Pride on the line for Raiders

Seeking redemption is one thing, saving yourself from humiliation is another.

Canberra hope to do both in Saturday’s NRL battle with a similarly desperate Wests Tigers at GIO Stadium.

Coach Ricky Stuart has invited around 60 past players and club legends to watch on as the Raiders set out to make amends for big losses to Parramatta and Cronulla.

Among them will be Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy and new Kangaroos mentor Mal Meninga.

“We need to perform in front of them,” skipper Jarrod Croker said.

“I thought they would’ve been pretty pleased with the way we started the season, but the last few weeks have been pretty disappointing.

“It’s a big occasion for the club and we want to go out there and make those guys proud.”

Fullback Jack Wighton said it means a lot to have ex-stars reunite in Canberra, and is especially excited about catching up with them post-match.

“I think they deserve as much appreciation as anyone because they got us to where we are,” Wighton said.

“But it’s all not about them, it’s about us a team. We’ve got to play good.”

Stuart this week called on his players to “man up” and take responsibility for what’s been two weeks of poor football.

They conceded a combined 76 points against the Eels and Sharks, and managed to score only 22.

“We’re obviously out to redeem ourselves,” Croker said.

“We’ve not only had two losses, we’ve had two pretty ordinary losses.

“We leaked quite a few points in both games after what was a pretty good first four or five weeks for us.

“We’ve had a big week of training, we’ve put (those games) behind us pretty quickly and moved forward.”

Shoring up their defence, especially on the edges, will be key against the likes of custodian James Tedesco and exciting halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks.

But so, too, is a shift in attitude.

“Our attitude needs to be better,” added Croker.

“We were embarrassed at home last week, we can’t have that twice in a row – let alone at home.

“There’s 13 of us across the park that need to work on that. But we’ll be fired up tomorrow night.

“Both sides are going to be desperate, both sides are going to have that energy.”

For the fifth straight season, the Tigers are on a five-game losing streak and are hoping not to make it a sixth.

All five games have been lost by 12 points or less, including last week’s golden-point 19-18 defeat to the Storm.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Wests Tigers have won 11 of their past 14 matches against the Raiders since 2009, including six of the last seven in Canberra

* The Raiders have been awarded the most penalties this season (average of 10.4 per game) and it’s paid off – 10 of their 23 tries have come from the set after a penalty

* The Tigers have won just one of their past nine away matches

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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