MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 14: John Bateman of the Raiders is congratulated by team mates after scoring a try during the NRL Qualifying Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park on September 14, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

The Raiders are looking to retain the core of their grand final side.

Despite going down to the Roosters 14-8 in Sunday night’s decider, a host of Canberra players will have their contracts upgraded which could result in some leaving the club.

Wingers Jordan Rapana and Nick Cotric, centres Jarrod Croker and Joey Leilua, halfback Aidan Sezer and prop Sia Soliola all either come off contract this year or next.

Rapana is set for a code switch to Japanese rugby union, while the Raiders are happy with Leilua and Sezer talking to other clubs.

Canberra boss Don Furner said it would be tough to retain the current core down the track.

“We want to work on a couple but we are in good shape for the next couple of years, obviously there will be some pressure in 2021 and 2022,” Furner told AAP on Friday.

“Roster management is not an exact art form – you plan but you don’t know who is going to get injured, you don’t know who is going to get a better offer and leave.”

Raiders assistant Andrew McFadden conceded the side that faced the Roosters on Sunday likely won’t play together again.

“There’s probably going to be a few moving on at the end of the year but that happens with every team and you just have to take the moment,” McFadden said on Friday.

“They’re all very excited and tight and I’m sure they’ll take their moment.”

Furner spoke about the challenges of retaining the current group, especially those on smaller deals.

“Without a doubt (a successful season) puts pressure on keeping players,” Furner said.

“Young guys this year that have come into first grade because of injuries we had to the senior guys, they were all on small contracts but they don’t stay on small contracts.

“Charnze (Nicoll-Klokstad), Bailey (Simonnson), Corey (Horsburgh), Emre (Guler), and Hudson (Young), they all have certain kickers in their contracts.

“It all puts pressure on the cap and that’s one of the prices of success.

“We had a really good year in 2016 and had to let some players go – Paul Vaughan, Edrick Lee, Fenno (Shaun Fensom). It’s really hard.”

Recruitment manager Peter Mulholland added that not all players are motivated by money, pointing to Nicoll-Klokstad.

“There’s quite a few kids who will take that pay cut and it just proves that money is not what motivates them,” Mulholland said.

“I don’t want to be miserly but I know I’ve got a limited amount to spend and if they’re prepared to take that spend it means they’re prepared to take an opportunity to prove themselves.”


  1. Rapana is a big loss.
    Funny how salary cap management never really affects the Cluckers?
    Players there must say they’re worth more. Two in a row & who’s leaving, other than Cronk retiring.?

  2. Dont worry EastOfParkes Spaceman.
    When players sign on at the Roosters there are no kickbacks, no mid season contract upgrades, no backending contracts.
    What you sign for is all you get. Blind man Freddy can add the sums up when those contracts are signed.

    For dummies like you EastOfParkes, its called “Cap Management” Something those at Penrith gave got no idea about with all their mid season players leaving/pushed out.

  3. Still proud of the lads! Beginning of bigger and better things to come!



  4. Fans are asking for referees to be sacked?
    Why not follow it up with enquires into why such an over turning decision was made at such a crucial time of the game. Let’s get somethings on the table:
    – roosters heavily favourite in the betting
    – Channel 9 commentators all picked the roosters to win ( too classy apparently )
    – Referees :
    – first decision ( Sia’s falcon ) ends up in a try
    – victor radley slap on the face penalty ends up in 2 points
    – Sezer get head high ( no call made)
    – referee overturns decision after wanker Sutton gets in his ear.
    – results in raiders loosing chickens winning!
    Politis is down on the grounds celebrating whilst filter is kissing his ass and so are all the channel 9 boys!

    – Thurston was the only commentator with balls to challenge it ( because he know what’s it’s like!)

    I’m mean common – seriously !! The referees are just at the start of all this- let’s look deeper into the power brokers that influence the game & decisions!!

    As a raiders fan i knew we were going to loose because we weren’t up against the Roosters only, we were up against the referees and power brokers!

    Tired of all the bs in this game.
    Will love the green machine to the end but where there money there’s corruption!


  5. Canberra didn’t win, yet they won’t be able to keep all of that squad together WoodRot… Yet your Cluckers Win twice & no worries with any cap? We all know that’s not possible without their two bought creative back room managers. They have had to do new deals with players this year, like both centres.
    Brisbane is the biggest club in the competition. They haven’t won anything lately & yet the cap forces them to release players.
    How do all the other teams get one of those never ending salary caps? They should request a Chicken Nuggets style cap.

  6. I’m old school that believes the old phrase “you need to loose one before you win one” I think the Raiders will build on this loss and be a force in 2020.
    Heads up Raiders fans 2019 was an excellent season.

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