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Raiders forward Sia Soliola.

Sia Soliola said some soul-searching for the Canberra Raiders meant their bye week was far from pleasant as they began preparations for Sunday's clash with St George Illawarra.

Twice in as many matches, the Raiders have surrendered big leads. They lead by 20 before hanging on to beat Cronulla in round 14 before blowing a 16-0 lead in a  loss to the Eels in Darwin in their last outing.

Those performances aside, Canberra has taken giant strides away from the team that made a habit of losing close games in 2018.

Soliola knows the side has to consistently go on with the job if they are to be considered a premiership threat.

"That patch, not just the Parra game but the Sharks game too, we put ourselves in good positions and we've addressed that we have to start fast," Soliola said.

"But there's that period between the 30th and 50th minute that it's just not working out.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

"It was a bitter-sweet moment when you do have the break, you're sort of left with a sour taste in your mouth.

"But it's nice to come back into training to address it and we're ready to move on."

Only once have the Raiders lost back-to-back games this season when they lost three in a row (round 9-11). Injuries were a major cause of that downturn.

With Nick Cotric expected to return from an ankle injury on Sunday, Ricky Stuart's team could be at full strength.

Jordan Rapana said the team took ownership for the errors that cost them against the Eels.

"As a playing group we were filthy at last week's performance," Rapana said.

Raiders forward Joe Tapine.
Raiders forward Joe Tapine. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

"Our last 20 [minutes] in both halves [against the Eels] was probably one of the worst performances for us this year.

"In saying that our first 20 was probably one of our best, but I think this year we've been a lot better having that consistency through each half."

After an opening 15 weeks of the season punctuated by injury, Raiders forward Joe Tapine said he welcomed a return to the weekly grind of preparing for a game.

"Coming back from injury I would get pretty gassed pretty quickly but now I'm getting plenty of minutes in the middle and I'm just trying to help Paps [Papalii] out," Tapine said.

"Josh always does a job when he comes back [from Origin] though and gets through a lot of work so I just want to support him

"Some parts of the [Eels] game we didn't have out heads switched on and we weren't focussed enough.

"I know he [Raiders coach Ricky Stuart] is going to be really tough on us this week leading into a game we have to win."

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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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