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Stat Attack: The costly fumbles hurting the Raiders

You don't need the numbers to know the Raiders didn't do Ricky Stuart's blood pressure any favours in 2017.

And tellingly the Canberra coach himself told last December that "I get alI look at all the stats but I'm not big on statistics because you can make an excuse for statistics. You can't make an excuse for results."

It was the close results that killed off the Raiders last year, and their fumbling efforts at the clutch that landed the fatal blow to what had shaped as a seriously promising campaign.

After finishing the regular season in second place and within one game of the 2016 decider, Canberra's ordinary 2-8 record in games decided by six points or less ended up dumping them out of finals contention.

Four of those were in golden point, just to raise the tension in the coach's box, of which the Raiders only won one.

And they did themselves no favours between the 75th and 80th minutes across the season, making a total of 26 errors in the final five minutes each week.

That was well above the NRL average of 20, and spoke volumes about a side brimming with potential, only to struggle with the pressure on.

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