The Canberra Raiders Jersey Flegg side will look to claim back to back wins when they take on the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles on Sunday at GIO Stadium.
Having last played at GIO Stadium in Round 18 when they beat the Tigers, Raiders coach Ash Barnes said that the entire side can’t wait for the occasion.
“We try and emphasise the privilege they have playing at GIO Stadium,” Barnes said. “Last weekend it was excellent with wins in all three grades. We played before NRL, we supported them and after the game we went into the sheds and celebrated with them.
“The looks on the faces on the Under 20’s boys showed they loved every minute of the occasion and being a part of the club. That’s what it feels like at the moment, a real club environment.”
The Raiders claimed a tight 24-18 win over the Victoria Thunderbolts last weekend but Barnes said his side need to improve their discipline with a potential finals berth looming.
“We were a little disappointed with a couple of areas on the weekend particularly our discipline,” Barnes said. “We got out to a 12-0 lead and then we were a little impatient with the ball and tried to score too often and too early.”
The last time the two teams met the Raiders came away with a 56-4 win over the Sea Eagles but Barnes is expecting a different game this time around.
“That was a long time ago and lot has happened between now and then,” Barnes said. “They have a couple of really strong forwards, they can score points and they have a few players who have good offloads.”
With only two weeks left in the regular season, Ash Barnes wants his side to focus internally as they look to secure a top eight finish and begin their finals campaign.
“This week we just want to focus on us and do what we want to do well,” Barnes said. “That’s the biggest area for us going into this weekend.”