Canberra bewildered by another loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra bewildered by another loss

By Bonny Symons-Brown 03/05/2009 06:25:24 PM Comments (0)

Canberra have been left scratching their heads after yet another disillusioning NRL defeat, this time at the hands of Penrith.

At the conclusion of round eight, the Raiders have managed only two wins this season and are languishing near the bottom of the table alongside Manly and just one above Cronulla.

It's not for want of trying. Canberra's exciting talent and consistent performers often produce creative play and a respectable number of tries.

But in almost every case, they have frittered their hard-earned breaks away, blowing scoring opportunities or falling down defensively.

Their struggle has been particularly marked in the nation's capital, where they once enjoyed an enviable home record.

But it appears they've left the gate open at Canberra Stadium in 2009.

Saturday night's clash against the Panthers, who went into the game with the statistics stacked against them, confirmed it.

Penrith hadn't been victorious at Canberra Stadium in five years, they had won only one of their last eight encounters against the Raiders and the last time the two sides had met Canberra humiliated them 74-12.

Yet with all this psychological baggage, they got up 18-10.

"It's very disappointing. There's no sugar coating it," a deflated Raiders captain Alan Tongue said.

"We need to have a good look at ourselves. We need to learn from it. There's been too many crucial parts in games where we haven't been good enough.

"It's not about a young playing group, it's about all of us putting up our hands. It's me, the senior players in the side.

"We all just need to be better learning from our mistakes and make sure it doesn't happen again. A performance like this at home - we can't let a team out-enthuse us, not at our home ground."

Rookie first-grade coach David Furner is beginning to sound like a broken record too.

He knows he's got the players - Tongue, winger Joel Monaghan, five-eighth Terry Campese and prop David Shillington have all been included in preliminary NSW and Queensland State of Origin squads - and seemingly the motivation.

"It's about being creative. We do work fairly hard on that but sometimes when the heat of the moment comes we don't produce it," Furner said.

"We have been doing it at training, we've had a fairly good week leading up to a good last session.

"We've all just got to have a look at things we can do better."

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