Hodgson urges Raiders to aim higher
They were 80 minutes away from a place in the Telstra Premiership top four but Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson says the Raiders must "seek perfection" if they hope to challenge the competition's top teams.
On the back of a three-game winning streak and a bright start to Thursday night's clash at Suncorp Stadium where they dominated field position with close to 60 per cent of possession the Raiders self-imploded on the back of basic errors inside their own half that invited the Broncos to pounce.
Playing their way back into form on the back of improved defensive resolve the Broncos scored three times before half-time and then again shortly after the break to open up a 24-0 lead from which they were never seriously challenged.
Courtesy of a double to interchange hooker Kurt Baptiste the Raiders scored 18 points late to add some respectability to the final scoreline but lapses that have plagued them all season are holding Canberra back according to Hodgson.
"We're playing good in patches but we still need to put a full game together," Hodgson told NRL.com.
"It's more frustration than anything. We're never going to be happy sitting mid-table and just being in the eight. That's not us and if you want to be a successful team you're never going to be successful if you're happy with that.
"You've got to be striving for perfection. Whether you win or lose you've got to be looking at yourself individually and as a team where we can get better.
"We spoke before the game about putting into practice an 80-minute performance and we didn't do that. We're not there yet as a team where we're punching out 80-minute performances.
"We weren't there last week against Manly, we slacked at the back-end of the game and tonight we started well for the first 20 minutes or so but the back-end of the half a few errors in our own half really cost us."
Despite their early dominance the Raiders attack that was ranked behind only the Cowboys and Broncos going into Round 14 failed to ask any meaningful questions of the Brisbane defence.
Time and again Hodgson hit big forwards one-out close to the line and the England international said he and halves Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer have to take responsibility for not executing the game-plan coach Ricky Stuart had implemented.
"I just think we got a bit frustrated and didn't stick to the game-plan," Hodgson said.
"We've got to take ownership as halves and hookers as part of the team that's supposed to get the boys around the field, we've got to take ownership that we didn't do that in the first 20 minutes.
"I'm happy to put my hand up and say that we didn't stick to the game-plan in that part of the game and in the back-end that cost us because we had too much to chase.
"We just didn't do the things in the first 20 that we said we were going to do. We had a game-plan in place and we didn't stick to it and then came up with some costly errors inside our own half.
"If you give a team like Brisbane cheap ball on your own line too many times you're probably going to come up short.
"We've got a great team here. It's just frustrating when we're not playing to our potential and we're giving teams too many chances and too much cheap ball.
"We've done it in quite a lot of games this year. We're starting off not great and falling behind before we start playing and before we start hitting our straps."