Stat Attack: Raiders' late-set penalties bringing them undone

Few teams can drive a coach to drink like the current Canberra Raiders side, which can add rugby league's cardinal sin to their growing list of crimes.

Only the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have given away more penalties on the fifth and sixth tackle in 2018, with the Raiders infringing five times late in the count.

With an 0-3 record against fellow 2017 bottom eight finishers this season, and a points differential of just -5 across their three defeats, it's a particularly cruel way to rub salt into a wounded Ricky Stuart.

Especially when two of those penalties have led directly to points in the first two weeks of the season, proving the difference in tight losses to the Gold Coast and Newcastle.

The first was an Aidan Sezer ruck infringement, which came as the Raiders spent three back-to-back sets defending their line against the Titans.

Phillip Sami crossed a minute later, as the Raiders coughed up two 18-point leads en route to a round-one defeat.

Junior Paulo matched that effort the very next week with a late shot on the last against the Knights, with Kalyn Ponga duly slotting a penalty goal. Newcastle prevailed 30-28.

Against the Warriors, late lapses in defence rather than infringements were their downfall when Shaun Johnson slotted two field goals while the Raiders defence watched on.

"It's definitely not fitness, I just think there is lapses where we fall asleep towards the end," back-rower Josh Papalii explained this week.

When it comes to discipline, Canberra's late clock-offs are adding up as well.