Raiders have earned the 'right to dream': Daley

The Raiders have the "right to dream" about their first Telstra Premiership in 16 years according to former captain and three-time premiership winning player Laurie Daley. <br><br> Daley told NRL.com today he was was both nervous and excited for the "Green Machine" amidst the groundswell of support and expectation for them in tonight's knockout sell-out semi-final against the wests Tigers in the nation's capital. <br><br> He said the evenness of the competition and the fact that while all teams respected each other there was no genuine fear about rival teams, gave the seventh-placed Raiders hope of a fairytale end to the Telstra Premiership season. <br><br> "The fact it is such an open competition they have the right to dream," said Daley, as Canberra look to extend their winning streak to seven games against a Tigers side troubled by injuries and illness. <br><br> "In the past there was always a standout team or two but they were teams everyone feared ... a team you hoped not to play until the grand final. <br><br> "Sure teams fear the Dragons but no more than the others, even though they have been the best team this season (winning the minor premiership). That is an indication of the quality of the competition and where the league is at ... which was evident last week with the second and third teams beaten by the sixth and seventh teams." <br><br> The Raiders last played finals football in 2000 but have three Premiership trophies from 1989, 90 and 94, when Daley was part of the formidable "Green Machine". <br><br> He said the 2010 Raiders could find themselves on the path to glory if they are "prepared to play for the full 80 minutes". <br><br> "If the Raiders control the footy they can win," Daley said. "... The key is a lot of change of direction. The Tigers are good at doing that and they will test the Raiders' defence. <br><br>"Both teams have the right formulas to go on and win finals." <br><br> If addressing the Raiders before kick-off Daley said his message would be to: " ... remind them of what has been successful for them; and I would not only remind them about the challenge ahead but also about embracing the opportunity they have been given. You never know when you will be in that position again. <br><br> "... I would also remind them to enjoy yourselves; trust your ability; don't doubt yourselves; be committed; stand shoulder to shoulder to your team-mates; and be a force." <br><br> If the Raiders win they will play the Dragons at ANZ Stadium on Saturday week (Sept 25). The Raiders have been the Dragons' "bogey" team over the past decade with 12 wins and one draw from 15 games since 2001. <br><br> The winnner of the second semi-final between the Panthers and Roosters tomorrow night will play the Titans at Suncorp Stadium next Friday (Sept 24). <br><br> <b>For ticketing information go to <a href="http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=nrlfinl10">www.premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=nrlfinl10</a></b><br />