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Raiders NRL call to arms from Shillington
Julian Drape
18:06 AEST Thu Aug 2 2012
Canberra Raiders captain David Shillington.
Captain David Shillington says the Raiders need to again make Canberra Stadium a NRL fortress.

Canberra NRL captain Dave Shillington says his team need to harness the "war mentality" they take on the road to turn around their poor home form this weekend when the Raiders battle Brisbane.

Five of the Raiders' eight wins in 2012 have been secured away from home and Shillington believes the Green Machine need to again make Canberra Stadium a fortress if they are to have any chance of playing finals football.

"If we can harness that winning mentality we've got, that war mentality we've been taking away with us to away games, and bring it home to Canberra Stadium, that would be fantastic," Shillington told reporters before Thursday's training session.

The Queensland prop insists if Canberra can win their final five matches - three of which are at home - the Raiders can still make the finals.

"We have a win this weekend - we keep our finals hopes alive," the prop said.

But even if they lose, the captain wants the Raiders to round out the season strongly "because finishing ninth or tenth is a lot better than 14th, 15th or 16th".

Shillington said the team were focused on sticking to their game plan on Sunday after the Raiders abandoned their tactics last weekend when things started going awry against Newcastle at home.

"We've got a game plan, we're going to have a go at it early in the game and, if it doesn't work, we're going to keep trying for it and, hopefully, the Broncos will make some mistakes after a while and we'll capitalise on it," the captain said.

Shillington expects Brisbane, coming off a shock loss to last-placed Paramatta on Monday night, will be "fired up" after copping a spray from coach Anthony Griffin.

Canberra fullback Josh Dugan says every match is now "do or die" if the Raiders are to make the finals.

"We're still a chance. We just need to turn it around at home," Dugan told reporters.

"We're definitely a top-eight team. It's just a matter of putting those wins together and putting it all on the field."

Dugan will line up on Sunday despite suffering a knock to the ribs during the 36-6 loss to the Knights.

The Raiders were booed off Canberra Stadium following their loss to Gold Coast in mid-July. Dugan on Thursday said it was "heart-wrenching" to have supporters bag the team.

"As a player, you try to give your all every week and sometimes that just isn't enough," he said, before adding he understood the fans' disappointment and anger.

"We've got one of the best teams on paper and we just haven't been able to put it together."

Shillington compared the home crowd's reaction after the Titans match to the treatment dished out to swimmer Leisel Jones at the London Games.

"I'm not a big fan of the booing whether it's for any of our Australian swimmers or for an NRL team," he said.

"(But) you definitely don't want your home fans to be upset with you."


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