Revenge no issue for Raiders

Josh McCrone insists revenge won't be motivating the Raiders against Storm on Easter Sunday at Canberra Stadium Photo: Melissa Adams
Josh McCrone insists revenge won't be motivating the Raiders against Storm on Easter Sunday at Canberra Stadium Photo: Melissa Adams

It was meant to be a day of celebration, but Canberra Raiders star Josh McCrone's 100th game, against Melbourne last year, is a day he would prefer to forget.

And while hooker Glen Buttriss described the 68-4 home thrashing in round 21 as ''embarrassing'', McCrone says revenge won't be motivating the Raiders against the Storm on Easter Sunday at Canberra Stadium.

The club-record loss ended a 12-game winning streak at home in crushing fashion, and the Raiders have since lost their past six games in Canberra after losing to Newcastle last weekend.

Incredibly, Melbourne have won the past four games against Canberra in the nation's capital, though the Raiders upset the Storm the past three years at AAMI Park.

"That was my 100th game, the boys looked after me that day, setting a new biggest loss for the Raiders,'' McCrone said. "Hopefully the boys can put in a bit better performance.

"It [home record] is disappointing, but I'm not worried about it at all.

"I've never beaten the Storm at Canberra Stadium, I'm not worried about what happened the last six games.''

McCrone said he enjoyed his brief cameo returning to the halves against Newcastle, setting up a try when a head knock to Matt Allwood forced five-eighth Jack Wighton to move to centre.

Coach Ricky Stuart has shifted regular half McCrone to a bench hooker role this year, and McCrone said he wouldn't be averse to a pinch-hitting role in the halves.

But he insisted he's firmly focussed on refining his new dummy-half role.

"I've played 100 games in the halves and enjoyed getting back there and having a run,'' McCrone said.

"We're still looking at hooker. I was lucky enough to contribute to the team [at five-eighth].

"I haven't had too much of a chat to Ricky about it [pinch-hitting], and ultimately it would be his decision.

"It's not something I would be opposed to, but at the moment we're just looking at number nine.''

Buttriss said ''it'd be up there'' when asked if last year's 68-4 defeat was his lowest ebb as an NRL player.

"It's the biggest loss I've had, it was pretty disappointing that day,'' Buttriss said.

"We haven't really talked about it at this stage, but as the game gets closer I think we'll try and get one back on Melbourne Storm after they dusted us up.

"It was pretty embarrassing.''

Raiders vice-captain and former Storm player Brett White was adamant last year's crushing loss wouldn't be discussed among the group this week.

Canberra is bracing for a tough schedule, with away games against Manly and the Warriors to come after Melbourne.

Back-rower Joel Edwards is likely to return to the Raiders' line-up, having sat out the Newcastle game after suffering back-to-back concussions the previous two games.

"Anything that happened last year doesn't affect this year, we're a new and totally different team,'' White said.

"It [home record] hurts and it's frustrating. We still believe in what we're doing and where we're going, the results just have to follow.''


NRL round seven: Canberra Raiders v Melbourne Storm at Canberra Stadium, 3pm

Tickets available from Ticketek

This story Revenge no issue for Raiders first appeared on Canberra Times.