Sticky stings with honest Raiders assessment
Raiders halfback Sam Williams has given insight into coach Ricky Stuart's post-game assessment following their demoralising 40-16 loss to the Sharks last Sunday.
The Raiders have lost their past two games by 24 and 30 points respectively and it left Stuart no choice but to be brutally critical of his team's performance.
Canberra's two big losses came after their energy-sapping Belmore boilover against the Bulldogs but Williams was refusing to buy into any excuses.
"It certainly was stinging," Williams said of Stuart's post-game speech.
"It's what we needed to hear and he was honest with us and we all know we have to aim up and be better in a lot of areas. His words were fair and we'll cop it on the chin and move on.
"It wasn't a spray but he was honest about it all. He's an honest sort of bloke Ricky and that's the best thing about him. He's upfront whether you're going well or poorly. He'll let you know where you're at and that's all you can ask from a coach."
Williams has called for his teammates to lift this weekend when they come up against an equally desperate Wests Tigers outfit who have lost their past five games.
"Every player out there could have done something for the betterment of the team [against the Sharks]," Williams said.
"Everyone has had a good look at themselves and understood there's plenty to improve on. If we're not on our game again then it's going to be another tough week."
One player that Stuart reserved praise following the Sharks loss however was Jordan Rapana.
The winger scored from a memorable long-range effort, set up another try and broke seven tackles.
His combination with centre Joey Leilua has proved one of very few highlights for Raiders fans in recent weeks.
"A big focus for me personally is making sure I remain consistent and play well every week because there's a lot of depth there and a lot of blokes are going good for the Mounties in reserve grade," Rapana said.
"It's probably been the longest in my career where I've been injury-free too, touch wood. The more I play, the more confidence I'm getting from it so I'm hoping to continue doing what I'm doing.
"[Leilua] and I are good mates. We hang out a lot away from training as well and we're trying to continue having a contribution to the team. We're doing really well so hopefully that remains," he added.
"A loss is a loss though, it's upsetting whether you play good or not. You're still gutted about the result but we'll bounce back from it and we'll be better."