AAP Rugby

Record streak on line for Raiders, Storm

By AAP Newswire

Canberra are on the verge of entering rarefied air and becoming the first team in NRL history to beat Melbourne four times in the space of a year.

And Ricky Stuart has cheekily claimed if they win on Saturday night, coaching counterpart Craig Bellamy will owe him a streak of his own around the Storm's Sunshine Coast camp.

Fresh off beating them twice late last year and on the league's resumption in May, the Raiders could become just the sixth side to record four straight wins over Melbourne.

However, no club have four wins over the Storm within the space of 12 months, a mark Stuart would no doubt enjoy given he and Bellamy are close friends and won a premiership together at the Raiders.

"Any team coached by Craig Bellamy, you know they're going to be ready," Stuart said on Friday.

"I spoke to Craig during the week and he said 'There's no way in the world you'll get us four times in a row. If you do I'll run around the Twin Waters golf course naked'.

"That's how confident he is."

Canberra admittedly have more serious matters at play.

They are desperately in search of middle replacements with Sia Soliola, Emre Guler and Corey Horsburgh all ruled out long-term in the past fortnight.

It's understood the Raiders have contacted at least one club about possible loan deals, and are hopeful of securing some cover in the coming weeks.

"We certainly are looking and talking to managers," Stuart said.

"I'm pretty confident I might be able to get one or two. But it's about making sure it's the right player and we can get it done.

"We had good depth, but when you get three in the one position go down, you can't cover that."

Filling that void will mainly be the responsibility of veteran Josh Papalii.

While Stuart is adamant everyone must rise across the park, Papalii is the only member of their pack to average above 100 metres per game this year.

"With his standing in the game and his seniority, he's going to be called upon," Stuart said.

"He understands it, he gets it. A number of times last year he threw the forward pack on his back and led from the front and that's what we're asking again."

As for whether Stuart will join Bellamy in the nude-run wager if his team is beaten on Saturday night?

"No, it's too cold down here," he said.

Bellamy later accused Stuart of misrepresenting the truth.

"Rick, which he does a fair bit, has told a little fib there," he said.

"Most people who know me know that I wouldn't make that sort of promise. I don't want to scare too many people. They might never get over it.

"That's not going to happen."

STATS THAT MATTER

* Cameron Smith will become the first player in NRL history to record 300 wins with victory over the Raiders.

* The Raiders have won just 14 of 45 matches against the Storm - easily their worst winning percentage against any other team in the league.