Croker: Raiders on red alert
Skilful Canberra Raiders centre Jarrod Croker has insisted that he and his teammates won’t underestimate a depleted North Queensland Cowboys side, which will be missing four Origin representatives, as well as Gavin Cooper and Cameron King, who both picked up long-term injuries last week.
With inspirational Cowboys five-eighth Johnathan Thurston, intimidating props in Matthew Scott and James Tamou as well as veteran centre Brent Tate playing in Origin I next Wednesday, Croker and the Raiders will be looking to refocus following their controversial 26-20 loss to the Panthers last round.
With Croker's passionate mentor Ricky Stuart letting the referees know how he really felt following their Round 10 clash, the Green Machine will be solely set on snapping up their three-game losing streak where they have conceded an unacceptable 134 points.
"There's no point of us whinging or getting caught up in that sort of stuff though," Croker told NRL.com.
"Obviously we had too many mistakes. I think that's what cost us in the end: we sort of beat ourselves more than anything. It was an improvement [on past weeks] but we still didn't get the two points."
"There's nothing we can do to change it now so we just have to look forward to this weekend."
With a Cowboys team filled with fresh-faces with three players included still yet to play first grade this season, Croker is adamant that the Raiders will not treat this dangerous North Queensland side with kid gloves.
"They go through it every year. They lose the same blokes every year so we won't be taken them lightly and they'll be coming down here pretty confident and ready to rip into us so we'll be going into the game with a similar attitude to what we did against the Panthers on Sunday," Croker said.
"They'll have some fresh faces in there and blokes wanting to press their claims to be in that team when the Origin players come back.
"It seems to be that teams rev up when they lose a lot of their Origin players and I don't think the Cowboys will be any different. It's all about us though from here on in and we'll concentrate on that."
"We've had a few big losses, obviously nobody likes doing that. So I'm just looking forward to the team getting together and getting a win on the weekend."