CANBERRA have had their battles with their own fans this year but a standing ovation after Saturday’s loss to South Sydney ensured there was no lingering ill-feeling.
At one point this season Raiders left the ACT to escape criticism over a couple of poor performance, with detrators flooding the airwaves and internet.
But the Green Machine’s effort in going two weeks into the finals without Terry Campese, Brett White and Bronson Harrison left most fans delighted.
“It was awesome,” said prop Dane Tilse of the reception players got from fans after a 38-16 qualifying final defeat.
“Just at the end there, we wanted to go over and thank them for turning up in good numbers. They really revved us up and tried to spur us on.
“We’re getting paid to play footy and when we’re not performing, they’re entitled to have a bit of a go at you, really.
“That’s part of the game and it’s great to see them get on board. We’ll make sure we turn up for them next year.
“Last Sunday at home, that’s probably the most enjoyable day at the footy I think I’ve ever had.”
Despite the margin of defeat, Tilse says the Raiders didn’t really give themselves a chance.
“I suppose you could say that if you told us eight weeks ago we’d be in this position, we’d be happy,” he says. “But in saying that, we didn’t play well and if we did, we could have won the game.
“We dropped too much ball. We’re a team that’s better playing on the front foot and playing fast and puting them under pressure. We didn’t put them under pressure.
“We felt if we held the ball, the points would come.”
– STEVE MASCORD
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK