Furner backing Raiders for finals push - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Furner backing Raiders for finals push

By Ian Mccullough 15/08/2010 10:07:49 AM Comments (0)

David Furner believes his young guns now have the character as well as the talent to take the Raiders into the NRL finals for the first time since 2008.

Furner's side came from behind for the second game in succession to beat Canterbury 28-14 on Saturday and keep their season alive with Josh Dugan, Jarrod Croker and Josh McCrone all playing major roles in the victory.

The win followed Monday's success over Penrith where the Green Machine recovered from a 26-12 halftime deficit to win 30-26.

The Raiders sit in 11th spot but are just two points outside of the eight.

Dugan, 21, Croker, 20, and McCrone, 23, have been in fine form during the Raiders' recent run of five wins in their past six games and Furner said with the talent at his disposal, he has never doubted they can achieve a top-eight finish.

"I have never faulted the ability or the character but we are now showing the grit to win games and that is very pleasing," he said.

"I think the ability in this team is good enough to get into the top eight.

"It was just a case of being more disciplined and following a game plan.

"At the start of the season we were a side who started games well but were poor in the second half but we are starting to change that.

"We are not getting ahead of ourselves, we have the Dragons next Sunday and they don't come harder than that."

In addition to his talented backline, Furner has one of the biggest packs in the NRL to work with.

With NSW star Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Queensland prop David Shillington leading the way but the coach believes Dane Tilse, who at two metres, is the tallest player in the league, is playing as well as his more accomplished team-mates.

"I have always felt Dane was player of great ability and his recent form should see his name mentioned for representative honours," Furner said.

"For such a big man he gets around the park well and we have been feeding off him."

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