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Stuart wants travel restrictions monitored amid fatigue fears

A proud Ricky Stuart hailed his side for showing the grit to hold out a gallant Dragons after a difficult month of travel.

The Raiders returned to the winner's circle on Friday night with a 22-16 win at GIO Stadium – their first game at the venue since ACT and Federal government restrictions were eased last month.

Stuart hopes the latest relief would follow with future away clashes allowing sides to travel the day before a game.

Stuart's men have travelled to Melbourne once and Sydney on three occasions over the past month.

The Raiders will welcome Melbourne to the nation's capital next Saturday night before travelling back to Sydney for the 2019 grand final rematch with the Sydney Roosters in round nine.

"I want the boys to have the weekend off now, go away and not think of footy," Stuart said after the win.

Match Highlights: Raiders v Dragons

"We've had a tough period over the past five weeks. The travel has knocked us around and I'm not whinging about it because we've been very fortunate to have what Peter [V'landys] and his team have done to get this game back and running - it is wonderful.

"My only point is that they're a tired group of players. It would be great to see our protocols relaxed around travel in the coming months but again, we're very appreciative the game is happening."

Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton didn't mince his words on the toll it had taken on the side, backing up Stuart's comments around travel.

"I hate it, definitely like the staying the night before … just with preparation I'm real keen on," Wighton said.

Croker wins the race to a Wighton kick

"It was great to wake up and know we don't have to travel three hours on a bus.

"There's a reason we go the night before and get in early around preparation but everyone's in the same similar boat and it was taking it out of a few teams."

The Raiders' win-loss-win-loss streak since the competition resumed in round three will be on the line again when the side hosts the Storm for the second time this season.

However, the side's injury toll appears to be the club's biggest concern with fears Iosia Soliola will join Corey Horsburgh and John Bateman in the casualty ward after being taken to hospital with a suspected facial fracture.

Emre Guler is also likely to have scans for an ankle issue after stepping up for Stuart when he was promoted to the starting side with Ryan Sutton.

Stuart hailed the efforts of bench forwards Ryan Sutton and Guler, who began the game in place of Josh Papalii and Joseph Tapine in a bid to improve the side's start and middle period.

"What Sutto and Emre produced was exactly what was asked for, it was perfect and that was probably Ryan's best game for us," Stuart said.

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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