Raiders won't get bogged down in NRL form

·2-min read

Three straight losses is the opposite of fun but Canberra coach Ricky Stuart doesn't want his players to lose themselves in the seriousness of an NRL form slump.

Stuart made a statement about standards when he rested Josh Papalii for Thursday's game against South Sydney but says the only way to improve is to find joy in the process.

The Raiders were shocked by a surging North Queensland side in Townsville last week with the 26-24 defeat making it three straight losses for the first time since mid-2019.

"We're in the situation where we've lost three in a row now and it's not the position we want to be in but we are," Stuart said on Wednesday.

"We've also got to make sure we don't put too much pressure on ourselves, we've still got to enjoy the football that makes us a good football team.

"Sometimes you get into this position and can get nervous or tense, but we can't do that, we've got to make sure we go about our business and play a good game of football.

"Outside of trying to be upbeat and have energy, you get a win and it cures a lot of anguish."

Meanwhile, fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is in New Zealand visiting his two sons while dealing with a neck injury that is only expected to sideline him for eight weeks.

The 25-year-old has already missed two games and is likely to be fit to play in six weeks after he returns to Australia to start training again.

It's welcome relief for the Raiders after fears he would be sidelined for the rest of the season.

"Charnze has gone home to see children for two weeks... he's got a program he goes home for two weeks and then six weeks of training before returning," Stuart said.

"That's our advice and opinion from the medical staff."