Raiders' recruitment talks firing up McCrone

Josh McCrone won’t go so far as to call it his motivation, but it certainly served as somewhat of a wake-up call for the young Canberra halfback.<br><br>When rumours began circling last month that the Raiders were chasing veteran playmakers Trent Barrett and Brett Kimmorley for a farewell stint in the nation’s capital in 2011, McCrone admits he was probably the first to take notice.<br><br>“I could understand why they were thinking that way – I wasn’t playing good enough footy at the time,” McCrone told NRL.com in the wake of his starring performance in last Sunday’s 52-18 demolition of Newcastle.<br><br>“I can’t blame them for doing it. “I needed to play better and I think I’ve started to do that.<br><br>“Hopefully I can keep playing good footy because if I can do that I won’t need to worry about it.” <br><br>The Raiders have struggled to find a regular halfback since Todd Carney was sacked two years ago with McCrone one of three players – along with Marc Herbert and Adam Mogg – to come in and out of the no.7 jersey this season alone.<br><br>But his efforts over the past two weeks in wins over Manly and Newcastle have been promising.<br><br>Having spent time on the injured list and then a brief stint with Queensland Cup side Souths Logan, McCrone produced the best performance of his short career against the Knights with four try assists and a try of his own.<br><br>“It was good to play well and get myself back on the scoreboard again,” he said. “I think I took more control of the team and that showed.<br><br>“I think it helped ‘Campo’ (Terry Campese) a bit too – he was able to inject himself into the game when needed. It took a lot of pressure off of him.”<br><br>McCrone said spending some time with Souths Logan had worked wonders after he found himself struggling for confidence in the top grade.<br><br>“I’ve spoken to ‘Campo’ and David Furner as well about taking more control but that was one of the reasons I went up to Souths Logan for a run,” he said.<br><br>“It was all about getting some confidence back and playing some more football. I feel like I’m starting to improve again.”<br><br>Canberra looked dead and buried two weeks ago after their attack spluttered its way to four losses in a row, but consecutive wins has given them a sniff of making a late surge to the finals.<br><br>The Raiders now sit four points out of the top eight and face embattled Cronulla this Saturday in a game they will be expected to win comfortably.<br><br>McCrone said it was frustrating that the Green Machine had waited so long to find their feet this season but insisted there was no reason they couldn’t continue to pile on the points.<br><br>“I don’t know what happened – I don’t think we’ve been far off the mark lately but everything went right for us last week,” he said. <br><br>“I suppose all of the hard work we’ve put in over the past six weeks is starting to come to fruition.”<br><br>“Obviously it is pretty frustrating that we haven’t been able to do that all year. <br><br>“It’s taken us until it is basically sudden death for us to work out that we’re a decent enough footy team and that we can play like that. <br><br>“But the fact is that we’ve discovered how good we can be now so we should be able to keep it going.”