NRL Round 8: Ricky Stuart lost for words after capitulation, Raiders vs Warriors

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was left distraught after Saturday’s “disappointing” loss to the Warriors, apologising to the club’s fanbase.

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was left distraught after Saturday afternoon’s Golden Point loss to the Warriors, apologising to the club’s fanbase for his side’s “very disappointing” performance.

The Warriors claimed a thrilling 21-20 victory over the Raiders at Moreton Daily Stadium, with Shaun Johnson booting a field goal in extra time to secure the comeback win.

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The Raiders, who were leading by eight points when players returned to the sheds at halftime, were plagued by unforced errors and clumsy knock-ons after the break, accumulating eight penalties and 18 errors in Redcliffe.

The men in green have now suffered five consecutive NRL defeats, with their finals chances looking slimmer every week.

“Unfortunately for the Raiders they have been touted as the faders this year and again it happened,” former Sydney Roosters star Braith Anasta told Fox League after the full-time siren.

“They didn’t score a point in that second half, they were quite convincing and dominant in that first half, they had opportunities to go on with the game but couldn’t get it done.

“That is heartbreak, that is five losses in a row for the Raiders and their season sliding away.

“It has to be psychological, it has to be put down to a lack of belief within the side to get the job done.”

Speaking to reporters after the one-point defeat, a “really embarrassed” Stuart was lost for words as he lamented the horror second-half capitulation.

“That whole second-half was undisciplined, lacked any quality execution – it was just very disappointing,” he said.

“I’m glad they were as bad as us.

“I’m lost for comment in regards to the quality of that football in the second-half.

“For any loyal fan or real fan we have got left, I feel really embarrassed and sorry for them.

“I can put my finger on it, but from a public point of view, it’s not something I need to discuss here at a press conference.”

Raiders captain Jack Wighton admitted that second-half fade-outs were becoming a frustrating problem for the men in green — they have been outscored 107-38 in the final 40 minutes of games this season.

“We shot ourselves in the foot massively again,” he said.

“It’s becoming too common. We’ve got to find a way to become winners again – at the moment, we just keep letting it slip.

“I’m a little bit lost for words … it’s something we will have a look at tomorrow and move on fast.

“It’s no secret we have to stick together and go again.”

Warriors coach Nathan Brown sympathised with Stuart and the Raiders, who were potentially robbed by a controversial Bunker call for a high shot in the 79th minute.

“It wasn’t a great game of footy and you’ve got to feel for the other mob,” he said.

“They are going through a tough time and a period of losses.

“Stick is a friend of mine and a good fella, so I certainly feel for him a bit.

“It’s a tough game sometimes.”

Canberra will next face the Canterbury Bulldogs at GIO Stadium on Friday evening, with kick-off scheduled for 6pm AEST.

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