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Raiders depleted but not defeated as Lui answers call

Barnstorming prop Josh Papalii may be earning all the plaudits for leading the forward pack through their darkest injury hour but Ricky Stuart turned the attention onto front-row partner Dunamis Lui for his efforts in recent weeks.

Stuart labelled Papalii and Lui the best on ground but gave Lui the "points" between the pair as the Raiders hung on to secure their seventh win of the season with an 18-12 victory over the Rabbitohs.

"Josh has been an amazing individual for us over the last month, supported closely by Taps (Joe Tapine) and Sutto (Ryan Sutton)," Stuart said.

"That's why Papa is where he is in the game. That's what you need from your representative players.

"He's also supported very closely by Dunamis Lui who doesn’t get many raps at all. Those boys are leading the way for the other guys to follow the lead."

Lui was dropped from the Raiders line-up a month ago but injuries to key forwards meant he was required to step up.

"It comes down to the person's character, without trying to make it sound all nice a fuzzy for you," Stuart said.

Match Highlights: Raiders v Rabbitohs

"His character is brilliant. He's like Sia [Soliola] and Papa – those three are the three best team first players I've ever coached at the Raiders.

"They're a coach's delight. We probably weren't at our best tonight but given the circumstances with injuries, the cohesion and changing of positions … I'll take that any day of the week."

Stuart said he won't rush new signing Corey Harawira-Naera into the side for next week's clash against the Cowboys unless the former Bulldogs back-rower can prove his fitness in time.

Harawira-Naera arrived in Canberra he on Saturday and will begin training with the team next week.

His arrival is timely given the Raiders' horror injury toll in their forward pack with John Bateman also nearing a return from shoulder surgery for the second half of the season.

"John's very close but I'll leave that to the docs and physio," Stuart said.

"Corey will come back to him passing his biosecurity tests and when he can join us in the bubble.

"I'll make that decision when I know how fit he is and where his conditioning is at.

"I won't rush Corey [but] the sooner he's available the better it's going to be for our team."

Raiders reinforcements not far away

The Raiders are likely to be without fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad for at least a fortnight after the Raiders fullback suffered a compound finger dislocation during the second half.

Stuart indicated Curtis Scott, who may replace Nicoll-Klokstad in the backline, could come into contention for next week's trip to Townsville.

"If it's not next week it's the week after but I don't think he's far away," Stuart said.

"He was close this week with the infection in his arm. We're being quite conservative with him because it's dangerous.

"He's been back training in the last week so I'm hoping he might be available."

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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