Townsville Bulletin - - JAKE’S PAYNE KILLER - MICHAEL THOMPSON michael. thompson@ news. com. au

THE Can­berra Raiders be­lieve North Queens­land could emerge from al­le­ga­tions of salary cap breaches as an even greater force.

The Green Ma­chine trav­els to Townsville to­day six weeks af­ter hav­ing their hearts bro­ken by a full­time Johnathan Thurston field goal, and they are brac­ing for another slick Cowboys per­for­mance af­ter al­le­ga­tions against the club were made by Fair­fax media on Tues­day.

“It will prob­a­bly bring them more to­gether and work to- wards some­thing,” Raiders sec­ond rower Sia So­li­ola said.

“It’s just one of those things where they will just re­act the best way pos­si­ble.’’

From wear­ing ex­tra cloth­ing dur­ing train­ing to sim­u­late trop­i­cal con­di­tions – to adding an ex­tra day to their travel – the Raiders are leav­ing no stone un­turned in their mis­sion to make amends for last month’s 21- 20 home de­feat against North Queens­land.

Sun­day’s 34- 24 away vic­tory over Pen­rith put the Raiders ninth on the NRL lad­der, and one win away from po­ten­tially surg­ing to sev­enth if other re­sults go their way.

They may have dropped two com­pe­ti­tion points in their last en­counter against the Cowboys, but Raiders lock Shaun Fensom be­lieves his team found chinks in North Queens­land’s ar­mour.

“We will want to get some re­venge, but we learned a lot from that game and we found a few weak­nesses in their de­fence and that sort of thing, and hope­fully we can ex­pose them again this week­end,” he said of Satur­day’s game.

“Our strength and con­di­tioner has been putting pro­ce­dures in place; we have to wear more cloth­ing at train­ing to get our bod­ies used to sweat­ing more and ex­haust­ing your­self more at train­ing.

“We’re mak­ing sure we hy­drate more at train­ing be­cause ob­vi­ously up there you’re go­ing to lose more fluid, and we’re just get­ting used to all those lit­tle things that add up to the big pic­ture.”

There are ob­vi­ously big­ger hur­dles than the weather stand­ing be­tween Can­berra and a win at 1300SMILES Sta­dium, how­ever, and Thurston is just one of them.

Strong per­for­mances across the whole park at home against the Par­ra­matta Eels in Mon­day night’s 46- 4 win – in par­tic­u­lar the fi­nal 20 min­utes – have the Cowboys in real con­tention for a mi­nor premier­ship.

But there is an en­ter­pris­ing rake in par­tic­u­lar that both Fensom and So­li­ola con­cede could tear Can­berra’s de­fence to shreds.

“We’ve been do­ing a lot of work for Jake Granville be­cause we were pretty loose up the mid­dle ( against Pen­rith) and we need to fix that, be­cause he’s very ex­plo­sive out of dummy half and he ran riot against Par­ra­matta,” Fensom said.

“We didn’t han­dle ( James) Sege­yaro as well as we would have liked, so we’re work­ing to fix that against Granville.’’

So­li­ola said: “If you take your eye off Granville just that lit­tle bit he’ll get you.”

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