Stuart: We were our own worst enemy
It was a game that was there for the taking but Raiders coach Ricky Stuart conceded that his side weren't good enough to get it done, Saturday night's 30-20 loss to the Broncos their third loss on the trot to drop to 11th on the ladder.
Trailing 24-20 five minutes from full-time the Raiders set up camp inside the Brisbane 20-metre line but poor options in attack cruelled any try-scoring opportunities and made Brisbane's task that much easier.
With the Broncos stretched to the right Jack Wighton inexplicably took a dummy-half run down a short side that got him nowhere and further errors to Aidan Sezer and Josh Hodgson in the final minutes allowed Brisbane to secure the two competition points with Matt Gillett's second try in the final minute.
One of the pre-season premiership fancies, the Raiders have nine games and a bye with which to drag themselves up the premiership ladder after their reckless finish in front of 15,000 home fans.
"We were our own worst enemy in the second half," a dejected Stuart said in the post-match press conference.
"We got starved of possession and we let a couple of easy tries in – but that happens when you don't have the football and you have a penalty against you and then you get another penalty against you and you haven't got as much energy in defence as you need.
"Soft tries get scored and then you have to be chasing points again. We got back into it, four minutes to go we had a chance to win it and we didn't.
"It's not good enough. We still had a chance to win it and we weren't good enough. It's frustrating."
Canberra's three losses have in reality been games they could have very easily won, going down in golden point to Manly, robbed in broad Bathurst daylight by the Panthers and edged out by a determined Brisbane team missing a number of their biggest stars.
Two tries in the space of three minutes had the Raiders rocking and rolling and when Nick Cotric scored a 70-metre stunner six minutes from half-time they had a handy 16-12 buffer but all they could come up with in the second term was a dummy-half gamble by Joey Leilua in the right-hand corner that earned his side four points.
But despite earning just the six wins through 16 weeks of the competition Stuart says he is not looking any further than next weekend's assignment against the North Queensland Cowboys.
"I'm just worried about our next win," Stuart said.
"I don't look any further ahead than our next game of football. When you get yourself into a position to win, that's where it hurts and where it's difficult after games like that.
"We just need to stay committed to the work we're doing, keep believing in each other and hang tough as a group.
"In tough times you've got to hang tough as a group and not look for easy solutions or easy outs."
Captain Jarrod Croker was superb in the centres for Canberra and kept Broncos speedster James Roberts in check all night and said it was crucial they continue to play with confidence in order to rediscover their mojo.
"You won't see us dropping our lips or losing our confidence," said Croker.
"We're in positions to win it and confidence is going to win us those games."