From the Stands: Round 22

Well who saw that coming?!

I think most Raiders fans would’ve expected our boys to beat the Rabbitohs last weekend but to beat them in that fashion?

You would’ve been a brave punter indeed to predict a 54-4 score line. Incredible!

From the outset, it didn’t look like a game the boys from Redfern were going to win.

At one stage, they had a number of repeat sets on the Raiders line and were made to look absolutely second rate.

This is not to take away from a wonderful Raiders performance. Quite the opposite.

The boys were resilient in defence and absolutely beat South Sydney out of the game.

Quickly they looked tired, dejected, and well… they looked defeated.

While they haven’t been anywhere near good form of late, they certainly haven’t been made to look that bad.

And that’s the key point. The mighty Raiders made the Rabbitohs look bad. Very bad.

Everything the Raiders touched turned to gold, leading to points, points and more points.

Across the line up, you’d struggle to find a Canberra player who didn’t have a day out.

There hasn’t been too much criticism levelled at our boys over the past few weeks, but one bugbear of all Raiders fans involves the term ’80 minutes’.

Many of us had been waiting for that 80 minute performance, and you’d be a harsh judge to say the win on the weekend was anything but an 80 minute performance.

It was a timely performance and the real confidence boost the Raiders would have been looking for heading into the next fortnight.

Of our next two opponents, opponent number 1, the Cronulla Sharks, just happen to sit in that very position on the NRL ladder, while opponent number 2, the Melbourne Storm, also occupies its namesake.

If ever you wanted a litmus test of where our boys sit just weeks out from the finals, here it is in all its glory.

These are games that aren’t necessarily ‘must win’ in order to play finals. Truth be told, we’re probably already there.

But they are at the very least, ‘must strongly compete’, and while it would be outstanding to jag two wins in the next two weeks, it’d be a good performance to knock at least one of the Sharks or Storm off.

That would tell the competition we’re not just here to say we’re a big improver in 2016, we’re here to win the comp.

We’re not only top 4, we’re now top 3. It’s time to show the NRL this is where we belong. Not just for now but for the rest of our days.

If the alarm bells aren’t ringing for our opposition, they should be. It’s time to march home. Saturday 5:30. Don’t miss it Raiders fans! Go boys!!! 

MATCH PREVIEW: RAIDERS V SHARKS