Raiders a force against Sharks: Campese - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders a force against Sharks: Campese

By Liam FitzGibbon 12/09/2008 05:20:11 PM Comments (0)

Canberra star Terry Campese says the Raiders are determined to prove against Cronulla they can be an NRL finals force and more than just "a side people like to watch".

The surprise packets of 2008 head into Saturday night's qualifying final at Toyota Stadium with nothing to lose after overcoming pre-season wooden spoon favouritism to reach the finals.

But Campese, who starred in the Raiders' run to the playoffs, said his side was far from content with just reaching the top eight.

The five-eighth believes the Raiders can spring an upset against the Sharks and prove their lingering doubters wrong in the process.

"Everyone likes to watch us but people still think that the Sharks are going to flog us," Campese said.

"I guess people still aren't really rating us.

"But we're just going into the game knowing what we have to do and focusing on our game.

"We're confident in ourselves, so that's all we need."

The nephew of Wallabies great David Campese has arguably been the form player of the competition in recent months and most pundits are pinning any hopes the Raiders have squarely on his shoulders.

Warriors captain Steve Price even rated him the man to watch in the finals but Campese said he felt no extra pressure despite the hype.

"Whatever people say, it doesn't phase me a bit," Campese said.

"I know the team's been working hard and that all 17 of us have to play to our best each week to get a result.

"We've got no stars in our team but that's what we've been doing all year and we can keep doing it hopefully going into each week of the finals."

With the Raiders still battling a lengthy injury list, coach Neil Henry has named hooker Glenn Butriss at halfback for the clash, but there is speculation Marc Herbert could make a shock return.

Herbert was ruled out for the season after damaging his knee against South Sydney last month but has reportedly made a remarkable recovery.

Canberra deny Herbert will be a late inclusion but Sharks coach Ricky Stuart is not convinced.

"He will play, I'm sure he will," Sharks coach Ricky Stuart told Sydney radio station 2KY.

"The mail I've got is that he'll play.

"But it probably won't make that much of a difference because they've got another couple of players that have been playing halfback over the last couple of weeks."

In-form Sharks backrower Fraser Anderson will play in the match after overcoming a knee injury, with Stuart to trim two players from his extended interchange bench.

The Raiders will wear black armbands in honour of their former chairman Hank Inderwisch, who died aged 81 this week.

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