Veteran Raiders forward Sia Soliola says Sunday's 34-18 loss to Newcastle shows the team isn't going as well as many had thought.
Many had the Raiders as premiership frontrunners after their convincing 22-6 win over heavyweights Melbourne in the first week back from the break.
While Soliola didn't suggest the club had been reading their own press he believed the loss uncovered issues that needed to be addressed.
"There's an issue there which is pretty scary," he said.
"It's pretty scary to think given the start we've hard, trying to come off the back of a good off-season and good break during the COVID period, to come back and perform how we did prior to that [against Melbourne], to then have 30-odd points put against us – that's an issue.
Wighton flies high to get the Raiders back in the game
"It was a chalk and cheese performance, there are probably some issues there. We haven't been going as well as what we have been."
This week's opponents, Wests Tigers, will be in a similar boat after a solid win against the Sharks before a shock loss to the Titans.
"They'll be looking to bounce back, knowing Madge [Michael Maguire] and the way he is, he'll be getting the boys ready mentally and physically.
"They have a lot of strike in their ranks directed around by a great player and two good halves with Benji [Marshall] and Luke Brooks. We're going to have to be a whole lot better around that ruck area, really tighten that up.
It was a chalk and cheese performance, there are probably some issues thereRaiders forward Sia Soliola
"It comes down to the choices we make first and foremost. We have to go in and match their forwards if we want to have a chance."
The new ruck interpretation rules, which seemed to suit the likes of George Williams and Josh Hodgson against Melbourne, appeared to work against the Green Machine in round four as the Knights were continuously on the front foot.
"The new game structure and how it's been officiated, it's definitely created a lot of hype," Soliola said.
"There are going to be more opportunities around the ruck area, we just need to tighten up a few things within our ranks and that all comes down to choices.
"We need to adapt quickly, especially after the performance we dished out … it's unacceptable."
Prop Dunamis Lui said while the team had been confident of their game plan going in, they weren't able to execute in the face of a relentless Knights performance.
"We had a plan against them, it didn't work and we weren't good enough to … meet them with their strategy during the game," Lui said.
Stuart expects Bateman to return this year
"We need to fight really hard to get those quick play-the-balls. Their play-the-balls were too quick and it made it too hard for us to get onside and get our line speed up. We need to be better than that.
"We made it real hard on ourselves. We had a game plan going in defensively and didn't pull that off. When we did we looked really good, there was just too many times they got quick play-the-balls, especially in the first 20 minutes.
"The way they played in that first 20 is the way we wanted to play so they won that challenge there."