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Raiders prop Josh Papalii.

Josh Papalii remembers back to 2011 when Canberra lost eight straight matches and were booed from the field.

They finished 15th that season - Papalii's first in the NRL.

Drawing on those hard times, the veteran prop is adamant the Raiders can salvage their 2021 campaign after five consecutive defeats.

With influential hooker Josh Hodgson set to return from a calf injury for Saturday's Magic Round clash with the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium, Papalli said the mood in Canberra's camp remains upbeat.

"I've been at the club when we weren't travelling too well and we only had six-to-eight thousand in the crowd," Papalii said, with captain Jarrod Croker, Jack Wighton and Sam Williams in the same boat.

"Sharing our experience – there's good footy ahead.

"This year's no different to the last two years [where] we've been very successful and it's just not paying off on the field.

"The boys are still focused and training hard which is the main point. I definitely know we'll turn it around, hopefully this week.

Round 10 - Stars return for Magic Round

"If not, it will be very soon."

The Raiders are dealing with off-field issues including English halfback George Williams feeling homesick, but the club are expecting the 26-year-old to see out his deal until the end of 2022.

One win could be all it takes for the Raiders to break out of their funk, according to Papalii, and they'll have a good chance against the last-placed Bulldogs, who are battling an injury pile-up.

"I still think that belief and what we had last year – we still have that. You can see in patches of our game where it doesn’t matter who we're playing, we're unstoppable," Papalii added.

"And then there are so many bad patches where we're just leaking tries left, right and centre. That's one thing we've spoken about the last couple of weeks ...  [But] I believe in the boys, 100 percent."

However, Canberra's casualty ward contains key players like forward Ryan Sutton, who hurt his elbow against the Knights last week.

"He's probably one in five blokes who have been performing week in, week out … I definitely know he's had a sore back the last couple of weeks [from] just performing well," Papalii said.

After being rested for a game, Papalii returned against Newcastle and posted 131 metres - his most since round four - and 24 tackles.

"Good to be back with the boys. I had to do a lot of fitness by myself last week and that wasn't really pleasing," he said.

"But I feel refreshed. I felt like a was a bit drained heading into Souths [a week earlier] and 'Sticky' made the call to rest me. I thought it was a good move."


NRL Magic Round Brisbane 1-Day & 3-Day Passes are now on sale with eight massive games across round 10 at Suncorp Stadium. With the league's best players all heading to Brisbane, you'd hate to miss it! Tickets at

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