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Hodgson chasing finals mentality to bring down Storm

Josh Hodgson is confident the Raiders can find their sudden-death mentality a month earlier than required ahead of their crucial clash with Melbourne on Thursday night.

The Raiders bounced back from a lacklustre effort against Newcastle a fortnight ago to record a 20-12 win over the Dragons to keep themselves in the top eight with four rounds remaining.

While the ninth-placed Knights and 10th-placed Sharks will battle for two competition points this weekend, the Raiders will look to deny the Storm an 18th consecutive win.

Canberra have one of the better records against Melbourne in recent seasons and Hodgson believes they can rise to the challenge despite sliding down the ladder this season.

After the Storm, the Green Machine will face the Sea Eagles, Warriors and Roosters in the run home.

"We have got a tough draw but if you want to be the best you have to beat the best," Hodgson said.

Every try from Round 21

"There's no better time of the year to play those teams and give yourself a real challenge leading up to the finals, it really gives you that finals intensity.

"If we don't beat those sides and don't get in the eight it's only our own doing and that's how we've got to look at it.

"We're in the eight so we just have to get results to stay in it. Even if you get to the semis you have to beat the best teams if you want a chance at winning it."

Hodgson said he believed the Storm hadn't changed much of their systems this season compared to previous years under Cameron Smith, they had just adjusted to the rules quicker.

"For me personally these are the games in previous years we really seem to get up for," he said.

"You know what type of shapes they'll throw at you and the type of team they are but they just don't go away from it.

"That's probably the key to rugby league. Teams know what's going to be thrown at them but if you run it well enough you've still got to defend it.

"That's what the Storm have done for years. Everyone expected them to start falling off a cliff when they had Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater all slowly retire.

"They certainly aren't doing that and have been the benchmark for the last few years."

Get Caught Up: Round 21 must-see moments

Having won four of their past five games to make their way into the eight, Ricky Stuart's men have laid to rest any rumblings of unrest that were rumoured to be undermining their campaign.

"We got to certain point of the year where we had a break in the bye week and touched on it before that it probably come at a good time for us," Hodgson said.

"Everyone got a chance to get away from footy and clear their heads a little bit and regroup, come back with a fresh attitude."

The Raiders will celebrate Women in League round on Thursday night with a specially designed jersey featuring over 1000 names who have contributed to the club's Valkyrie program.

"I think it's really important that we appreciate those people in our life," Hodgson said.

"I haven't seen my nan for a couple of years now so for me I'll be wearing that for her and wearing that for my wife. It's important that we do that."