perform in a game it was expected to win.

Its fans must be tearing their hair out that their side can beat the competition leaders on the road, but fail to beat the Titans at home.

''I don't know if that first try by us was a good thing, because I think we felt it was just going to happen,'' Furner said. ''We had two good wins and we have a habit of not starting well after those, [we get] a little bit comfortable.''

Raiders skipper David Shillington was unsure whether his side had put the cart before the horse.

''I don't know if we got ahead of ourselves, it's hard to say,'' Shillington said. ''The thing that's won us the last two games has been our completions which have been around 80-85 per cent [yesterday's was 73 per cent] and once again our on-line defence was really poor.

''As captain I have to lead by example, Furnsey gave me a spray at half-time about getting up and getting the boys forward off the line.

Shillington described the team being booed by its own fans as ''obviously not good''.

''I was pretty excited about our momentum the last couple of weeks and our intention was to have a good win for our home fans and give them something to cheer about after a tough 18 months,'' Shillington said.

Raiders second-rower Josh Papalii left the field late in the match with a knee injury, but the club is confident he has only suffered a cork and bone bruising. Sezer will also have scans this week after failing to complete the game with an injured hand.

Gold Coast coach John Cartwright said his side was inspired by the courage of returning forwards Bailey and Nate Myles, both outstanding despite carrying injuries into the match.

''It sends a good message to everyone else in the side, to do it under duress sends a message to everyone that there's always more in you,'' Cartwright said.

 

11 comments so far

  • Badge nailed it in his commentary: the raiders are mentally soft.

    Commenter
    n
    Location
    Weston
    Date and time
    July 16, 2012, 8:38AM
    • I have been called a "fair weather fan" before but I go to the "arena" to watch "gladiators" do things I can admire. I'm not angry because this is just a game. I won't be back though because when I pay, I expect service. At a football game the teams are supposed to provide service or value for money. The Raiders don't, I'll go somewhere else thanks.

      Commenter
      Paul
      Location
      Raider
      Date and time
      July 16, 2012, 11:25AM
  • I recall the story of Meninga giving it to his forwards in the first half of a game when he started off as captain. At half time, Tim Sheens gave him a spray and told him that he wasn't putting in. He went out and led by example. He ended up one of the greatest captains the club has ever seen. Shillo managed just 60 metres yesterday and has been a regular under-achiever ever since he got the captaincy. Based on his performance so far, he will go down as the captain the fans will most want to forget. Either step up or step aside, Shillington.

    Commenter
    YS
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    July 16, 2012, 9:46AM
    • Took my 5 year old to watch the Raiders yesterday, been taking him on & off since he was 3 years old. In that time, he's never seen the Raiders win at home, NEVER! He was asking to leave at halftime! Fortress Canberra is a straw hut these days! There needs to be an attitude change from the players, the Raiders must have the softest goal line defense in the comp! Push over tries from dummy half are unacceptable! Happened yesterday, happened against the dragons & tigers.......can't keep doing the same thing & expecting different results!

      Commenter
      Grant
      Date and time
      July 16, 2012, 11:56AM
      • The Raiders are a good side but they have a key defensive weakness. Clearly the Titans aimed Idris at Croker and the results were there for all to see. Sure the Raiders will win one week as some teams do not expose Croker and Williams as well as others. This is not all about attitude - it is partly about that but also a technical weakness. Croker needs to improve his defence or be rested for some games otherwise the same thing will happen again and again. They could have had Joel Thompson against Indris for the first half - soccer sides change their line ups all the time and change their patterns to match the opposition.

        Unfortunately while people say its all about attitude etc this isssue will not get the attenstion it needs. Its all about defence and attitude is only part of that equation

        Commenter
        Sham
        Date and time
        July 16, 2012, 1:34PM
        • I think attitude plays a big part though.......it seems like Croker isn't trying to fix his defensive frailties. Attitude makes you work harder, makes you want to improve. The forwards aren't rushing up to tackle. At 19 mins to go, there was a 40 -20 & not a single raider forward rushed the 40m to pack a scrum so time could be called off! There's just no urgency!

          Commenter
          Grant
          Date and time
          July 16, 2012, 3:01PM
      • Won't be back either. Had enough of the disgraceful home losses over the past 2 seasons. Will be spending my membership dollars elsewhere next season. Players are mentally soft.

        Commenter
        Bob the Beard
        Location
        Bruce
        Date and time
        July 16, 2012, 2:37PM
        • that was another horrible performance by the Raiders yesterday, but booing is just not on

          Commenter
          Beer
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          July 16, 2012, 2:39PM
          • This is why i didn't renew this year.

            The club appears to be a badly run family business that appears to show more interest in keeping mates/relatives in jobs than provide a hard headed business approach that the fans expect.

            Commenter
            Blueman
            Date and time
            July 16, 2012, 2:57PM
            • JUST ONE QUESTION?, WHY WERE THE FANS STILL SITTING THERE @ THE 60 MINUTE MARK AND NOT WALKING OUT.....WHY BOO.

              Commenter
              BALDY
              Date and time
              July 16, 2012, 3:00PM

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