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Tapine keen for Titans forward pack battle

Joe Tapine is confident that the Raiders have what it takes to put last weekend’s loss behind them and get an important victory against the Titans on Saturday night at GIO Stadium.

Following a come from behind round one victory against the Sharks, the Raiders unfortunately could not get the job done against the Cowboys, with the loss a hard one to take for Tapine and the team.

“It was an eye opener last week; we obviously didn’t get the job done and had a lot to work on," Tapine said.

"Just completing sets, holding the ball and building pressure, we didn’t build any pressure on the weekend, and it really cost us.”

Whilst frustrating, these elements can easily be fixed with Tapine confident that they can turn their fortunes around quickly.

“It is pretty easy; you need to pick up what you did wrong. You have to move on as well, what we did last week was pretty easy to pick up and adjust for this week," Tapine said.

After a quiet game following their stellar first match of the season, there is no better team for the Raiders forward pack to test themselves against than the Gold Coast.

With the likes of Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Moeaki Fotuaika and new recruit Isaac Liu working inside David Fifita it will be a big challenge for the Green Machine, with the Titans having some of the competition’s best forwards in their line-up.

Tapine is however confident that they are prepared for the battle, and is keen to prove that their pack can compete with the very best that the NRL has to offer.  

“They have Isaac Liu from the Roosters which was a big buy and Fotuaika as well, so they have a solid forward pack. We just need to match that and show that our forward pack is just as strong.”

It's not only the battle of the packs that will define this weekend's game, with Tapine also pointing out the Titans high flying outside backs as a key threat.

“You only need to look at their outside backs, they are strong carriers as well. So we need to stop their flow and make them defend a lot.”

Making the Titans defend for a sizeable amount of the game shouldn’t be an issue with both Nick Cotric and Jordan Rapana returning this weekend, both of whom missed the match against the Cowboys.

Rapana’s inclusion after returning from suspension is an important one, with Tapine seeing the New Zealand international as a player who can help turn the team’s fortunes around.

“He is a strong character and has those strong carries out of our end. So, they are going to help us this week, I thought we struggled a bit with that on the weekend," Tapine said.

"He is a great addition and if Nick is in there, he is going to do a job as well. Two experienced wingers coming back is great for us.”

If the tightness of the first two NRL competition rounds is anything to go by there is no time to waste for our Raiders to get their second win of the season, something that Tapine is fully aware of.

There is no better occasion to get back to winning ways than this weekend, when the team will be aiming to put out a pleasing display for the Raiders faithful to help potentially push them back inside the top eight.

“It’s huge, especially being a home game in front of our fans. We can’t back up two losses in a row especially with how tight this competition is this year; we need to make sure that we get the win." 

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.