Canberra not satisfied with fourth spot

Canberra were beaten 16-12 by the Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium in round 10.
Canberra were beaten 16-12 by the Rabbitohs at GIO Stadium in round 10.

Canberra co-captain Josh Hodgson says the difference at the Raiders this year is they're not satisfied with second best, or fourth best if you look at the NRL ladder.

Hodgson admits this time last year they were hoping to just "string a few wins together" and said it would be easy to pat themselves on the back after a solid 10 rounds this season.

But that hasn't been the case and the Green Machine are irked they've let games slip against table-toppers South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters in the past two weeks.

It's that change in mindset which Hodgson he believes will see Canberra playing finals football for just the second time in seven seasons this year.

"We're not happy we're losing and at the back of the front three at the moment but that's a good way to be," Hodgson said.

"We could be sitting in fourth and thinking 'yeah, we're going all right' and patting ourselves on the back ... but I think our mentality has kind of changed this year, we look like a really hungry team.

"I don't think we've proven we're one of the best teams, yet.

"We're only 10 games in and we've got to make sure by the time we get to 23 or 24 games in that we're up there, that's when you've proven you're one of the best teams.

"We've started the year pretty well but we're still not where we want to be."

Canberra welcome back New Zealand international Joe Tapine from injury for their home clash against the 13th-placed North Queensland on Saturday.

Raiders centre Jarrod Croker echoed his co-captain and said playing well counts for little if you're not winning.

"We'd rather play ordinary and get the two points to be honest," Croker said.

"It's nice to get some mentions but at the end of the day we've lost our last two games and let that top two slip away from us, and we're disappointed with that.

"We've set a benchmark, I don't think we've had a very poor game yet. But I don't really care how we play this weekend as long as we get two points."

Australian Associated Press