Sezer striving for maiden finals tilt
Canberra halfback Aidan Sezer has never played finals football and shockingly neither have 10 of his Raiders teammates named to face the Warriors on Saturday afternoon.
Canberra last made the finals in 2012 – the year Sezer debuted for the Titans – with their finals hiatus affecting the majority of the Raiders' youthful side.
Skipper Jarrod Croker (three finals appearance), fullback Jack Wighton (one), workhorse Shaun Fensom (four) and representative back-rower Josh Papalii (two) are the only four to feature for Canberra past the first week of September.
Otherwise, Joey Leilua is the Raiders' most-experienced finals campaigner with the Roosters and Knights (six appearances) while Sia Soliola lost two finals in 2008 at the Roosters.
Sezer's first season at the fifth-placed Raiders is likely to lead to a finals fixture at GIO Stadium and it's a prospect the 25-year-old remains excited by, in his first season in the nation's capital.
"My finals opportunities up on the Gold Coast were pretty slim so it'll be good to get that chance this year," Sezer told NRL.com.
"I think a lot of boys haven't seen too much finals footy before and we're all in our mid-20s now so we want a taste of it because such experiences will only help us in the years to come.
"If you look at our roster, there's plenty of class and plenty of quality with a whole lot of room for improvement. That was a massive reason for me coming down here," Sezer added.
"Overall, it's been awesome and the club has been awesome for me. It's a great little city and the boys are very tight-knit here."
Sezer shut down any talk over the Raiders' top-four fortunes however.
"We're striving to win as many games as we can to the end of the year," he said. "We'll see where we end up."
The Raiders have lost six games this year, and on four of those occasions it was by eight points or fewer.
A lot of these instances have been because of slow starts according to Sezer.
While they have been able to recover from those lapses at times (look no further than their golden point win over the Knights two weeks ago) Sezer said it comes down to how the Raiders react when they concede points.
"There's plenty of character in this team but there's no doubting we make it hard on ourselves at times," Sezer said.
"Sometimes we come out of the box too slow and it goes to show the quality around the NRL.
"We need to react to when tries are scored differently, no matter how opportunistic they may be. They're tries nonetheless."