Jon Tuxworth June 24, 2012
Reece Robinson. Photo: Ian Hitchcock
THE Canberra Raiders' 40-18 capitulation to North Queensland last night was compounded by the fact it was witnessed by a host of the club's sponsors.
Of the 14,344 that turned up to Dairy Farmers Stadium, around 40 of them were involved in the annual sponsor's trip organised by the club.
All are staunch Raiders fans who have put their money where the mouths are to support the side.
After last night's error-filled display against the Cowboys, they must have been wondering whether it's a sound investment.
The Raiders made a massive 15 errors, and were simply embarrassed in the first half when the hosts racked up a 30-6 lead.
General manager of foundation sponsor Canberra Milk Garry Sykes declared earlier this month the company wants assurances from the Raiders they have a plan of attack aimed at reviving their glory days before recommitting for the next three years. The result will place further scrutiny on Canberra coach David Furner, whose job has the been under the blowtorch for some time.
But Furner was reluctant to discuss any speculation on his future after last night's match.
''I don't want to talk about my career, it's about the team,'' Furner said.
''The effort and attitude in the second half we actually defended better, but we can't get back that first half. You just have to make teams earn it.''
The Raiders will probably be three wins outside the top eight after this round, and on current form, the finals are a pipe dream.
Canberra's injury list is bigger than most, but they don't seem to have an answer to their continued defensive problems.
The good news is Furner rates experienced utility Shaun Berrigan a chance to return from a bicep tear against the Dragons next Monday.
Second-rower Bronson Harrison, who withdrew from last night's game with a hamstring injury, is likely to return to help cover the loss of Joel Thompson and Trevor Thurling.
''Hopefully Bronson's right and Berro [Berrigan] may be close, I don't know until we get back,'' Furner said.
''A Monday night game gives them a longer turnaround so it's one thing to our advantage.''