"Make me apologise." And he did. After what Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart described as one of the toughest wins he's been involved with in lime green.
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Down a half, down a hooker, down to one on the bench, the Raiders produced the perfect response to Stuart's biting criticism last week with a gutsy 26-10 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, which includes Kiama products Josh and Brett Morris, at Canberra Stadium on Thursday night.
Just five days ago Stuart labelled his team soft for their efforts against Manly.
He dropped Queensland star Josh Papalii to join Blake Austin in the reserves.
It meant a different team took to Canberra Stadium. In make-up, in attitude.
Their effort in defence lifted dramatically, they overcame being reduced to one on the bench and half Aidan Sezer controlled the game perfectly when they were threatened in the second half.
It's the Raiders' first win of the season, relieving pressure on the entire NRL club and Stuart said they needed to build their season off the back of it.
"I asked them for extra effort and it's amazing how they got through that period of 40 minutes [in the second half]. I'm one proud coach," he said.
"I said before the game, 'You make me apologise to you for what I said last week' ... I've never been prouder of an effort."
Halfback Sam Williams will have scans on Friday on what's thought to be a grade two or three medial ligament strain.
Ata Hingano and Michael Oldfield will have to pass concussion protocols if they're going to face Parramatta next round.
The Bulldogs will be sweating on captain Josh Jackson, who was put on report for a high and slightly late shot on Sezer in the dying minutes.
Jack Wighton ended a tough week - when it emerged he was involved in a police investigation of an alleged brawl in Civic five weeks before the start of the season - on a high with the birth of his second child.
But it meant he was a late withdrawal from the game, pushing young gun Nick Cotric to fullback and bringing Oldfield on to the wing.
Cotric passed his first test at fullback, the forwards passed the test of character and Sezer produced what Stuart labelled as his best game for the Green Machine.
Cotric returned a kick out of his own in-goal and then put winger Jordan Rapana away on a 90-metre run, which eventually led to the first of Joey Leilua's two tries.
It also led to Bulldogs winger Brett Morris failing a concussion test after Rapana's boot accidently copped him in the face.
Sezer's kicking game then clicked into gear - he found a jumping Rapana, who flicked it on for Leilua's second.
Their defence soaked up a lot of pressure to maintain their 12-point lead going into the break, with the Bulldogs having 64 per cent of possession in the first half and David Klemmer dominant with 104 metres.
When Kieran Foran scored a try to make it a six-point game, there was the potential for the Raiders from the first four rounds to emerge.
Not today. The forward pack rolled up their sleaves and hooker Siliva Havili shouldered his biggest load at dummy half.
Then two brilliant Sezer kicks ensured the Raiders got the two points.
Twice he found his captain Jarrod Croker for much-needed four-pointers that relieved more than just pressure.
"I reckon that was Aidan's best game for the club, I thought he was brilliant tonight," Stuart said.
"I asked him and Sam that they had to own the game ... [halves] own the result of the game. I know Aidan had a major contribution in that result tonight.
"He was very balanced in his performance, he was tactical, he was thinking about his game and I believe he owned it."
Bulldogs centre Josh Morris scored a consolation try in the final minute, but it won't dampen the Raiders' spirits as they prepare to host the winless Eels next Saturday.
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