Premiership will bring respect: McLinden - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Premiership will bring respect: McLinden

By Daniel Pace and Wayne Heming 16/09/2003 07:39:07 PM Comments (0)

Canberra halfback Mark McLinden believes winning the premiership is the only way the Raiders will earn the respect of the rugby league community.

McLinden made the comments in the lead-up to his side's clash with the New Zealand Warriors in Saturday's National Rugby League semi-final at Aussie Stadium.

Asked if it would take the Raiders winning their first premiership since 1994 to be taken seriously, McLinden replied: "I think so.

"I think making the grand final would go somewhere as far as getting respect for the team.

"Winning the grand final would just top it off. All through the year it's been the same.

"I think when we beat the Doggies a few weeks back there was talk that maybe these guys were the real deal.

"Since then we've narrowly lost to the Roosters and been beaten by a fairly committed Melbourne team."

Canberra finished the regular season in fourth spot following the loss to the defending premiers before going down to a dominant Storm outfit in last weekend's qualifying final.

McLinden said it was fair to say the Raiders weren't as consistent as other top four teams, evidenced by their round 23 loss to North Queensland in Canberra.

"Part of that may be because we're relatively newcomers to the top of the ladder and we're still getting used to having expectations on us internally and in Canberra.

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