The Raiders reflect on their 68-4 loss to the Storm last Sunday. Photo: Melissa Adams
The Canberra Raiders have suffered their two biggest defeats at home in the past two seasons, but chairman John McIntyre says he's seen worse - and it was only last year.
Despite their efforts to rebuild Canberra Stadium as a fortress feared by rival teams and carrying a 12-game winning streak at home into last Sunday's match against the Melbourne Storm, it seems the Raiders still have some work to do to restore their battle walls.
Even accounting for their on-field success at home this year, winning eight of nine matches, the Raiders have recorded only a 56 per cent winning ratio in the capital in the past five seasons.
Action from the 2012 match that John McIntyre said was a worse loss than last weekend. Photo: Rohan Thomson
In addition, three of Canberra's four biggest home defeats have come in the past three years.
Raiders crowds have also dwindled to an average 10,132 this season, the lowest since 2001.
The club has begun emailing members this week, offering discounted $15 tickets for their next home game against the Canterbury Bulldogs, a rare 3pm kick-off on Saturday, August 17.
The foundation chief executive of the Raiders in 1982, when the club collected its only wooden spoon, McIntyre admitted he was disappointed by last Sunday's ''meltdown'' against Melbourne.
The 68-4 loss was easily the biggest defeat in Raiders history, and a much bigger losing margin than their previous worst loss at home - 40-0 to Wests Tigers in round 13 last year.
At the time, McIntyre described that loss as the worst he had experienced in more than 30 years with the club.
The Raiders responded to that defeat with an incredible late-season charge to make the finals, but the run also included McIntyre's lowest moment at a home match - when the Raiders were booed off by fans at half-time in a 38-26 loss to the Gold Coast Titans.
''The one against the Gold Coast I thought was far worse than the Melbourne Storm one,'' McIntyre said.
''That was the first time that our fellas had been booed off the field at half-time, that didn't happen last Sunday [against Melbourne] … that not happening last Sunday was an indication of the respect our supporters had for the quality of the opposition.
''There were tries that were scored in the [Melbourne] game that no coach could ever have a defence mechanism to be able to defend against.
''[The Storm] would have beaten any team in the competition, with the amount of quality ball they had.''
The Raiders have recalled wayward centre Blake Ferguson, returning from suspension, for Saturday's game against the Roosters, but deny it was a knee-jerk reaction in response to the Melbourne defeat.
McIntyre said the Raiders board had not interfered with the decision to bring Ferguson back, claiming that was a call for coach David Furner to make.
McIntyre did back the embarrassed Raiders, still seventh on the ladder, to hit back hard against the NRL-leading Roosters.
''I did have a few sleepless nights [after the Melbourne loss]. I slept like a baby - I slept for the first four hours, then woke up and cried for the rest of the night,'' McIntyre said, down-playing the significance of the loss in the big picture of Canberra's season.
''That was a complete meltdown, but I'm sure those players are hurting more than I am. I've got every confidence they will [respond], there's nothing that inspires lifting your game than to cop that sort of embarrassment.''