'We've let down our coach and community': Soliola
Even by Canberra's standards, season 2018 will be reviewed in the history books as the year of 'what if', with veteran Sia Soliola admitting the players feel like they have let down coach Ricky Stuart.
From losing their first four games of the campaign to scoring 48 points against the Wests Tigers and now all-but being out of the finals race, Soliola said the side knows they have not repaid Stuart's commitment.
"Yeah, it's not just him (Stuart) but the whole community if you look at the scope of how our season's gone...a lot of the things that didn't go our way we could control," Soliola said.
"There were a lot of results where we 'could've, should've' and didn't.
"There's a lot of us that are looking at ourselves and what we can do for the team on Sunday (against Penrith)."
Despite all of the pain of the 2018 season, Soliola said the playing group has been able to rely on Stuart sticking to a code, even in the toughest of times.
"Wherever he's gone, he's always kept those core values of what it means to be a professional rugby league player," he said.
"For myself, he's always been a great mentor and I've turned to him for a lot of advice."
Canberra this weekend face one of the six teams they have lost to by six points or less this year when they take on high-flying Penrith.
Fresh off his maiden State of Origin performance, Nathan Cleary was the hero as he slotted a late field goal to seal a stunning come-from-behind 23-22 victory in round 14.
Teammate Blake Austin said in a way that loss to Penrith sums up their season, and unfortunately why the green machine is yet to defeat a top eight team in the Telstra Premiership.
"That's the frustrating thing, we are in with a real shout if we play the way we know we can against anyone," Austin said.
"Against Melbourne we weren't able to trade sets for long enough periods and you saw what happened by the 80th minute."
Ten more penalties than the Storm combined with 39 missed tackles spelt disaster for Canberra, all of which Soliola knows have to be improved against the fifth-placed Panthers.
"We're always ready for another challenge, obviously after last week it was pretty tough as you could imagine," he said.
"But the boys are always ready to rock and roll because it's who we are as Raiders and that's our job, we have to get up and do our job.
"What we can control is getting the win this week, it's going to be tough against Penrith."
Austin said the remaining five games were not simply about trying to finish on a good note personally after signing a deal to play in England with Warrington for 2019 and beyond.
"The numbers still tell us we are a very small chance to play finals if we can win five games of footy," he said.
"So, we will debrief at the end of the season."