They look good when they hang on to the ball. The trouble is the Canberra Raiders can't consistently do it.
And it's frustrating Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, who sees what they're capable of, but knows they'll continue to struggle while they can't build pressure.
The Raiders stretched the Melbourne Storm defence at times, when they shifted the ball wide, but the visitors were far too clinical for them to win 30-16 at Wagga Wagga on Saturday.
Canberra completed at 64 per cent and made 14 errors - albeit in tough conditions.
They couldn't find the right pass or hold on to the ball at crucial moments - something the Storm were able to do with five-eighth Cameron Munster his usual dangerous self.
Stuart said he'd been showing faith in his players because he could see their effort - it just wasn't working at the moment.
"It's a frustrating time for us at the moment because we're not putting any team under any pressure," Stuart said.
"We're not building pressure and I'm in here just repeating last week.
"I feel for the boys because I see how close we are.
"There's ways to build pressure but we're not doing. And until we do we're not going to enjoy our football.
"We're making it easy for opposition teams ... When we had the football we had them under pressure. I know what we can do to teams."
Stuart might be forced into some changes with centre Matt Timoko (back) unable to finish the game and Hudson Young (toe) ruled out before kick off, bringing Ryan Sutton into the starting 13.
The match review committee could also play a part - they'll be busy reviewing this one with a spate of crusher tackles put on report.
Kenny Bromwich on Jordan Rapana. Rapana on Cameron Munster. Jesse Bromwich on Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Storm centre Reimis Smith was also put on report for a high shot on Elliot Whitehead, who went off for a head injury assessment but was able to come back on.
Timoko was able to play out the first half despite suffering the injury in the opening 10 minutes.
He needed to be helped off the ground at half-time, with the Raiders trailing 18-8.
"He's not real well. He got kneed in the back," Stuart said.
The Storm took full toll of the Raiders' errors in the first half and it looked like they might rack up a big win with tries to Storm hooker Harry Grant, darting out of dummy half, halfback Jahrome Hughes stepping his way through a stretched defensive line for his first of two and Cameron Munster breaking through the Raiders' right edge before putting the flying mullet, Ryan Papenhuyzen, away on the inside.
Canberra have shown glimpses of what they're capable of when they do hold onto the ball - they completed at just 61 per cent in the first half.
They traded tries with the Storm, but couldn't get within touching distance.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy said the Raiders were always a dangerous team, despite having won the past five against them.
"You look through their team they're a real strong physical team. They've got a dummy half that can really run," he said.
"They're a side that we always respect as they've got a lot of strong physical ball carriers and that takes an 80-minute effort to defend that well.
"Jack [Wighton]'s one of the best players in the comp at the moment."
AT A GLANCE
MELBOURNE STORM 30 (Jahrome Hughes 2, Harry Grant, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Justin Olam tries; Papenhuyzen 5 goals) bt CANBERRA RAIDERS 16 (Semi Valemei, Nick Cotric tries; Brad Schneider 4 goals) at Wagga Wagga. Referee: Gerard Sutton. Crowd: 8133.
Covering the Raiders, Cavalry, cycling and racing, plus everything else that involves sport in the ACT, for The Canberra Times. Basically I love sport and watching it is a full-time job. Email: email@example.com
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