AAP Rugby

Canberra content to fly under NRL radar

By AAP Newswire

Canberra are happy for minor premiers Melbourne and reigning premiers Sydney Roosters to dominate the NRL headlines leading into finals.

But the Raiders are quietly confident the narrative will change this weekend and murmurs of the club delivering a drought-breaking premiership will begin.

They face the Storm in Melbourne in a qualifying final on Saturday looking to take down the powerhouse side which has won 20 of 24 games this season.

The Green Machine stunned Melbourne at home last month coming back to win from 18-0 down but Canberra co-captain Josh Hodgson said that result was only a surprise to people outside the capital.

"One of the perks of being outside of Sydney and the bubble is you don't' get hammered too much in terms of questions and expectations and people saying you should be doing this or that," Hodgson told AAP.

"You've go beat the best if you want to be the best, we're not going to win this comp easy, nobody is, that's why it's the best competition in the world.

"It was a good game last time we came down and I'm sure they'll be really dirty about that but it's a whole new competition now and what we've done doesn't mean much.

"It's going to be a tough task down here in Melbourne, they're a tough team to beat at any time let alone at home in finals ... but we know if we're on we can beat anybody."

Canberra are playing finals for the first time in three years and Hodgson is confident they'll better their preliminary final exit in 2016.

"We've been a lot more detailed and clinical this year as opposed to three years ago," Hodgson said.

"In 2016 we weren't really steely defensively or grinding out wins, we were just outscoring teams.

"This year we haven't blown too many teams out of the park but we've won a lot of close games which has helped us massively.

"But it don't mean an awful lot if we don't produce what we can produce in the next couple of weeks."