No excuses for rueful Raiders
Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has refused to use last week's golden point loss in Townsville as an excuse for his side's 42-16 loss at home against the Sharks on Saturday night.
Canberra appeared to run out of energy in the second half as the defending premiers piled on five unanswered tries before Jack Wighton pegged one back in the dying stages.
When asked if the extra-time loss in humid conditions had taken its toll on the team, Stuart responded with a resounding "No", instead blaming his side's 73 per cent completion rate for the lacklustre performance.
"The first half was as bad as the second half," he said.
"Individually we were poor… it's the same old story from every losing coach: five penalties, not playing the ball correctly on early tackles.
"You can't give good teams an inch. We gave them a mile and they took it.
"They were very balanced, they were very good tonight. They started the game well, then their bench came on and dictated us. The game was pretty much gone after 50-odd minutes.
"I don't want to look too far into it at the moment, other than the fact they were a better team than us and brought us crunching back to earth real quick which is a wonderful thing to happen in Round 2. We can pick our bottom jaws up and we can get going again on Monday."
Raiders skipper Josh Hodgson agreed that the 26-point loss simply came down to poor execution and ill-discipline in the key moments.
"When you make error on error and give away too many penalties, it all adds up and saps the energy out of you," the Englishman said.
"Once we lost that, they got a couple of tries on us and I thought they got a bit of a roll on and we struggled to get it back.
"Ultimately we just weren't good enough. There's no beating around the bush."