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Jarrod Croker reveals secret to overcoming Canberra’s narrow losses

Canberra captain Jarrod Croker has revealed that aggressive defence will be how the Raiders will overcome their string of narrow losses which has cost the club a finals berth in the last two seasons.

Croker says Canberra have been guilty of going into their shell when they have been front or the pressure has gone onto them late into the game.

In 2018, the Raiders lost eight games by four points or less – up from six losses in 2017 which resulted in the club finishing 10th both seasons.

Croker says there’s been a huge focus on defence this off-season.

“It’s frustrating, it’s not something we’ve dwelled too much on,” Croker said.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion with our leadership group, our halves and just a bit of game management set up and finishing those games off.

“We were guilty last year of probably defensively going a bit passive when we had a lead or when something went wrong we sort of went into a shell a bit defensively.

“I think we could be a bit more aggressive there and have a little bit more of a game management and game system set up for when we are in those situations.

“We’ve trained really hard, the boys are really fit and ready to go.

“We’ve had a massive defence focus which I’m sure every other team has as well.”

Croker made his return from a knee injury which kept in out of the back end of the 2018 season in Canberra’s 2019 trials.

The 28-year-old has played 230 First Grade Games and is Canberra’s all-time leading point scorer with 1768.

Canberra travel to the Gold Coast to play the Titans in their season opener on Sunday, March 17.


Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.