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This week gives Raiders fans the week off, and in a way, it could not have been better timed.

I think we all need a short break after that frustrating, disappointing loss to the Panthers.

Not only was it a heart attack game to watch, but of course, there was the controversy, controversy, controversy.

It stings to lose, but it stings even more to lose by one point under those circumstances.

The boys did such a good job to get back in the game and deserved more.

In saying that, the mighty Raiders definitely had their chances to close the game out.

In the end, all the complaining in the world won’t get us two more competition points. Chins up, we need to move on.

But before we do, there are a few positives worth taking with us.

How good is the combination between Leilua and Rapana?!

Every week it gets better and better. They now have to be considered one of the form, if not the form centre/wing combination in the game.

When the huge Raiders pack is marching down the field, these two will continue to carve up opposition defences.

It’s unbelievable the sheer determination these two show to not get tackled.

I never thought I’d see someone who hated getting tackled more than former Bronco Mick Hancock, but the Raiders have found a pair of them. It’s great to see.

On top of the ever improving Leilua/Rapana combination, the other worthwhile point to take out of the Panthers loss, is the fighting spirit the Raiders showed, despite not playing anywhere near their best.

It’s been mentioned ad nauseam, but the much improved team attitude has been one of the consistent highlights in 2016, a couple of glitches aside.

What it shows is, a team who is willing to play the 80 minutes for each other and for the fans of this proud club.

While last weekend’s loss was more than a bit of a downer, if we continue to play with that great attitude, there’ll be plenty more ups this year.

Hopefully those ups start from next week against our hoodoo loving Dragons.

But until then, put your feet up and get ready for a great weekend of rep footy!

And a huge good luck must go to our very own reps this weekend.

Josh Papalii, Lachlan Croker, Kato Ottio, Kurt Baptiste, and anyone I’ve forgotten to mention, get out there and give your respective oppositions hell this weekend. Just stay safe. We’ll need you back on deck and raring to go next week.

Go Raiders!


Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.