NRL 1 year ago

Green Machine starting to hum for Stuart

  • Green Machine starting to hum for Stuart

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: Elliot Whitehead of the Raiders celebrates his second try with team mates during the round 21 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium on July 31, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Ricky Stuart has his Green Machine humming as they get set for a test of their NRL premiership bona fides over the next fortnight.

Canberra can notch up a morale-boosting milestone when they shoot for their fifth consecutive win against struggling South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

History shows that when Stuart-coached sides win five or more in a row, it bodes well for their chances of making the grand final.

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In the four previous occasions Stuart's sides have won five or more straight, they have made the first Sunday in October three times.

On the other occasion, they fell just one game short of the season decider.

The Raiders are on a roll having won seven of their past eight but will be forced to prove they belong in the top four with games against ladder leaders Cronulla and Melbourne coming up in the next two weeks.

"We've climbed up the ladder but we're still a fair way off where we want to be," Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson said.

"On the weekend (against Warriors) we were good for 60 or 70 minutes but there were quite a few areas in that game where we need to improve.

"But that's all part of what we're trying to do here, we're trying to build and grow as a team."

The two sides go into Sunday's clash in contrasting form with seven straight losses having killed off the Rabbitohs' finals hopes.

Souths were this week forced to deny they were shopping around suspended prop Tom Burgess.

However a potential cleanout of their roster awaits and several of Michael Maguire's charges will spend the rest of the year fighting to keep their spot for 2017.

"I'm not going to comment about what we're doing with players," Maguire said.

"We are looking at enhancing what we've got."

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Rabbitohs are on a seven match losing streak, their longest since losing nine straight in 2007-08.

* Canberra's Jordan Rapana (101) and Joey Leilua (88) lead the league in tackle busts, with Leilua 11 tackle busts ahead of third-placed Cameron Munster.

* The Raiders have scored 258 second-half points this season, the most of any team.

Source: Fox Sports Stats

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