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Raiders 'embarrassed' by abysmal performance

Date

Lee Gaskin

Lote Tuqiri of the Tigers is tackled. Click for more photos

Raiders v Tigers, June 2

Photos from the Raiders-Tigers clash at Canberra Stadium on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

DAVID FURNER was embarrassed, while stand-in captain David Shillington rated it one of the Canberra Raiders' worst losses in front of their home fans.

By any measure, what the Raiders dished up in last night's 40-0 humiliation at the hands of the Wests Tigers was nothing short of dreadful.

''Embarrassing,'' Raiders coach Furner said.

''Pretty much sums up a game where we made every error possible.

''I think we were in the best three completing sides in the competition [earlier this season] and we threw that out tonight.''

With the dynamic Benji Marshall pulling the strings and Robbie Farah directing traffic around the ruck, the Tigers are one of the form sides of the NRL, having won six straight.

But that is no excuse for an abysmal display which has placed this Raiders side in the record books for all the wrong reasons.

You have to go all the way back to 1985 to find a bigger losing margin at home in the club's 31-year history when the Raiders were belted 50-6 by the St George Dragons at Seiffert Oval.

However, it was the most comprehensive defeat at Canberra Stadium in Raiders history.

It is also only the second time the Raiders have been held scoreless at home following last year's 26-0 loss to the Melbourne Storm.

The 9210 fans who braved the dreadful conditions would have left believing the Raiders are at long odds to make the finals.

The Raiders have lost five of their past six games, the only victory in that stretch coming against the even more hopeless Parramatta. They are now 4-8 at the halfway point of the season.

''Definitely one of the worst losses we've had here at home,'' Shillington said.

''It's disappointing with the amount of fans we had come out and brave the cold.

''That individual accountability with errors and penalties as well, [you] want to put the pressure on them and we gave away a cheap penalty.

''Our goal-line defence was pretty soft tonight.''

The Raiders shot themselves in the foot time and time again with schoolboy errors. Two moments either side of half-time highlighted their plight.

First, prop Dane Tilse dropped a ball cold when the Raiders had a restart 20 metres out from the Tigers' line. Then, on the first tackle after the break and staring down the barrel of a 20-0 deficit, forward Sam Mataora made a reckless offload, giving the Tigers perfect field position. Marshall made the Raiders pay immediately, delivering a sensational grubber kick through for winger Beau Ryan to score in the corner.

All up, the Raiders had a measly 39 per cent of possession and only completed 63 per cent of their sets.

The Raiders missed nearly twice as many tackles (36 to 21) as the Tigers and failed to make a single line break.

Rubbing salt into the wound was a torn bicep to Shaun Berrigan, which is likely to rule the veteran out for up to a month.

The Raiders will already be without Queensland prop Shillington for next Saturday's trip to the Hunter to face the Newcastle Knights.

There's no such worries for the Tigers, who are starting to live up to their pre-season premiership favouritism heading into Friday night's blockbuster against the Melbourne Storm.

Renowned for their attacking brilliance, Tigers coach Tim Sheens was especially pleased with his side's ability to keep their line intact. ''You don't keep the Raiders to nil at home too often, and we haven't kept too many sides at home to nil for quite a while,'' Sheens said.

''The boys stuck hard to what we worked at.''

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