Canberra coach Ricky Stuart hinted he will swing the selection axe next week as he desperately tries to find some “energy” after his side missed a staggering 69 tackles against the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday.
After making defence the cornerstone of their run to the 2019 grand final, the Raiders have become a “shadow of themselves” according to Stuart.
The Titans capitalised all game on the lack of execution in defence by the Green Machine, also racking up 11 line breaks in their eight-tries-to-one thrashing.
“It’s unacceptable,” Stuart said of the missed tackles.
“It’s happened all year when we haven’t got enough players, playing well
“I’m in there too, coaches have to coach well, players have to play well.
“It’s happened all year when we haven’t had a high majority of our players who have played a good game of football and you could see out there tonight.
Williams gets a try in his milestone game
“I have to find some energy, the only way I am going to find energy is with new faces.”
Josh Papalii was the only Raider not to miss a tackle in the 80 minutes, with Josh Hodgson (eight), Semi Valemei (seven) and Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton, Sam Williams, Corey Harawira-Naera and Emre Guler (all five) amongst the worst offenders.
“It doesn’t take a lot to beat us if we’re missing that many tackles and unfortunately it’s very disappointing,” Stuart said.
Herbert fends past Croker on the right edge
“I’m as embarrassed as anybody in regards to these poor people who come out here and brave these conditions and watch us play, and we play like that.
“I feel very sorry for our loyal supporters, we’re a shadow of ourselves and where we want to be.”
The loss sees the Raiders slump to 12th on the ladder with upcoming games against Manly, Cronulla, Parramatta and Newcastle.
After the Sea Eagles thumped Canterbury 66-0, the task ahead for the Raiders is a daunting one, with another lop-sided loss likely to end their chances of playing finals this season.
“There’s no easy game in the NRL, but at the moment we probably can’t say that, because we’re making it pretty easy,” Stuart said of next week’s clash against Manly.