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Ricky Stuart said he didn't have an issue with the eight-point try just after half-time that robbed his side of momentum and ultimately victory against a determined Manly Sea Eagles outfit.

Joey Leilua was placed on report for kneeing Manly winger Reuben Garrick in the back as he scored in the 50th minute, after finishing off a a 95-metre play that started with a Jack Gosiewski intercept on the Manly try-line.

It was the lone try scored against the run of play in the game and one Canberra struggled to recover from until late in the game when they had a chance to snatch the win at the death.

"Yeah, I think it's justified, I've spoken to BJ, I do think it was justified," Stuart said.

"Trying to swing that momentum back is really difficult, and we did, but not enough.

"There was passages of play where we were trying to take the easy option rather than get in the gutter with them and fight."

Stuart said while he didn't agree with a no-try ruling to Jack Wighton in the first half, he was not placing that decision as the reason why his side lost.

Eight-point try to Garrick hands Manly the lead

"I'd like to think I'm pretty balanced when it comes to these things, the BJ thing, yeah that was a penalty," he said.

"But it looked like he (Wighton) still grounded it, but it's a no-try at the moment, so I won’t be crying over that."

Stuart has spoken all season about the processes the side has put in place in order to maximise their skill and physical advantages against almost any side.

However, the Raiders coach hinted at some players straying away from the game plan and that conflict on playing styles contributed to the ill-discipline and errors.

"When we played to how we spoke (before the game) we were very good, but there wasn't enough parts of the game where we stuck to it.

"You can't take things into your own hands and go against what we spoke about and practised, those things happen, and you make it harder on yourself.

"There's games where we make it easier for the opposition and tonight that was a really tough win for those guys, they had five interchanges in the first half, forwards playing in the centres and front row playing back row.

"Not taking anything away from Manly's win, but we did everything we possibly could at times in that game to help them out."

With a difficult game against Cronulla next weekend and the final round of the regular season at home to the Warriors, the Raiders cannot coast into a top four spot.

While they finished with a wet sail against Manly who started to run out of steam due to their injuries, Stuart said the Raiders were at times their own worst enemy.

Match Highlights: Raiders v Sea Eagles

"You can look at a lot of press conferences this year and I keep saying the same thing, if you keep giving opportunities to good teams they’re going to beat you," he said.

"They played tougher than us and for longer."

The Raiders will have time off training for the next two days in a bid to freshen themselves up after a brutal schedule which has seen them playing potential semi-final opponents for the past three weeks.

However, Stuart said Sunday's performance was a well-timed wake-up call as the shadows of the finals loom large.

"We're still in the fight, we've got to go hear about it, go see it now and we've got to make a decision if we want to improve on it and that's my job with the prep going forward in the next couple of games and going into the semi-finals," he said.

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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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