Canberra Capitals coach Carrie Graf yells at her players during a recent match. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Capitals coach Carrie Graf says it's far too early to write-off Canberra's WNBL championship hopes despite the most embarrassing loss of her career, drawing inspiration from the Raiders' resurgence in the 2012 NRL season.
The Capitals face the ''Doomsday Double'' against Perth and Adelaide this weekend after their 46-point loss to Sydney last Friday - the second-worst loss in their history.
Despite the bleak outlook, Graf said the Capitals were still in contention to win the championship, sitting just two wins outside the top four.
She drew comparisons to the Raiders, who suffered a 40-0 loss to the Wests Tigers to sit second-last midway thought the NRL season this year. They then charged home to make the second week of the finals.
''People were writing the Raiders off last season - look what they did,'' Graf said.
''Last year Dandenong were out of the [WNBL] finals before Christmas [but] they ran home and won the championship, so anything's possible in this league. You can bottom out and come last or you can come from seventh to get into the playoffs and make a charge at the championship.
''If there was four weeks to go in the season and the win-losses were different, you'd say maybe, but we're not even halfway through the season.''
The Caps have made ''atrocious starts'' in their losses against Logan and Sydney, with Sydney taking a 22-point lead at quarter-time to effectively end the game.
The poor starts have Graf more concerned than the end result.
''We don't reflect on those numbers … it was the worst loss I've experienced as Caps coach, but big deal - bottom line is it's a loss.
''The places go on splits, and we've got the split on Sydney, so that percentage point generally isn't going to come into it, so the relevance of the margin is not a lot.''
''For us it's about not having too many more [losses] strung together. We have to find a way to get a couple of wins at least before Christmas.''
Just how they will get their intensity back ''is the million dollar question'', but Graf says there won't be a shake-up.
''You don't make radical change because you get smacked by 46. We had some illness and injury concerns which impacted our start a little bit, [but] we've just got to keep getting the good stuff out of the good people and making sure everyone's focused.''
Michelle Cosier, who was well below her best having battled two viruses in the lead-up to the Sydney game, says it's up to the starting five to lift.
''It was really, really embarrassing, probably one of the worst losses I've played with the Caps, it wasn't pretty at all … I don't really want to think about it now,'' Cosier said.
''It's a game we totally have to forget about, we can't dwell on it, we have to move on.
''Our starts the last couple of games have been really bad, so the starters, we have to get out there and set the standard. We've got three more games before Christmas and - we need to get three games or at least two of them.''