Canberra’s best footy is yet to come, warns star playmaker Blake Austin, as they attempt to lock down a spot in the NRL’s top four.
The Raiders are just one point behind defending premiers North Queensland on the ladder after their 26-22 golden point win over the Warriors at home on Saturday.
If they beat an out-of-form South Sydney on Sunday, they could leapfrog the Cowboys into third place – depending on other results.
It’s a position the club hasn’t been in for over a decade with six rounds remaining.
“We haven’t played any of our best footy yet and that’s what’s most exciting,” Austin said on Tuesday.
“Where we sit as a team I think is keeping our vision away from who’s coming up.
“We’re just focusing on us and really trying to ensure we’re improving every week.
“I think we have been (improving) for the last six weeks and still got plenty left in us.”
Also on the improve is Austin’s 13-game-old partnership with halfback Aidan Sezer, which had been touted as potentially the best in the NRL at the start of the season.
“Time’s going to be the best thing for us, and we’ve got six weeks to really get things right and that’s what we’re aiming to do,” Austin said.
Ricky Stuart’s men have won their past four matches, while the Rabbitohs are on a seven-game losing streak following Monday’s 20-12 defeat to Manly.
The loss means Souths will miss the finals for the first time under coach Michael Maguire.
“They haven’t quite got the victories on the board they would’ve liked but they’re still a good team and you’ve got to be on your toes,” Austin added.
“It’s important we don’t talk down on South Sydney. They’ve been a force for years now and that’s something we’re trying to create here at the Raiders.
“We want to be a force for years to come.”