Kurt Baptiste says that the Raiders will be looking to redeem themselves this Saturday after a heartbreaking loss to the North Queensland Cowboys when they head over to New Zealand to face the Warriors, who have been performing in a great manner over the past few weeks.
The Raiders played admirably on the weekend but sadly lost to the second placed Cowboys by a last second drop goal from the boot of the mercurial Jonathan Thurston. As such, the Green Machine will be attempting to use the pain from that loss as motivation for the win against the Warriors.
“It’s definitely hard for us losing like that,” Baptiste said. “I thought the boys put in a great deal of effort on the field for the entire 80 minutes so to go down that way was heartbreaking but in saying that we have got to focus on the game this week and hopefully use that hurt as an incentive to get a win because we don't want to feel like that again!"
The Warriors are blessed with a forward pack whose size and power is matched by their speed and skills, however the Raiders pack is equally as talented.
After observing the side’s forwards up close and personal this week at training from his duties at dummy half, Baptiste believes Canberra's pack is in line for a big performance in what will be a tough test for the Raiders pack.
“The Warriors will be a tough challenge for us on Saturday, they’re a big team,” Baptiste said. “They have big and strong blokes across the park and their forward pack in particular is very good and is playing very well at the moment.
“Our forwards have been training really well this week and I’m looking forward to running out alongside them. We all are working very hard at training and we’ll try to back up the effort from last week and just cut out some silly errors and we’ll be alright.”
On his own form, Baptiste is happy with his evolving alternation with Josh Hodgson and his exciting combination with halves Sam Williams and Blake Austin.
Admirably though, the former Queensland Residents representative is aiming to increase his impact when he enters the fray to guarantee himself more game time.
“I feel that our combinations have been improving each week,” the diminutive hooker said. “We’ve been together for a little bit now and have worked hard on our combinations at training. Ricky [Stuart] thinks that our combinations have been going really well which is good to hear also.
“I’d like to play a few more minutes though to increase my contribution to the team but in saying that I’m just glad that I’m in the top 17 and to be able to do my job.”
The Warriors will be feeling confident after last week’ big 36-14 win against the Titans and will be hard to beat in front of their home fans at Mt Smart Stadium, however the Raiders have been terrific on the road so far in 2015, winning five of the seven away fixtures.
With a bye to follow, a win by the Green Machine over the Warriors this Saturday will greatly assist the club’s climb up the top eight.
CLICK HERE to see the NRL Team List for the match against the Warriors this Saturday 5:00pm (local time) at Mt Smart Stadium.