The Canberra Raiders season is on life support, but Peter Sterling believes an attitude shift is what can dig Ricky Stuart’s men out of the hole that they’ve fallen into.
“That’s the real concern – I didn’t see it coming,” Sterling told Wide World of Sport’s Sterlo’s Wrap regarding the Raiders’ second-half woes.
“At the beginning of the year I was a big Raiders fan, and I still am … but you can’t drop off the pace that far.”
Canberra have been hit with injuries to a couple of key players, but Sterling said that’s not an acceptable reason to justify a run of four straight losses, two of which saw them give up half-time leads.
“They’ve got no momentum, I imagine confidence is down there, got a couple of players who are out; obviously the fullback (Charnze Niccol) Klokstad is a big loss, Josh Hodgson isn’t there as well – but that’s no excuse for the second halves that we’ve seen of late, and the soft tries that are being conceded,” Sterling said.
As he spoke, Sterling highlighted a 15 minute burst in Canberra’s 34-20 loss to Souths last week, where Dane Gagai, Alex Johnston and Jaydn Su’A all crossed the stripe.
“South Sydney’s left edge, when they’re humming, they’re very very tough to stop. It’s the manner that they’ve conceded tries in recent weeks, and done so in rapid succession,” he said.
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“All of a sudden, on the back of two or three tries that are scored back-to-back-to-back, the game’s out of reach.”
With reports of halfback George Williams feeling homesick, and Ricky Stuart being called out on social media by forward Joseph Tapine’s wife, problems are piling up for the Raiders.
On the injury front, they do at least appear to be welcoming Hodgson back to the fold, either this week or next.
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“Ricky’s got some work to do, he’s got some key men coming back – but it’s not physically where they’re in trouble, it’s mentally where they’re just not dealing with the situations,” Sterling said.
“They’ve got to turn that around quickly – four losses, it drops you down the ladder very, very quickly.”
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