Soliola backs Raiders to turn around horror start to season
Canberra forward Iosia Soliola admits the Raiders' performance against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles on Saturday was not up to first-grade standard.
A frank Soliola said coach Ricky Stuart's scathing assessment of the side's performance against Manly was an accurate one.
Stuart labelled the side "soft" as the Sea Eagles ran in four first-half tries to set up the victory, sending the Raiders to their worst start to a season since 1997.
Soliola said the Raiders were looking at their four-day turnaround to play the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs as an opportunity rather than a curse, given they don't have time to dwell on their latest loss.
"We spoke about things we were going to try and rectify during the Manly game and we were pretty poor," Soliola said.
"A lot of us let ourselves, let the team down and let the jersey down.
"It wasn't up to not only Raiders standards but first-grade standards as well, so there's a lot for us to answer for and we've just got to get back to work."
Stuart kept his cards close to his chest when asked if he would make sweeping changes for round five, issuing a challenge to the current 17 to put some pride back into the jersey.
Despite the disappointing start to the season Soliola has been consistent in the middle, averaging 8.75 runs, 77.25 metres and 33 tackles a game.
The 31-year-old said no matter who Stuart picked to run out onto GIO Stadium on Thursday night, there was little choice left but for the 17 players chosen to find the level of performance they are capable of.
"Whoever he (Stuart) chooses, I know they're going to put in a better effort than they have in the past," Soliola said.
"He's right in everything he said in the press conference and he's put the challenge to us as the playing group and we've got to respond and that's what we going to do.
"I have so much belief in this team, in this club, I wouldn't be here [if I wasn't confident this side could turn things around]."
Standing in their way this week is a Bulldogs side coming off a 20-16 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Canterbury too have been struggling to find their feet for much of the first month of the season, with their only ray of sunshine coming when they held off a fast-finishing Penrith Panthers side in round three.
Soliola said Canberra's forwards knew they had another massive task in front of them on Thursday night as they try to blunt the likes of David Klemmer, Aaron Woods and Josh Jackson.
"We're just thinking about this week and the Dogs, they're a tough side and after the way they went down on the weekend, we know what's going to come," he said.
"All of their forwards will be coming from the car park and they'll be really getting into us.
"So, we've got a choice to combat them or the other way, so for us this week it's really important for us to give back to our supporters and members and more importantly ourselves."