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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rapana backs Cotric to fire again on the wing

Canberra winger Jordan Rapana is backing fellow flyer Nick Cotric to once again flourish in the final three weeks of the season after being moved back to the flank.
Cotric has split his time between the wing and fullback this season due to Jack Wighton being suspended and Brad Abbey (concussion) also spending some time on the sidelines.
Despite scoring 11 tries for the season, the trips across the stripe have dried up in recent weeks as the teenager adapts to the unfamiliar role in the number one jersey.
Rapana expected Cotric to lift for this week's clash with the Roosters and Blake Ferguson. 
"Around Origin time he was on the verge of playing for the Blues on the wing and we know what type of player Nick is when he's on the wing for us," Rapana said.
"I think it will give him a bit of confidence this week and he's got a big job with Fergo marking up him who's been a good metre-eater for them."
With the future of several coaches in the NRL coming under the microscope in recent weeks the Raiders' poor record in the last five years under Ricky Stuart has also been called into question.
Rapana said injuries had taken their toll on the club this season with players often forced to play out of position in order to fill gaps in the starting side.
"We were very unlucky with a lot of injuries with suspension and he did the best that he could," he said.
"The players he bought in were the right players and they did the best they could.
"It's been a tough year so I'm looking forward to letting this one go and moving onto next year.
"I had full belief with every player that comes in here, Ricky does too that's why he plays them.
"But the players we missed, they were sorely missed."
With the future of several coaches in the NRL coming under the microscope in recent weeks the Raiders' poor record in the last five years under Ricky Stuart has also been called into question.
Rapana said injuries had taken their toll on the club this season with players often forced to play out of position in order to fill gaps in the starting side.
"We were very unlucky with a lot of injuries with suspension and he did the best that he could," he said.
"The players he bought in were the right players and they did the best they could.
"It's been a tough year so I'm looking forward to letting this one go and moving onto next year.
"I had full belief with every player that comes in here, Ricky does too that's why he plays them.
"But the players we missed, they were sorely missed."
"They are the form team so no better time to play them and I guess for myself as an outside back they've got some damaging runners so it's a big task for the back three and back five to do a big job," Rapana said.
Canberra will don special jerseys on Sunday in a bid to raise money and awareness for the Ricky Stuart Foundation, which helps families in the ACT region deal with autism.

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