Rugby League


Learoyd-Lahrs says Raiders owe it to fans to win at home

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The Canberra Raiders ''owe'' it to their fans and coach David Furner to beat the under-siege Parramatta Eels and turn their season around, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs says.

After a gloomy two years at Canberra Stadium which has yielded five wins from 16 games, the Raiders are desperate to transform their home ground back into a feared venue in the NRL.

One of their few wins in Canberra since September 2010 was against the Eels last year.

But powerful prop Learoyd-Lahrs warned his teammates they risk being ambushed if they take the last-placed Eels lightly on Sunday.

The Raiders will attempt to end their poor home record and ease the growing pressure on Furner when they take on the Eels.

They have won just three games this season and triumphed in only one of their four matches in the capital.


Learoyd-Lahrs admitted each loss was becoming harder to swallow.

But refusing to accept honourable losses, Learoyd-Lahrs said it was time to repay the Raiders' supporters after a horror run at home.

''We haven't given them a lot to cheer about and we owe it to our fans to win at home, we know that,'' Learoyd-Lahrs said.

''The effort levels are there and we want to win for them … we need to give people a reason to keep turning up for us because they're sticking by us.

''We all have the burning desire to win, I want to win every week and I do feel the pressure in that sense - all the senior guys do.

''We know there's no hard and fast answer [to changing our results], we just have to concentrate on the process at training and that will lead to results.''

While the Raiders' start to the season has been poor, the Eels' has been worse. They have won just one game and are anchored to the bottom of the ladder.

Both Furner and Kearney are under pressure over their below-par campaigns. The coach who loses the round 10 fixture will face even more heat next week.

Learoyd-Lahrs insisted Furner shouldn't be burdened with the Green Machine's failure to fire and said the coach's off-field workload was ''unfathomable''.

''We always try to rally behind him,'' Learoyd-Lahrs said.

''I don't see why he's under the pump, the amount of work he does is unfathomable with how much time and effort he puts into this football team.

''Every night he stays back here, he's still working around the clock to put a solid game plan together … he's working overtime regardless of what pressure there is and we just have to win for each other and the club.''

Halfback Josh McCrone said lapses in concentration cost the Raiders any chance of victory against Manly and described the clash against the Eels as the biggest of Canberra's season.

McCrone said the 18-12 loss to Manly had given the Raiders the confidence that they can beat Parramatta.

''We're a good enough team and we can score points, it's just about making sure we're switched on in our defence,'' McCrone said.