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Raiders winger Jordan Rapana.

Jarrod Croker said Canberra were preparing to turn the other cheek to any niggling tactics employed by Cronulla in the pressure-cooker environment of Sunday's crucial sold-out Sharks home game.  

Croker and the rest of the Raiders have admitted they were sucked into a style of play that had not been their hallmark last Sunday, with 26 penalties blown in their loss to Manly.

With a sold-out PointsBet Stadium for Paul Gallen's last home game and a desperate Sharks side needing to win their last two games to ensure a finals finish, Croker is expecting another battle in the "trenches" on Sunday.

"It was probably more us getting frustrated with ourselves," Croker said of the loss to the Sea Eagles.

"It's their last game there for a couple of years and obviously Gal's last home game, so a big environment.

"Cronulla are a similar sort of side to Manly, they're scrappy and they want to take you into the trenches and get in the fight so we have to be a lot better at that and how we handled it against Manly."

Sharks v Raiders - Round 24

John Bateman has shown at times this season to take delight in the personal battle against opposition player's veterans or star forward.

The tough Englishman is preparing to not take a backward step against Gallen but said also maintaining discipline would be crucial.

"Gal's had a fantastic career, me being a young kid I've seen him come through and I'm really looking forward to playing against him," Bateman said.

"What Manly did to us [with niggling tactics] you have to say it worked, so we just have to worry about ourselves and everything else will take care of itself."

Gallen: I know it's time

The absence of Joey Leilua to suspension brings Bailey Simonsson back onto the left wing outside Croker.

The Raiders co-captain has raved this season about the former rugby union sevens star's communication skills during a game.

"I've been pretty blessed having either Bailey or Nicky [Cotric] outside me so, he [Simonsson] will slot straight back in," Croker said.

"So, it was a bit of a blessing to have somebody like Bailey on the bench to slot straight back into the starting side."

Aidan Sezer said the Raiders had highlighted some missed opportunities in attack against Manly last weekend.

But the playmaker said the side is ready to click at the right time of the season and will do whatever it takes to ensure they don't look back at 2019 as another "what if".

"You look back in 2016 and that was probably an opportunity missed so you look forward to the next six weeks and we've probably got another one in the next month or so," Sezer said.

"We want to put in our best effort we can so we don't finish the year with any regrets.  

"When you're working in November and December you have that [premiership] in the back of your mind.

"All of the other things that come along with rugby league are good but everybody knows the ultimate prize is the NRL premiership."

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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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