Durable Buttriss out for revenge over Storm
Glen Buttriss pauses as he as lists off the injuries that have kept him off the paddock over the last few years. Pec surgery. Four ankle operations. A cleanout of tendons in his shoulder.
"Oh and the compound fracture. I dislocated my finger and the bone came out of the skin," he says.
"I forgot about that one."
Forgive us, but exactly how do you forget about the bone in your finger making an unexpected appearance in the midst of a game?
"I've had almost too many injuries to count, but I guess that's the most unusual of the lot. It was rough, that's for sure," laughs the Raiders hooker, who played the second half of last year's Round 8 clash against Melbourne with a bone sticking out of his middle finger.
"I looked down and saw it popping out and just went with the instincts and thought 'that's not right', so I just pulled it back in where it belongs.
"Luckily it went back in alright. They strapped it up in the sheds and then I played the rest of the game with it and got it all stitched up after the game.
"I had surgery two days later and was out for three weeks after that."
The durable hooker, who has gone under the knife more times than Joan Rivers, is one pillar of the new-look spine the Raiders have persevered with through four losses in the opening six weeks of the competition, and the Cootamundra junior freely admits the side's playmakers are still coming to terms with Ricky Stuart's new offensive structure.
"We're still trying to get to know each other a bit better, but I think it's starting to slowly get there," Buttriss said of his combination with new five-eighth Jack Wighton and captain Terry Campese.
"The first few weeks we worked really well, but just the last couple we've just been a little bit down on talk… and we've dropped off a bit in form.
"Hopefully we can pick that up this week at training and take that onto the field."
As Buttriss knows all too well, things could get ugly if the Raiders don't aim up against one of the competition's premier attacking sides. In the return fixture at Canberra's GIO Stadium last year the Storm's representative trio of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith awoke from a post-Origin slumber to lead the Southerners to a record 68-4 drubbing in the nation's capital.
While teammates deny the memory of the worst loss in the Raiders' 32-year history has played any part in the team's lead-up to this Sunday's clash, Buttriss is happy to milk the result for a bit of added motivation.
"For them to come down here and embarrass us like that, it'll be in the back of my mind that's for sure.
"It would've been the hardest loss of my career, one of them anyway. I haven't had too many floggings like that. Especially at home, a very tough loss to cop, so we'll be trying to atone for that.
"But across the park they're a great team. They've got a good pack and some outside backs that run the ball hard.
"And then there's Smith, Slater and Cronk – they all do their job very well so we're going to have to be on our game."