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Raider McCrone still wants more

March 14, 2014 11:45:06 UK

Josh McCrone aims to play more of an attacking role in Canberra Raiders’ NRL round two clash with Newcastle Knights on Sunday.

The Raiders utility impressed with his tackling in the season-opening 28-22 defeat against the Cowboys last weekend.

Hopefully I get a few more opportunities and don’t have to do as much tackling.

Josh McCrone

But the efforts he put in on defence – he made 26 tackles and didn’t miss any in his 37-minute outing – left him unable to make any impression in attack.

Playing at hooker meant he was under the spotlight in round one, whereas last year in the halves he had averaged just 16.3 tackles per game.

McCrone said: “It was pretty tough, the defensive workload certainly takes it out of you. Hopefully I’ll get better at that every week and I can push out a few more minutes.

“It’s just a matter of getting that match fitness. According to the GPS I did about five kilometres and usually in the halves I only do about eight over 80 minutes.”

He was only able to run once, for nine metres, against North Queensland, and is looking to rectify that against the Knights.

McCrone said: “I don’t think I ran enough personally, I was a bit disappointed in that so hopefully I can have more impact when I come on. Hopefully I get a few more opportunities and don’t have to do as much tackling, but I don’t like my chances of that.”

The versatile Raider, who has played 106 games for the club since making his debut in 2009 and played twice for Country Origin in 2012, is part of an unchanged line-up named by Ricky Stuart for the Round 2 meeting.

Canberra will come up against a Knights side deprived of representative full-back Darius Boyd. A hamstring strain will keep Boyd out for up to three weeks, so Kurt Gidley shifts to full-back and Travis Waddell has been named at hooker.

The Raiders areĀ 1.68 to defeat the Titans on Sunday, with Gold CoastĀ 2.20 to triumph.

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