Canberra Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton is refusing to let any off-field distractions stop him from doing everything he can to end their four-game losing streak.
The Green Machine desperately needs to turn things around ahead of their clash against fellow-strugglers Newcastle at Wagga Wagga on Saturday.
But they had an unwanted distraction over the weekend when the wife of Raiders lock Joe Tapine posted comments critical of Canberra coach Ricky Stuart on social media.
It's the last thing they need as they look to get their season back on track.
Kirsten Tapine said Stuart's "interchanges are killing us", referring to the amount of time her husband spent on the bench during the 14-point loss to South Sydney.
It was Tapine's first game back in lime green after he was dropped for the previous game against North Queensland.
The New Zealand international's average run metres this season (93m) are well down compared with 2020 (125m), when he emerged as one of the most damaging No.13s in the NRL.
But Wighton was unfazed by the drama, with his sole focus on knocking off the Knights.
"I'm just focussing on me and what I can do best for the team," he said on Monday.
"I'll leave that up to whoever it is to sort that out. I've just got to get the train back on the tracks and go again."
MORE RAIDERS NEWS
The Raiders were hopeful of some good news with the potential injuries suffered by George Williams (hamstring) and Sebastian Kris (ankle) on Thursday night might not be too serious, although neither player trained with the main group on Monday.
Raiders co-captain Josh Hodgson (calf) did some running with the rehabilitation group, while fellow skipper Jarrod Croker (shoulder) took part in restricted training with the team.
State of Origin star Josh Papalii (rested) was expected to return after being rested on the weekend.
Wighton backed back-up halves Sam Williams, who scored two tries in the NSW Cup on the weekend, and Matt Frawley to come in and do a job if Williams wasn't ready in time to face the Knights.
Raiders super utility Elliott Whitehead was a last-minute shift from the second row to five-eighth after George Williams hurt himself in the warm-up.
The reshuffle forced Wighton to take greater control in leading the Green Machine around the park and he had two late tries ruled out that would have sent the game against the Rabbitohs into golden point.
"We've had Sammy Williams and Frawley breathing down our necks every week and they're great players in great form. We'll make it work somehow," Wighton said.
Wighton was mindful of the threat Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga posed, especially when he was attacking down Newcastle' left edge.
It's a side where Ponga's at his most dangerous, having hurt the Raiders there in the past.
Canberra's right-edge defence struggled against the Rabbitohs last week, with Raiders coach Ricky Stuart forced to switch winger Jordan Rapana from the left to the right to try to shore things up in the second half.
"He's a class player and he's got a lot of options up his sleeve," Wighton said of Ponga.
"It's definitely something we'll do our homework on and work towards shutting down."
NRL ROUND NINE
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Newcastle Knights at Wagga Wagga, 3pm.