Raiders' crucial fortnight to save season

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Canberra forward Adam Elliott admits his side's season could be as good as finished in the coming weeks if they can't quickly address their poor winless streak.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said the side's first 55 minutes of a 36-6 loss to Penrith at the weekend was the best they'd played all season, but the reality is the 2-5 Raiders are in serious danger of losing touch with the rest of the competition, if they haven't already.

The Raiders have winnable games against the Warriors and Canterbury in the next fortnight before a treacherous month in which they face top-eight sides Cronulla, South Sydney, Parramatta and the Sydney Roosters, all games where they'd start as outsiders.

Bench forward Elliott acknowledged any more losses could dig a hole almost impossible to crawl out of.

"Must-win this week, must-win next week as well," he told reporters.

"You've got to get on a bit of a roll, it's that part of the season where you want to start building some momentum.

"It probably was (must-win) on the weekend, it would have been great to go there and really shock everyone.

"I went into that game really confident we were going to win, particularly when we went in at halftime."

The Warriors go into Saturday's encounter in Redcliffe reeling from their historic 70-10 loss to Melbourne, with Elliott expecting Nathan Brown's side to bring a much-improved effort.

"Sun Tzu's The Art of War, he says never underestimate your opponents," Elliott said.

"That's something we definitely can't be doing this week, they'll be coming out playing their best game of the season this week.

"We're going to be ready for it, we've got to play our best too."

Captain Elliott Whitehead returns to the Raiders' line-up having missed the Panthers match with facial injuries from a head knock in training, with Harry Rushton dropping to the reserves list.

"(Whitehead) is just a great bloke the boys love playing with and playing for, he's done a lot for the club," Elliott said.

"Even last week he wanted to play, there were probably a few medical issues around that, a few boxes that would have needed to be ticked that couldn't be."

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