Canberra playmaker Aidan Sezer says the club has plenty of work to do ahead of the NRL season after an undermanned line-up was thrashed 44-0 by Newcastle in their only trial match.
Sezer, who along with a number of the Raiders’ stars had limited involvement in Saturday’s match, said it was a poor result going into a tough round-one fixture against North Queensland in Townsville on March 4.
“We’ve got a lot to work on and we’ll talk about that internally,” Sezer said on Monday.
“It was a disappointing result but we’ll go back to training and assess things.”
A number of regular first-graders were rested from the trial including Jordan Rapana and Josh Papalii while trialist Dave Taylor was withdrawn due to an ankle injury but is set to be offered a contract to resurrect his NRL career.
With none of the starting 13 taking the field in the second half, a number of unheralded players got a chance to push their case for higher honours.
Sezer said the opportunity afforded to inexperienced players and the fitness boost across the squad were positives which could be gleaned from the defeat.
“It was a bit of a chop-and-change scenario, not many boys got long minutes,” Sezer said.
Sezer started the trial alongside halves partner Blake Austin as the pair prepare to embark on their second season together.
“We’ve had a year under our belt now and we’re pretty comfortable with each other now,” Sezer said.
“I’m looking forward to taking up where we left off.”
With the benefit of a full pre-season, Sezer and Austin will be looking to maintain their fitness to avoid the injury problems which prevented them from combining regularly in the early stages of last season.
“It’s important not only for me and Blake but for the whole team getting that chemistry going,” Sezer said.
“We’ve got a pretty settled team and everyone’s pretty comfortable with each other. Hopefully that transfers into the season.”
Despite the Raiders having only one pre-season trial, Sezer is confident he has the fitness to attack the NRL season after also playing in the All Stars clash.
“I’m happy with the way the pre-season panned out,” he said.