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Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart didn't hold back in his side letting a 16-0 lead slip through their fingers by describing the 22-16 loss to the Eels in Darwin as "our worst performance of the year".

Coming from a side which is still sitting in the top-four despite the capitulation, Stuart wasn't going to let the players sit back on their laurels – or their nine earlier wins in 2019.

"We only played for 30 minutes. That was our worst 50 minutes of football for years," Stuart said.

"You can't come out of the blocks and start like that and play so well, we were very good at what we were doing, and then it was gone – it was nowhere to be seen.

"I know 100 per cent what it is – I've got to deal with that now."

When asked where he would start to make repairs, he offered: "I'll work on that with the boys."

Match Highlights: Eels v Raiders

Make no mistake. Some of the Raiders players on the field on Saturday night are in for an unpleasant time in face-to-face meetings with Stuart.

"We had to work hard for those points ... some of our best football for the season," Stuart said.

"Parramatta also didn't let us play well – it wasn't just that we played bad. They jumped us in that last 10 minutes of the first half – and I know how and why – and then we couldn't correct it.

"It's got to come down to some individuals. If it's not fixed – we're wasting our time."

Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad in action in Darwin in 2019.
Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad in action in Darwin in 2019. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

Stuart was ambivalent on whether the bye next weekend had come at the wrong time for the Raiders. That's now two healthy leads the players have let slip in consecutive games.

They were up 20-0 over the Sharks at GIO Stadium but managed to hold out with a slim victory 22-20.

This time after leading 16-0 they failed to bother the scorer in the second 40 minutes.

"If you want to go and look for soft excuses they will be there. But if you want to be fair dinkum, be tough, and really work to find out the real reasons and fix it, the season mightn't be all over," Stuart said.

"But if we want to deliver that style of crap we are wasting our time. That was our worst performance of the year."

Stuart said he hadn't spoken to Josh Hodgson, so was unsure of how bad his ribs might be.

His co-captain and hooker had only just returned from four weeks out with a broken thumb but was floored by a heavy tackle seven minutes from fulltime.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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