Sia Soliola says dejected Canberra Raiders players need to ask themselves if they're "fair dinkum" about stamping themselves as NRL premiership contenders rather than pretenders.
A forgettable night at home against Parramatta left Raiders coach Ricky Stuart "embarrassed" and fuming about some of his players relying on the man beside him to do the hard yards.
Now the Raiders enter a round seven clash in North Queensland as short-priced favourites but Soliola suggests a win over the Cowboys is anything but a fait accompli.
Canberra have fallen to a 3-3 record and although there is a long road ahead to the first Sunday in October, Soliola is demanding an attitude adjustment to get their season back on track.
"A few of us are going to have to have a good look at ourselves and ask ourselves questions, are we fair dinkum about this?" Soliola said.
"We're going to have to ask ourselves tough questions, we're going to have to have these tough conversations over the next few weeks in order to get things back the way we want it.
"What we want to try to create within this club is having that steel mentality that we weren't going to let anybody down. Over the course of the past couple of weeks we haven't shown that according to the standards we wanted to.
"That's the disappointing part, because they're choice things, they're attitude things, things you don't really coach.
"At the end of the day it comes back down to the individuals like Stick [Stuart] spoke about. It comes down to the individual and how much someone wants it."
The Cowboys are among the competition's cellar dwellers and few would expect they can knock over the highly-fancied Raiders even with a home-ground advantage behind them.
But Stuart is refusing to rest on his laurels and may shake up his squad for the trip to North Queensland Stadium having declared Seb Kris will be in the mix.
Stuart has often lauded the club's depth and players heaping pressure on those in his NRL side, and he may soon pull the trigger and make changes in the wake of successive losses to Penrith and Parramatta, by 20 and 25 points respectively.
Because both he and Soliola were among a cast of thousands who left Canberra Stadium over the weekend frustrated and desperately searching for a reversal in fortunes.
"I can't stress enough how much we let ourselves down and our club down," Soliola said.
"We had a great opportunity with 20,000 people out there to showcase what we're really about and we failed."