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Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was left lamenting "the little things" that cost his side a sorely-needed two competition points against the Roosters at Allianz Stadium.

Canberra went down 26-12 as the premiers continued their surge up the NRL ladder, but an improved second half performance kept the Raiders in the match when it looked as if the Roosters could rack up a cricket score after taking an 18-0 lead at half-time.

Despite completing 13 of 15 first half sets, the two mistakes they did make in the opening 40 minutes led to Roosters tries. Stuart admitted dropped bombs from fullback Anthony Milford and winger Reece Robinson ultimately proved decisive.

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"It was the just the little things that cost us points," said Stuart, after his side slumped to eighth loss of the year.

"Usually errors don't always cost you points but our errors tonight cost us points.

"There were little areas in that first half; a couple of [dropped] catches in regards to kicks, a couple of penalties that they scored off."

The loss leaves the Raiders needing to win at least eight of their remaining 12 games to reach the 30 competition points that is usually the bench mark for finals football. Yet Stuart said after the match that he was proud of the way his side had competed against a Roosters outfit starting to hit its straps with a fifth win from its last six starts.

"Obviously we're disappointed with the scoreline but I see a squad of players there improving," said Stuart.

"With that score line at half-time, [if we were] a team that lacks a bit of heart and camaraderie, team spirit, I believe that the Roosters probably would have went on with it.

"They didn't fluke [the 2013 premiership]. They're an absolute class group of players and for what we did tonight showed improvement in where we're going and a fair bit of courage and commitment."

Skipper Terry Campese admitted the result meant next week's Round 13 clash with the Broncos was now a must-win game for the Raiders, but like Stuart said there were positives that could be taken from the loss.

"It was hard going down 18-0 at half-time but the way the boys showed fight was a big step going forward next week," he said.

"It was a big game for us, we've got a bye after next week against the Broncos, so this is a must-win game come Monday now."

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