MELBOURNE Storm issued a Ryan Papenhuyzen-led statement last week, but Canberra fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad admits they have to clean up their own backyard if they are to be any hope of producing an upset at Wagga on Saturday.
The Storm were scratchy at times over the first three rounds, but found their mojo when star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen scored four tries in their 44-0 shutout of Canterbury on Sunday.
In contrast Nicoll-Klokstad is still looking to find his best after missing most of last season with a neck injury, much like the Raiders who have already been made to pay for some error-riddled displays this year.
They showed what they're capable of with a strong round one one over an in-form Cronulla, and came back from 22-0 down against Gold Coast in round three to prevail 24-22.
But those wins have been followed by big defeats to North Queensland and Manly last week, where poor ball control gave them no hope.
Melbourne's 'spine' is one of the best in the business, but Canberra's has already endured a number of disruptions with a season-ending knee injury to hooker Josh Hodgson, while injury has also sidelined halfback recruit Jamal Fogarty until around mid-season.
"It (errors) is a major thing to fix up for us, and we've got to fix it up really fast," Nikoll-Klokstad said.
"Josh Hodgson is a massive part of this club and to lose him early on isn't great for us, but we've got good players in Starlo (Tom Starling), Frawls (Craig Frawley) and Trev (Adrian Trevilyan) to step in.
"We're not going to give them or anyone in our team a chance to play their best footy if we can't hold the ball. Once we start doing that, everything else will click and start to work itself out.
"The Storm are a heavyweight team and have been for a long time, but it's about what we do as well. I'm sure if we hold the ball we can be a good match up against any team in the competition."
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Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic was one of Manly's best in last week's 25-6 win over Canberra at Mudgee, and Nikoll-Klokstad is relishing another chance to test himself against another elite no.1 in Papenhuyzen.
The Raiders badly missed his organisation in defence when his neck injury limited him to just eight games, and his confident his best attacking form isn't far off.
"I'm pretty good (with my neck). It was definitely one of those injuries that can subconsciously haunt you for a little bit but I think I've been pretty good," he said.
"There was that Cowboys game where I was disappointed in my own performance, because I know my standards are better than that.
"I feel like I'm building nicely, especially after a few disruptions in the pre season with COVID and what not.
"Papenhuyzen is part of a really good spine and one thing the Storm pride themselves on is doing the little things right, that's what he does.
"I'm looking forward to matching up against one of the best fullbacks in the game again this weekend, after Turbo (Trbojevic) last weekend. There's no better test than that."
"They've got their game knuckled down, and I'm building mine. I'm looking forward to putting it all together sometime soon."
Saturday's Raider-Storm clash kicks off at 3pm at Equex Centre, after NSW Cup (Raiders v Mounties) at 12.40pm and Jersey Flegg (Raiders v Melbourne) at 11am. Tickets are available from Ticketek.
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Matt Timoko, 4. Semi Valemei, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Brad Schneider, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Joe Tapine, 11. Hudson Young, 12. Corey Harawira-Naera, 13. Elliott Whitehead (C), 14. Matt Frawley, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Adam Elliott, 17. Corey Horsburgh, 18. Xavier Savage, 19. Ryan Sutton, 20. James Schiller, 21. Harry Rushton, 22. Jarrod Croker, 23. Trey Mooney, 24. Peter Hola
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