Raiders to auction jerseys for Kato Ottio fund
Indigenous round for the Canberra Raiders takes on extra significance as they again reach out to help the family of Kato Ottio.
Ottio tragically died early this year when he collapsed after a training run while in Papua New Guinea.
Canberra's jerseys will be auctioned off following their clash with the Cronulla Sharks on Sunday, with proceeds going to the Kato Ottio Memorial Fund.
The 23-year-old's death rocked the Raiders family and coach Ricky Stuart said the auction is the latest measure to try and ease the suffering of Ottio's family.
"Knowing the club how I do, it won't be the last time we help the family," Stuart said.
"Kato was a very special member of the Canberra Raiders and I know we will continue to support that family for a long time ahead. That's what makes our club so great."
Stuart said he expects Paul Gallen to play, with the Cronulla Sharks skipper being given every chance to prove he has overcome a knee injury.
Sharks coach Shane Flanagan is likely to have Gallen on a time restriction if he plays in the crucial clash at GIO Stadium on Sunday.
"I know he's going to be here because he's asked me to help his young bloke out being a ball boy," Stuart said.
"I said 'if he wears a Raiders jumper he can do whatever he wants'. If he plays he plays, if he doesn't he doesn't. Gal will know if he's right and we're planning on him playing.
"He's their spiritual leader and they always give us a tough performance at home, so without or without Gal we're waiting for a really tough game."
Canberra will be aiming for their fifth win in six games and a place inside the top eight for the first time this season after losing their first four.
"Every game's important, especially when you see the congestion of the competition table," Stuart said.
"Stringing a few games together really gives you a boost in the position on the table at the moment."
With wins over bottom eight teams Canterbury, Parramatta, North Queensland and Gold Coast Titans, Sunday's duel with the Sharks shapes as one of Canberra's biggest tests of the season.
Stuart is confident in his side and refuses to buy into the notion the Raiders have only beaten teams not in the finals picture.
"I don't care what other people think of our footy team as - it's what we believe in," he said.
"I know what I've got here when we play well. From the outside looking in, I don't care what opinion is out there. It's about what we've got here and when we're on and we all play to our strengths, we're a strong footy team."