Raiders 'defensive' ahead of Sharks game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders 'defensive' ahead of Sharks game

29/06/2008 04:00:15 PM Comments (0)

Despite piling on the points against the Bulldogs last week, Canberra believe it's what they do at the other end of the field that will determine how far they climb up the NRL ladder.

The Raiders go into Monday night's home game against Cronulla buoyed by their most impressive attacking display in recent history, running up 58 points in downing the Bulldogs last week.

And while the try avalanche was nice, Raiders officials claim the second-half shutout was just as impressive.

"Even though we managed to score plenty of tries it was also pleasing to see a great second-half defensive effort," assistant coach David Furner said.

"It was a case of another second half shutout which is something we've set to achieve all season.

"Defensively we've been at our strongest this season (compared to) what we have been in the past, and it's a great sight to see the side's attacking ability start to climb up and match the good defensive performances."

Furner will again take charge of the Raiders with head coach Neil Henry in camp with the Queensland Origin side.

Origin commitments will also rob each side of one player, Joel Monaghan missing for the Raiders while the Sharks will have to do without skipper Paul Gallen.

The Sharks are also missing Greg Bird due to an ankle injury, placing even more responsibility in the hands of veteran halfback Brett Kimmorley who will celebrate his 250th first grade game against the Raiders.

Kimmorley, who will join the Bulldogs next season after being released by the Sharks with a year remaining on his contract, has been in tremendous form of late, helping propel Cronulla to four straight victories.

"It's good that I'm playing reasonable football even though I've played over ten years of first grade and it's also satisfying that I'm doing it in a team which is going really well and pushing a finals spot," Kimmorley said.

"I'm very excited to reach the milestone of playing 250 NRL games, especially when you think I had to leave Newcastle as a young bloke to get a chance to just play first grade.

"A lot good players don't get to 50 or 100 NRL games, so to be playing my 250th is a great honour."

The Raiders boast an impressive home record - four wins from six games this season - but the Sharks hold the edge in recent encounters between the two sides with Cronulla having lost only once to Canberra since 2004.

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