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Raiders search for rhythm after NRL losses

NZN 11/03/2017 Matt Coughlan

Canberra fans' intimidating Viking Clap has returned to the NRL - it's the players who haven't rediscovered their rhythm.

Coach Ricky Stuart wants the Raiders to rectify that - and fast.

"It's very early in the season. We can't find any rhythm at the moment but we need to find it very quickly," Stuart said.

Handling errors hurt Canberra during their 42-16 humbling to Cronulla in their first home game of the season on Saturday night.

In a season where many were tipping them to break a 23-year premiership drought, they have started with two losses, and led the penalty count in both matches.

"When you make error on error and give away so many penalties, it all adds up and it saps energy out of you," stand-in captain Josh Hodgson said.

"Ultimately we weren't good enough, there's no beating around the bush."

The time of year is one bonus for Stuart's men and the coach found solace in the return of fullback Jack Wighton who missed the round one golden point loss to the Cowboys with illness.

"He had some good touches," Stuart said.

"I thought Nick Cotric was excellent and (Cronulla) would have got another three tries on us is Sia Soliola didn't play.

"He was superb in his contribution."

Hodgson had his ankle strapped with ice after the game while Joey Leilua left the field after copping a knock to his knee in the second half.

Stuart said he wasn't sure about the severity of the injuries with assessments to be made early in the week as the team switches focus to their round three opponent, Wests Tigers.

"We can pick our bottom jaws up and we can get going again Monday," Stuart said.

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