Canberra Raiders $6.50 to record most losses in 2018Posted on 29/03 by Admin 2
The Green Machine has been written off barely a month into the new campaign, can Ricky Stuart mastermind a significant turnaround?
Weekly Expert Betting Tips - Join our free mailing listA woeful start to the campaign has seen the Raiders’ odds of making the top eight slip to $3.50. Worryingly, they are priced at just $6.50 to take home the dreaded wooden spoon following an abysmal beginning to 2018 that has seen the Green Machine defeated by the Titans 30-28 on the opening weekend, followed by more misery in the shape of a loss to the Knights by the same score-line before the 20-19 capitulation to the Warriors.
The nightmare opening has left the Raiders pointless and deep in the mire barely a month into the new year.
The fine margins of these defeats paint a picture of a team that has a chronic inability to protect leads. It is a hangover from the disastrous 2017 season that has plagued them into the new campaign, and they cannot seem to find a solution to the problem.
Since the beginning of 2017, they’ve won just 2 of 13 games decided by 6 points or less. Their season already looks in peril, only nine teams in the NRL era have started with a 0-3 record and gone on to play finals football – they are just $1.30 to miss out on the top eight this year.
They have failed to build upon a superb 2016 in which they were a hair’s breadth away from a Grand Final appearance, indeed things have gotten progressively worse since then, leading to a disappointing tenth place last season.
Stuart possesses a squad as talented as any in the country but the longer the problem persists, the more it will eat away at the confidence of the players. It may have become a psychological barrier and raises serious questions about leadership qualities, mental toughness and strength of character within the playing group - opponents will be eager to exploit their current vulnerability.
Stuart has made a big call to axe Blake Austin heading into round 4, as he attempts to stop the rot, and has stated that how his squad copes with the trauma of the opening three rounds will define their season - we are about to discover what his team is made of.
The Canberra Raiders are to claim an unlikely wooden spoon.
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