Raiders back Ferguson to silence the boos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders back Ferguson to silence the boos

Peter Veness and Ian McCullough 08/07/2011 07:42:36 PM Comments (0)

Canberra coach David Furner is confident Blake Ferguson won't be unsettled on Saturday by a hostile reception from Cronulla fans and his former teammates.

Ferguson angered Sharks supporters when he left the end of last season, claiming he wanted to join a team with a chance of winning an NRL premiership.

Although he has been a standout performer for the Raiders with 10 tries this season, Ferguson's new club sit two places below the Sharks on the ladder, prompting Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan to question his decision this week.

However, Furner believes the winger won't be ruffled by his return to Toyota Stadium.

"He's an ex-Cronulla player there and there is going to be a bit of hostility toward him but I think, as a group, we need to handle that," Furner said.

"I sat down with Blake and spoke to him about his game.

"You don't want to take away that flair which can create a try out of nothing but I did talk to him about control. He is learning."

Five-eighth Josh McCrone also backs Ferguson, and warns the in-form Sharks, who have won their past three games, not to bother targeting the 21-year-old with high kicks and a volley of verbal abuse.

"It will create a good atmosphere. They had a good crowd of around 18,000 last week and, with Fergo coming back there, it will create a bit more interest," McCrone said.

"I think they would be a bit silly if they targeted him with bombs. He is one of the best catchers in the comp.

"I'd say there will be a fair bit said to him but that sort of thing will be right down Fergo's alley."

Both sides need to win the game to keep alive their finals' aspirations and, like the Sharks, the 13th-placed green machine have found some form following a dismal start to the campaign, tasting victory in their past two outings against Parramatta and the Sydney Roosters.

However, with a tough run of games coming up in the next two weeks, Furner is aware of the importance of a positive result.

"Both Parramatta and the Roosters were a little bit similar to us, down in form and maybe a little bit of confidence," Furner said.

"Those two wins for us have put us in a position of being confident but Cronulla are the same.

"Over the next three weeks, we've got (the) Sharks, Melbourne and St George so I think last week for us, as I say, is a little bit of a curtain-raiser.

"I think we need to be better defensively."

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