You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Canberra can win tight NRL games: Croker

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/05/2017 Matt Coughlan
Jarrod Croker of the Raiders. © Mark Nolan/Getty Images Jarrod Croker of the Raiders.

Canberra's struggles in tight NRL matches have continued this season, but skipper Jarrod Croker insists the side has no problem with close encounters.

They might have another one on their hands in Sunday's clash with Sydney Roosters at GIO Stadium, with a total of seven points separating the two sides in their past three matches in Canberra.

Four of the Raiders six losses this season have been by a converted try or less.

It has continued a trend under Ricky Stuart who has coached them to eight wins from 27 games decided by margins of six points or fewer.

"We have lost a few but we've addressed that. It's not a massive problem by any means," Croker told AAP.

Canberra emerged from last week's 22-16 win over Parramatta on the right side of a tight finish.

When the scores were tied at 16-16 in the closing stages, Raiders fans must have been fearing another narrow defeat.

But star winger Jordan Rapana's 73rd-minute try sealed the victory.

"It's tough when you're losing them but it's also nice to win one last week," Croker said.

"We definitely know how to win them and hopefully if this one's tight we can win it."

State of Origin call-ups for Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra, Dylan Napa and Blake Ferguson have been enough to make the Raiders favourites to score back-to-back wins.

But Croker said the group hadn't wasn't focusing on the Roosters' missing stars.

"It's obviously there, we know it's there and you can't avoid the talk about it all, but we've just got to worry about us, play our footy and complete our sets," Croker said.

"They're a high quality side and to be a strong side for so long you've got to have depth.

"Regardless of who's playing there they're going to have depth and young players with enthusiasm."

While not on the same scale as the Roosters' outs, the loss of Josh Papalii is a blow to Canberra, with his hard-hitting defence and ability to rack up metres in attack making him arguably the club's best performer this season.

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Roosters have won five of their seven away matches and will be aiming for back-to-back away wins for the second time this year.

* In first halves against Canberra under Trent Robinson, the Roosters have scored 40 points to four.

* The Raiders' right hand attack is the most dominant in the league, scoring 23 of their 44 tries on the right side.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon