Raiders utility Josh McCrone admits he ran out of gas in his switch to hooker

Raiders utility Josh McCrone admits he ran out of gas in his switch to hooker Photo: Graham Tidy

Canberra Raiders utility Josh McCrone says he is still adjusting to his bigger defensive workload at hooker, admitting a baptism of fire against North Queensland left him running on fumes in attack. 

He expects similar treatment from a massive Newcastle pack on Sunday, intent on limiting his impact with the ball. 

McCrone made 26 tackles and didn't miss any in 37 minutes, a huge increase after averaging just 16.3 tackles a game last year playing 80 minutes in the halves. 

"It was pretty tough, the defensive workload certainly takes it out of you,'' McCrone said. 

"Hopefully I'll get better at that every week and I can push out a few more minutes.

"I thought they were definitely coming at me. If I was in their front row I would too and it's just a matter of getting that match fitness.

"According to the GPS I did about five kilometres and usually in the halves I only do about eight over 80 minutes.''

McCrone's speed has been earmarked as a major weapon out of dummy half when replacing starting hooker Glen Buttriss, but he ran just once for nine metres against the Cowboys.

It's something he's earmarked as a major aspect to rectify against Newcastle, which is looking to bounce back from a round-one loss at Penrith. 

"If I'm coming off the bench, I have to add a bit more tempo to the game,'' McCrone said. 

"I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in that so hopefully I can have more impact when I come on.

"We didn't have too much ball when I was out there and hopefully I get a few more opportunities and don't have to do as much tackling, but I don't like my chances of that.''

Former Raiders skipper Alan Tongue spent some time at hooker during his career, and warned McCrone to avoid putting too much pressure on himself to be a ''super sub''. 

"I’ve been in that position before, where you’re on the bench and you feel like you need to make an impact straight away and it doesn’t give you much chance to settle into the role,'' Tongue said.

“It’s a bit of a shift in your mindset, coming off the bench you can try and do too much when you come on, create things. 

"It’s going to be a work in progress, we just have to be patient with it and it will work out.''

Tongue added he was impressed by Buttriss' display in his first NRL match since undergoing pre-season shoulder surgery. 

He said McCrone needs to find the fine balance between running and giving early ball to halves Terry Campese and Jack Wighton. 

"I thought 'Buttsy' went really, really well. I thought his service was great and exactly what the side needed,'' Tongue said. 

"When Josh first came on, he was trying to engage the markers and sometimes the ball needed to have crisp service to the halves, almost what Buttsy does.

"It's about understanding the space, and picking and choosing the right moments.''

McCrone said Canberra's new-look spine is a work in progress, but said it was their effort without the ball that gave cause for optimism. 

"I don't think any of us would be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively it wasn't too bad,'' McCrone said. 

"The biggest positive was our defence, that first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've ever seen from a Raiders team. 

"We didn't play that well and were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp.''

- No missed tackles: It's a bit different defending in the middle, you've got a lot more people around you so it's a bit harder to miss them, if you half get them someone comes in and helps you out. I'm pretty happy with the no missed tackles, it's been a while since I've done that in a game. 

- That 15 minutes after half time we let ourselves down a fair bit, and that was when I was out there. i could have contirbuted to that, I don't know. We dropped too much ball and gave a few too many penalties away, hopefully we can fix that up this week.

- I got through a fair bit of work and with my GPS I did a fair few k's too. I did about five k's and usually in the halves I only do about 8 for 80 minutes. 

- Spine?: I don't think any of us will be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively I don't think we were too bad. The biggest positive out of it was our defence, especially in the first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've seen from a Raiders team. 

- It's the biggest positive we didn't play that well, and we were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp. 

- it's funny how the game goes, if you can repel them on your line for a few sets, it's seems the next set you have it you score. It happens all the time. Ricky's been saying to us all year we can win games off the back of our defence and it nearly showed. 

- More grit and character: I think everyone seems to be pulling in the one direction a bit better. Everyone's buying into what we need to do and that makes a massive difference if everyone's doing that. 

- Buttsy combo?: If I'm coming off the bench I have to add a bit more tempo to the game. I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in taht but the good thing is I get another chance this week, so hopefully I can have a bit more impact when I come on. 

- They're the land of the giants too. 

- Running from dummy half bigger?: You have to be a lot smarter out of dummy half. 

- The biggest disappointment is it's a game we should have won, we did everything but win. There's plenty of positives, we were in the game and the last couple of times we've been to North Qld we haven't been. 

- No missed tackles: It's a bit different defending in the middle, you've got a lot more people around you so it's a bit harder to miss them, if you half get them someone comes in and helps you out. I'm pretty happy with the no missed tackles, it's been a while since I've done that in a game. 

- That 15 minutes after half time we let ourselves down a fair bit, and that was when I was out there. i could have contirbuted to that, I don't know. We dropped too much ball and gave a few too many penalties away, hopefully we can fix that up this week.

- I got through a fair bit of work and with my GPS I did a fair few k's too. I did about five k's and usually in the halves I only do about 8 for 80 minutes. 

- Spine?: I don't think any of us will be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively I don't think we were too bad. The biggest positive out of it was our defence, especially in the first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've seen from a Raiders team. 

- It's the biggest positive we didn't play that well, and we were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp. 

- it's funny how the game goes, if you can repel them on your line for a few sets, it's seems the next set you have it you score. It happens all the time. Ricky's been saying to us all year we can win games off the back of our defence and it nearly showed. 

- More grit and character: I think everyone seems to be pulling in the one direction a bit better. Everyone's buying into what we need to do and that makes a massive difference if everyone's doing that. 

- Buttsy combo?: If I'm coming off the bench I have to add a bit more tempo to the game. I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in taht but the good thing is I get another chance this week, so hopefully I can have a bit more impact when I come on. 

- They're the land of the giants too. 

- Running from dummy half bigger?: You have to be a lot smarter out of dummy half. 

- The biggest disappointment is it's a game we should have won, we did everything but win. There's plenty of positives, we were in the game and the last couple of times we've been to North Qld we haven't been. 

- No missed tackles: It's a bit different defending in the middle, you've got a lot more people around you so it's a bit harder to miss them, if you half get them someone comes in and helps you out. I'm pretty happy with the no missed tackles, it's been a while since I've done that in a game. 

- That 15 minutes after half time we let ourselves down a fair bit, and that was when I was out there. i could have contirbuted to that, I don't know. We dropped too much ball and gave a few too many penalties away, hopefully we can fix that up this week.

- I got through a fair bit of work and with my GPS I did a fair few k's too. I did about five k's and usually in the halves I only do about 8 for 80 minutes. 

- Spine?: I don't think any of us will be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively I don't think we were too bad. The biggest positive out of it was our defence, especially in the first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've seen from a Raiders team. 

- It's the biggest positive we didn't play that well, and we were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp. 

- it's funny how the game goes, if you can repel them on your line for a few sets, it's seems the next set you have it you score. It happens all the time. Ricky's been saying to us all year we can win games off the back of our defence and it nearly showed. 

- More grit and character: I think everyone seems to be pulling in the one direction a bit better. Everyone's buying into what we need to do and that makes a massive difference if everyone's doing that. 

- Buttsy combo?: If I'm coming off the bench I have to add a bit more tempo to the game. I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in taht but the good thing is I get another chance this week, so hopefully I can have a bit more impact when I come on. 

- They're the land of the giants too. 

- Running from dummy half bigger?: You have to be a lot smarter out of dummy half. 

- The biggest disappointment is it's a game we should have won, we did everything but win. There's plenty of positives, we were in the game and the last couple of times we've been to North Qld we haven't been. 

- No missed tackles: It's a bit different defending in the middle, you've got a lot more people around you so it's a bit harder to miss them, if you half get them someone comes in and helps you out. I'm pretty happy with the no missed tackles, it's been a while since I've done that in a game. 

- That 15 minutes after half time we let ourselves down a fair bit, and that was when I was out there. i could have contirbuted to that, I don't know. We dropped too much ball and gave a few too many penalties away, hopefully we can fix that up this week.

- I got through a fair bit of work and with my GPS I did a fair few k's too. I did about five k's and usually in the halves I only do about 8 for 80 minutes. 

- Spine?: I don't think any of us will be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively I don't think we were too bad. The biggest positive out of it was our defence, especially in the first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've seen from a Raiders team. 

- It's the biggest positive we didn't play that well, and we were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp. 

- it's funny how the game goes, if you can repel them on your line for a few sets, it's seems the next set you have it you score. It happens all the time. Ricky's been saying to us all year we can win games off the back of our defence and it nearly showed. 

- More grit and character: I think everyone seems to be pulling in the one direction a bit better. Everyone's buying into what we need to do and that makes a massive difference if everyone's doing that. 

- Buttsy combo?: If I'm coming off the bench I have to add a bit more tempo to the game. I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in taht but the good thing is I get another chance this week, so hopefully I can have a bit more impact when I come on. 

- They're the land of the giants too. 

- Running from dummy half bigger?: You have to be a lot smarter out of dummy half. 

- The biggest disappointment is it's a game we should have won, we did everything but win. There's plenty of positives, we were in the game and the last couple of times we've been to North Qld we haven't been. 

- No missed tackles: It's a bit different defending in the middle, you've got a lot more people around you so it's a bit harder to miss them, if you half get them someone comes in and helps you out. I'm pretty happy with the no missed tackles, it's been a while since I've done that in a game. 

- That 15 minutes after half time we let ourselves down a fair bit, and that was when I was out there. i could have contirbuted to that, I don't know. We dropped too much ball and gave a few too many penalties away, hopefully we can fix that up this week.

- I got through a fair bit of work and with my GPS I did a fair few k's too. I did about five k's and usually in the halves I only do about 8 for 80 minutes. 

- Spine?: I don't think any of us will be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively I don't think we were too bad. The biggest positive out of it was our defence, especially in the first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've seen from a Raiders team. 

- It's the biggest positive we didn't play that well, and we were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp. 

- it's funny how the game goes, if you can repel them on your line for a few sets, it's seems the next set you have it you score. It happens all the time. Ricky's been saying to us all year we can win games off the back of our defence and it nearly showed. 

- More grit and character: I think everyone seems to be pulling in the one direction a bit better. Everyone's buying into what we need to do and that makes a massive difference if everyone's doing that. 

- Buttsy combo?: If I'm coming off the bench I have to add a bit more tempo to the game. I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in taht but the good thing is I get another chance this week, so hopefully I can have a bit more impact when I come on. 

- They're the land of the giants too. 

- Running from dummy half bigger?: You have to be a lot smarter out of dummy half. 

- The biggest disappointment is it's a game we should have won, we did everything but win. There's plenty of positives, we were in the game and the last couple of times we've been to North Qld we haven't been. 

- No missed tackles: It's a bit different defending in the middle, you've got a lot more people around you so it's a bit harder to miss them, if you half get them someone comes in and helps you out. I'm pretty happy with the no missed tackles, it's been a while since I've done that in a game. 

- That 15 minutes after half time we let ourselves down a fair bit, and that was when I was out there. i could have contirbuted to that, I don't know. We dropped too much ball and gave a few too many penalties away, hopefully we can fix that up this week.

- I got through a fair bit of work and with my GPS I did a fair few k's too. I did about five k's and usually in the halves I only do about 8 for 80 minutes. 

- Spine?: I don't think any of us will be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively I don't think we were too bad. The biggest positive out of it was our defence, especially in the first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've seen from a Raiders team. 

- It's the biggest positive we didn't play that well, and we were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp. 

- it's funny how the game goes, if you can repel them on your line for a few sets, it's seems the next set you have it you score. It happens all the time. Ricky's been saying to us all year we can win games off the back of our defence and it nearly showed. 

- More grit and character: I think everyone seems to be pulling in the one direction a bit better. Everyone's buying into what we need to do and that makes a massive difference if everyone's doing that. 

- Buttsy combo?: If I'm coming off the bench I have to add a bit more tempo to the game. I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in taht but the good thing is I get another chance this week, so hopefully I can have a bit more impact when I come on. 

- They're the land of the giants too. 

- Running from dummy half bigger?: You have to be a lot smarter out of dummy half. 

- The biggest disappointment is it's a game we should have won, we did everything but win. There's plenty of positives, we were in the game and the last couple of times we've been to North Qld we haven't been. 

- No missed tackles: It's a bit different defending in the middle, you've got a lot more people around you so it's a bit harder to miss them, if you half get them someone comes in and helps you out. I'm pretty happy with the no missed tackles, it's been a while since I've done that in a game. 

- That 15 minutes after half time we let ourselves down a fair bit, and that was when I was out there. i could have contirbuted to that, I don't know. We dropped too much ball and gave a few too many penalties away, hopefully we can fix that up this week.

- I got through a fair bit of work and with my GPS I did a fair few k's too. I did about five k's and usually in the halves I only do about 8 for 80 minutes. 

- Spine?: I don't think any of us will be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively I don't think we were too bad. The biggest positive out of it was our defence, especially in the first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've seen from a Raiders team. 

- It's the biggest positive we didn't play that well, and we were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp. 

- it's funny how the game goes, if you can repel them on your line for a few sets, it's seems the next set you have it you score. It happens all the time. Ricky's been saying to us all year we can win games off the back of our defence and it nearly showed. 

- More grit and character: I think everyone seems to be pulling in the one direction a bit better. Everyone's buying into what we need to do and that makes a massive difference if everyone's doing that. 

- Buttsy combo?: If I'm coming off the bench I have to add a bit more tempo to the game. I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in taht but the good thing is I get another chance this week, so hopefully I can have a bit more impact when I come on. 

- They're the land of the giants too. 

- Running from dummy half bigger?: You have to be a lot smarter out of dummy half. 

- The biggest disappointment is it's a game we should have won, we did everything but win. There's plenty of positives, we were in the game and the last couple of times we've been to North Qld we haven't been. 

- No missed tackles: It's a bit different defending in the middle, you've got a lot more people around you so it's a bit harder to miss them, if you half get them someone comes in and helps you out. I'm pretty happy with the no missed tackles, it's been a while since I've done that in a game. 

- That 15 minutes after half time we let ourselves down a fair bit, and that was when I was out there. i could have contirbuted to that, I don't know. We dropped too much ball and gave a few too many penalties away, hopefully we can fix that up this week.

- I got through a fair bit of work and with my GPS I did a fair few k's too. I did about five k's and usually in the halves I only do about 8 for 80 minutes. 

- Spine?: I don't think any of us will be overly happy with our individual performance, collectively I don't think we were too bad. The biggest positive out of it was our defence, especially in the first 20 minutes the scramble was the best I've seen from a Raiders team. 

- It's the biggest positive we didn't play that well, and we were six points off winning one of the hardest road trips in the comp. 

- it's funny how the game goes, if you can repel them on your line for a few sets, it's seems the next set you have it you score. It happens all the time. Ricky's been saying to us all year we can win games off the back of our defence and it nearly showed. 

- More grit and character: I think everyone seems to be pulling in the one direction a bit better. Everyone's buying into what we need to do and that makes a massive difference if everyone's doing that. 

- Buttsy combo?: If I'm coming off the bench I have to add a bit more tempo to the game. I don't think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in taht but the good thing is I get another chance this week, so hopefully I can have a bit more impact when I come on. 

- They're the land of the giants too. 

- Running from dummy half bigger?: You have to be a lot smarter out of dummy half. 

- The biggest disappointment is it's a game we should have won, we did everything but win. There's plenty of positives, we were in the game and the last couple of times we've been to North Qld we haven't been.