ACT Sports Minister Yvette Berry says it's unfair for a coronavirus-free Canberra to be lumped in with NSW given the capital's last case of COVID-19 was more than a year ago.
Her comments come on the same day as the Canberra Raiders flew north to join the NRL Queensland bubble for at least the next month.
Berry was at pains to emphasise she wasn't having a go at any state governments, who were all just trying to do their best under difficult circumstances.
But she did admit it wasn't fair for the ACT to be lumped in with what's happening in Sydney.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was solely focussed on his side being ready to face the Sharks on the Gold Coast on Saturday - another crucial clash in the Green Machine's top-eight hopes.
He pointed to reigning premier Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors as the benchmarks in dealing with relocation adversity, and he was confident his Raiders could handle it in a similar manner.
The Raiders flew to the Gold Coast on Wednesday, where they'll spend the next month - despite Canberra not having a coronavirus case for more than a year.
Their relocation came after the Victorian government closed their borders to anyone from the ACT, before a COVID-19 outbreak due to infected Sydney removalists began to grow in Melbourne.
The Storm were initially allowed to remain in Melbourne and play their home games there - although that could now change with the ever evolving landscape.
"You don't want to put blame on any states and territories - we're all just trying to do the best we can to keep our various jurisdictions safe," Berry told The Canberra Times.
"Canberra has done a really great job and Canberrans should be really proud of keeping themselves safe.
"At the moment we are in heightened levels of carefulness in the ACT because it is surrounding us in NSW and even closer in Goulburn so we need to take care.
"That is a bit unfair, but I don't think there's any point in pointing fingers at anyone."
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Stuart pointed to the way the Storm handled last season - when they spent most of it at a resort on the Sunshine Coast on their way to winning the grand final.
He also commended what the Warriors have done - spending the past season-and-a-half on the Central Coast without playing a single game at their Mt Smart home in Auckland.
Stuart was confident his team could adapt just as both of those teams had.
"It's up to us now how we handle it. Every individual's got a choice how they handle the good days and the bad days," he said.
"You have to try and make it work for you ... first priority is the welfare of all the wives, partners and kids because I know how much that means to the players.
"Melbourne did a wonderful job. They need wonderful credit of their success last year at handling the situation.
"The Warriors need a wonderful amount of respect too how they moved away from their families.
"I'm very confident my squad will take it head on and take this challenge for what it is."
Stuart knows how important it is for the Raiders to repeat their performance against the Manly Sea Eagles - just their third win in the past three months.
Now they need to back that up against the Sharks, who sit in eighth place and just one win ahead of the Raiders.
They go in boosted by the fact they've won their past five games against Cronulla.
"Every two points that we're going to be playing for is going to be critical," Stuart said.
NRL ROUND 18
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks at the Gold Coast, 3pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Xavier Savage, 2. Semi Valemei, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Emre Guler, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Hudson Young, 13. Ryan Sutton. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Joseph Tapine, 16. Iosia Soliola, 17. Ryan James. Reserves: 18. Matthew Timoko, 19. Trey Mooney, 20. Matt Frawley, 21. Harley Smith-Shields.
Sharks squad: 1. Will Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Connor Tracey, 4. Jesse Ramien, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Braydon Trindall, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Aiden Tolman, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Aaron Woods, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Teig Wilton, 13. Toby Rudolf. Interchange: 14. Mawene Hiroti, 15. Siosifa Talakai, 16. Jack Williams, 17. Braden Hamlin-Uele. Reserves: 18. Billy Magoulias, 19. Royce Hunt, 20. Andrew Fifita, 21. Luke Metcalf.