From the Stands: Round Seven
Last week we spoke about the difference a week can make, and the same could be said this week.
Unfortunately, this time it was for all the wrong reasons.
From the highs of the win against Bulldogs comes the lows of last week’s loss to the Eels.
Some days it just doesn’t happen for you. It can start with a few missed tackles and end with the bounce of the ball just not going your way. It happens.
Unfortunately, it’s also part of the slippery path to improvement. One day, the mighty Raiders fans are on top of the world, and the next they’re asking, ‘where did that come from?’
Consistency isn’t an overnight achievement, but it will come.
All teams have bad games, and it’s all about how they’re handled. Down 24-0, things could have been a whole lot worse come full time.
Fortunately, the boys put up a bit of a fight and limited the second half damage.
Believe it or not, there were positives to take from the game and the lessons learned were more than just, start the game more strongly and limit mistakes.
Sure, those are valid points, but the real lesson is one that comes from within.
It’s about building good habits. It’s important not to make a habit of those games where nothing goes right. The bounce back factor is absolutely key.
If Taylor Swift were a Raiders fan, and I have no doubt she is, she’d be screaming from the Hollywood hilltops, ‘Shake it off!’
And shake it off we must, because this weekend’s game against the Sharks will be a great test.
The Sharks are in the midst of a Ben Barba resurgence and Andrew Fifita is starting to figure out just how big and strong he is.
Fortunately for us, we have a backline with plenty to prove, and a few big boppers of our own who will be keen to shut Fifita down.
The prospect of these two free playing sides coming together is nothing if not mouth-watering.
But where there lies great ad lib strengths, there lies great responsibility.
While both teams will be looking to show off their attacking flair, discipline cannot be forgotten.
Both sides still need to earn the right to move the ball wide, and limiting mistakes will be absolutely vital. Dropped balls and penalties will not go unpunished.
As usual, the battle of the forwards will have a massive bearing on the result. We saw what happened against the Bulldogs when we win that battle, and a week later we also witnessed what happens when you don’t.
Coming out with the right attitude will go a long way to winning this one and I have no doubt Ricky will have our boys prepped and ready to fire.
The game should be an absolute ripper! So get yourself to GIO Stadium if you’re in Canberra, and if not, perhaps find a television in a sound proof room because I get the feeling you’ll be doing more than a little cheering. Go Raiders!!!