Nobody is safe at the Raiders, not even Terry Campese. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Former premiership-winning halfback Greg Alexander says the Raiders must ditch their halves combination of Terry Campese and Jack Wighton if they are to turn their miserable season around.
Raiders legend Gary Belcher has also called on the players to ''draw a line in the sand'' and take some responsibility after last season's revolt against coach David Furner.
Raiders players will be nervously looking over their shoulder on Tuesday ahead of the side to be named for Sunday's match with the Penrith Panthers at Canberra Stadium.
Jack Wighton has struggled at five-eighth this season. Photo: Stefan Postles
Changes are almost certain to be on the cards in the wake of conceding more than 50 points in back to back games for just the second time in the club's history.
No-one's place in the side is safe, including Campese.
Dropping the Raiders captain would send shockwaves through the club given the enormous respect he has among his fellow players and the amount of charity work he does off the field.
Campese has had limited impact since moving to halfback this season to accommodate the arrival of Wighton into the No 6 jersey.
Alexander believes the experiment of moving 21-year-old Wighton from the centres hasn't worked and that the Raiders need to cut their losses.
“They need a new set of halves,'' Alexander said.
''I don’t think Jack Wighton is a five-eighth, certainly not a five-eighth yet, but I don’t know what they do there.
''And I don’t think Campese is showing enough to keep his spot at halfback.''
Campese, 29, made his first-grade debut for the Raiders in 2004 and is showing the effects of two knee reconstructions.
He is taking the ball to the line less, averaging less than three runs per game, and has had five try assists in nine games this season.
“He’s struggling for mobility and his speed off the mark,'' Alexander said.
''If his running game has deserted him because of those injuries, he’s just got to change the way he plays.
''He’s big enough to be getting himself into the defensive line and play right at the line more often.''
On the other hand, Wighton has only two try assists and is averaging six runs per game.
Wighton was selected in the centres for NSW Country despite playing at five-eighth for the Raiders.
The Raiders could bring Josh McCrone out of his bench hooker role and back into the halves, move Anthony Milford into five-eighth or blood promising young halfback Mitch Cornish.
Whatever changes are made, it's clear the players need to lift if they want to be a part of the club's long-term plans going forward.
The players got their way at the end of last season when they recommended to the board that coach David Furner should be sacked.
The Raiders have won just three of 12 games since his dismissal, evidence Belcher believes shows the players now don't have excuses.
“Someone in the team has got to draw the line in the sand and say we’re not going to cop this shit,'' Belcher said.
''It goes to show it wasn’t all David Furner’s fault last year.
''If the players don’t take any responsibility for it, they’re never going to turn it around.''
Former Kangaroos and NSW State of Origin enforcer Mark Geyer said on Sydney radio he believed new coach Ricky Stuart had yet to win the respect of the team.
He said the Raiders should be performing better given the talent on their roster, including Anthony Milford and Josh Papalii.
''He’s got two of the best young kids in the competition in Milford and Papalii, and Milford is their only bright spark,'' Geyer said.
''Get those big boppers in the middle to start earning their wage.
''You’ve got to have respect for your coach, and it’s quite evident some of these players haven’t got that for Ricky.’’