Raiders to rely on another hot streak
They have won just two of their past eight games but Raiders players are refusing to panic, insisting they can simply ride another hot streak into this year's Telstra Premiership finals campaign.
Saturday's 30-20 loss to the Broncos was Canberra's third in succession and leaves them in 11th position with just six wins, hardly the return expected of one of the pre-season premiership fancies.
Through 16 rounds last season the Raiders had eight wins to their name and had just begun a 10-week winning run that didn't end until the first week of the finals after they finished the regular season in second position.
Rather than being well behind where they were predicted to be at this stage of the season, prop forward Shannon Boyd was adamant they simply had to remain positive and wait for the wins to start to pile up.
"There's still 10 rounds left so I think that leaves plenty of time," said Boyd of the Raiders' current position of two wins outside the top eight.
"Seeing what we done last year I can't see any reason why we can't do it again this year.
"All we've got to do is win one and then we'll win two and then we'll win three.
"As soon as we get that bit of confidence back we'll be fine.
"We know what we can do and the boys are still positive.
"It's just a couple of games there that we've lost and it's only been by a small margin.
"It is getting quite frustrating losing so many of those tight ones."
Lock forward Luke Bateman played just 29 minutes against the Broncos and believes it is important to maintain a positive outlook despite three tough losses in succession.
"We're not getting dusted by teams, we're not getting blown off the park in the first 20 or 30 minutes," Bateman said.
"We're always confident heading into games and feeling good.
"You probably don't want to lose that because that's when you start getting blown off the park.
"There's definitely frustration. Losing games you're always going to be frustrated. Every week with 10 minutes to go we're a definite chance of winning so there's frustration when you come off from the game and you've lost it when you know you could have won it.
"We're trying not to be too negative. We've got to remain confident because when you start getting down on yourself and start beating yourself up and losing all confidence in your game that's when you start getting blown off the park."
The Raiders take on the seventh-placed Cowboys at GIO Stadium on Saturday night before their second bye of the season in Round 18.
In the month that follows the bye they face the Dragons (home), Storm (home), Rabbitohs (away) and Sharks (away) and will need to win at least two of those in order to maintain contact with the top eight race.
"You've just got to remain positive," said forward Clay Priest. "We all know we can play footy and in previous games and in the past we've shown that. We just need to stay confident and we should come back with the goods.
"In the past we've been the team that when we get the roll on we really do come along strong.
"Once we get a couple of wins together we'll really put it to a lot of the teams."