Raiders embrace NRL underdog status

·2-min read

Canberra are already claiming underdog status ahead of their NRL semi-final showdown with Parramatta.

Less than an hour after the Raiders ended Melbourne's season with 28-20 elimination final upset, coach Ricky Stuart was embracing the next challenge.

After scraping into the top-eight, Canberra continued their dominance of the Storm with a fifth-straight win at Melbourne's AAMI Park fortress.

The Raiders upstaged Melbourne in the first week of the 2019 finals on their way to a grand final berth against the Sydney Roosters.

"Going into next week's game, no one expects us to win, it's easy for us because no one expects us to win and beat Parramatta at BankWest," Stuart said.

"We'll have a fun week at training and do the best for our preparation.

"(We are a) good football team and they're just up for the challenge and you have to be a good football team to beat Melbourne down here.

"There's no hidden secret (behind Canberra's success at AAMI Park), you've got to turn up and play well."

Canberra's only concern ahead of the semi-final clash with the Eels on Friday night is match review scrutiny for star prop Joe Tapine, who was put on report for a high shot on Storm playmaker Jahrome Hughes.

Hughes came from the field to undergo a head injury assessment but working in Tapine's favour will be that the Storm playmaker returned to the ground after 10 minutes.

Stuart is adamant Tapine, who was Canberra's clear matchwinner against the Storm, will be available to face Parramatta.

"I don't want to be negative, we just had a good win," Stuart said in response to a question about the report.

Stuart then questioned why there was no referee interference after Raiders centre Matt Timoko came from the field for a HIA in the first-half.

"Matty goes off for a HIA, something hit him," Stuart said.