A top four NRL berth went begging for Canberra when they fell short 26-18 to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
But Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said lessons learned from the Thursday night defeat may just help them become a top four team this year.
The Broncos snapped Canberra’s three game winning run with their first victory in a month.
Stuart believed Brisbane provided a timely lesson to his surprise packet Raiders of what was required to crack the top four this season.
“The boys are disappointed but you’ve got to take away things from a loss like that which will improve you,” he said.
“I am not walking away from here dejected.
“I know we will learn from this against a side that should be in the top four.”
Brisbane made Canberra pay for a string of errors and jumped to a 24-0 lead by the 44th minute before the Raiders finally rallied.
“It’s something we spoke about at halftime,” Stuart said.
“I said ‘you have a choice here, you have an opportunity to show what type of character you have’ and the way they came back was typical of the boys.”
Stuart reckoned they could “fix easily” what led to their sobering loss.
“I don’t have to tell the boys too much, they know what cost them,” he said.
“I was disappointed with our attacking game but those errors knocked us around with regards to getting that attack on.
“In the last 20 minutes, we opened up and played a bit of footy and looked like the team we can be.
“But those early errors were just so crucial.
“You can’t give good football teams that luxury.
“But they’re things we can fix easily.”
Raiders captain Jarrod Croker paid tribute to ex-Bronco Kurt Baptiste who sparked the fightback with two tries off the bench.
Fullback Zac Santo was also impressive in his first NRL game in two years filling in for the suspended Jack Wighton.
“Him and Kurt Baptiste were probably our two best players,” Croker said.
“Zaccy handled it as if he had played 50 or 100 games.”
However, Santo may come under scrutiny for a possible 17th minute crusher tackle on Broncos hooker Travis Waddell.
Raiders prop Junior Paulo may also catch the match review panel’s attention for his own suspected crusher tackle on hat-trick hero Darius Boyd in the opening minutes.