Tough times to continue for Orford - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tough times to continue for Orford

David Beniuk 08/05/2011 11:31:20 AM Comments (0)

Even by Matt Orford's standards it's been a tough week, and nothing will change when the Canberra halfback returns to Brookvale Oval for the first time since 2008 on Monday night.

The Raiders' seventh straight loss, a 49-12 thrashing by the Wests Tigers, was compounded by vandals attacking Orford's Audi, while the side also sat down for a long honesty session with a psychologist.

As usual, the 33-year-old former Dally M Medal winner has attracted most of the criticism but his team-mates are sticking solid as he goes up against the club he steered to a premiership three seasons ago.

"He's not going to give up, he's not that kind of bloke," forward Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, who will miss up to a month with a fractured cheekbone, said.

"I've only known him for a short while but that's one thing that's become pretty clear, that he's willing to fight.

"Anyone who watched the game (against the Tigers), anyone who knows anything about rugby league, would know that he had a good game.

"We were under the pump there and he kept fighting the whole time and that sort of effort doesn't go unnoticed.

"Obviously for some people it does but, to his team-mates, it doesn't go unnoticed."

An eighth consecutive loss would equal Canberra's worst ever losing streak, dating back to 1985-86, but it would be the first time they'd reached that low in a single season.

Many fancied the Raiders would threaten for the premiership before the season began and the Sea Eagles are wary, particularly as Canberra turned their 2010 around with a 24-22 win at Brookvale.

"It's always dangerous playing a side when they're due for a win," Manly lock Glenn Stewart said.

"Hopefully we can weather the storm a little bit."

Sea Eagles forwards Anthony Watmough (shoulder, ankle) and Jason King (ribs) are considered good chances of playing, while fullback Brett Stewart is in some doubt to make his latest return from hamstring problems.

"They're very fiddly muscles and things you can't rush back from," Glenn Stewart said of his brother's injury.

"While it's been frustrating for him, a week or two here or there is definitely not as bad as if it were torn, you go to eight weeks."

Will Hopoate, Kieran Foran and Glenn Stewart need to back up from Friday night's representative matches.

Aside from Learoyd-Lahrs, the rest of the Raiders rep contingent of Josh Dugan, Joel Thompson and Bronson Harrison are expected to play.

"We're under no illusions of what we've got to do," Learoyd-Lahrs said.

"We'll be fine, I just hope the fans have a bit of patience with us and stick by us because we'll turn the corner soon."

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