Raiders still hunting NRL finals

Steve Jancetic, NZ Newswire July 22, 2012, 8:09 pm

He's had plenty of reason to do so throughout a turbulent NRL season, but Canberra coach David Furner hasn't given up hope just yet.

The Raiders thrashed Cronulla 36-4 to move just two points behind eighth placed Wests Tigers - a run at the finals back on the agenda after what had appeared to be a season-terminating loss to Gold Coast.

"What that win has done for this side is give us an opportunity to be in the finals race, that's all it is," Furner said.

"We're not to get carried away and we've spoken about it.

"The players, staff, we haven't given up."

Furner also wasted little time in stressing to his side the importance of backing up the mauling of the Sharks against Newcastle - one of the four other sides also on 20 competition points - when they clash on Sunday.

After coming up with their best display of 2012 to thump Melbourne in round 18, they returned home last week to put in one of their worst efforts in going down to the Titans - the 38-26 scoreline flattering Canberra who scored three tries in the last four minutes.

Furner knows they have to back up the win over the Sharks against the Knights.

"Certainly we'll talk about it early on in the week and then focus on how we go about winning a game against Newcastle."

Also encouraging for the Raiders was the return of Josh Dugan, who showed no ill-effects of the ankle injury which kept him out for three weeks when he raced 95 metres for an intercept try.

"He had a couple of errors to work on but that will come with more game time," Furner said.

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