For any NRL fan, it is never good seeing your team lose in general, let alone losing a game without scoring any points – but the Canberra Raiders fans endured just that, as they were thrashed 36-0 by a red-hot Gold Coast Titans side at Skilled Park.
Let down by pedestrian errors, poor attacking options, a lack of defence and too much ill-discipline, it is safe to say that the Raiders were their own worst enemy tonight, as they were totally outplayed by a Titans side that was keen to record their first win of the season.
Raiders coach David Furner was incredibly disappointed with the performance by his side, lamenting their errors, ill-discipline and other things that failed to go their way during the game.
“Worse than disappointing. It was pretty bad,” said Furner.
Trailing 30-0 at half-time, Furner was in no mood for pleasantries and told his team exactly that in an honest but harsh assessment of how they were travelling at the time.
“It’s certainly very hard to get back into a game when we’re 30-0 down and we just talked about sticking to the structure and getting down their end – possession was a massive thing.”
“You can talk about possession until you’re blue in the face, but you actually have to go out there and execute. We certainly had an opportunity to get back into the game, but we couldn’t.”
Rooted near the bottom of the ladder, Furner was critical of his side’s ball control and possession – hovering at a low 38% mark by the end of the game.
“It’s pretty evident that over the two games, the conditions didn’t suit coughing up the ball and it’s really compounded on what we did,” said Furner.
“I don’t care what team, if you do that in those sorts of conditions and we’ve done it two weeks in a row now, we’re just going to be defending our line.”
“That’s something that has to be rectified, fair dinkum.”
In what was a tumultuous week for the Raiders with the sacking of Josh Dugan, whether that weighed on the players mind is unknown, but it was not a pretty sight for them this afternoon.
“Whilst they’re there, you just gotta look to focus on footy, but whilst it’s safe to say that it probably did affect us, we’ve gotta be bigger than that.
For the Titans, it was a clinical performance and their biggest win ever, a feat that Titans coach John Cartwright was proud of.
“Yeah, I just got told on the way in,” said Cartwright.
“I suppose at 30-0, it’d be hard to lose from there, and the second half wasn’t bad, it was just a really tough day for both sides.”
It was the sort of form the Titans want to see consistently over the course of the season, but it was not something they set out to do – score points in quick succession.
“You’d like to be able to say when you’re going to score points and we wanted to make our intentions clear early and I think they did – our guys were very intent on what they were doing early and that sort of showed with the field position.”
For co-captain Nate Myles, he was pleased with the side’s effort and the way they conducted themselves on the field.
“Yeah, I think it was a good sign that we didn’t have to rally the boys too much and we knew that if we held onto the footy, it would have been difficult for them guys to stay with us,” said Myles.
“We find that a lot of the time teams come into a game with disruptions like that and they tend to pull out pretty good performances, so that’s the second week we’ve come up against a team that’s had a bit of controversy and I think it’d be silly of us to worry about what they’re doing or how they’re preparing.”