Canberra Raiders write-off doubters - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra Raiders write-off doubters

By Liam FitzGibbon 23/08/2008 01:00:19 PM Comments (0)

Canberra star Terry Campese says the Raiders have proved their pre-season doubters wrong but are still yet to achieve anything this NRL season.

The Raiders, pre-season wooden spoon favourites, have proved the surprise packets of 2008 and are a genuine chance of finishing in the top four with three matches to play.

A win against South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Sunday will virtually assure them a finals spot and with their remaining two matches against the bottom two sides - North Queensland and the Bulldogs - a top four finish and home semi-final is not out of reach.

Campese said the Raiders had expected to be written off yet again this year, admitting they laughed off the negative press before using it as motivation.

"We've been written off for the last three years," said the five-eighth, who has been the form player of the competition recent weeks.

"You read a few articles of what people are saying and you have a bit of a laugh.

"It's always motivation seeing that people think you're no chance and you'll only win a few games all year but we have just kept working to play hard."

While pleased the Raiders had blown predictions about a wooden spoon finish out of the water, Campese said the side was still yet to achieve its goals for the season.

"We've just got to have our focus on making the semis and we're pretty close," Campese said.

"We just have to win these last games and that's our first goal of the year gone."

Despite their final three regular season opponents being the bottom three sides, Campese said none could be treated as easybeats, particularly the Rabbitohs, who stunned competition heavyweights Manly 40-32 last Sunday.

"We can't take any of those teams lightly," Campese said.

"If you look at Souths in the last half of the year they're equal points with us, they've won the same amount of games.

"Manly were tipped to beat them by 40 but they came out and beat them and played awesome so they'll be riding on a lot of confidence coming into this one."

Raiders winger Justin Carney is out injured with Brett Kelly coming in as his replacement but they do welcome back hooker Glen Buttriss.

Coach Neil Henry has cut Ben Jones and Nigel Plum from their extended bench while Souths have lost Michael Greenfield with a neck injury.

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