CANBERRA Raiders skipper Jarrod Croker remains proud of his team, despite it facing the prospect of falling short of finals.
The Raiders need to beat Newcastle at GIO Stadium on Friday night and then upset Melbourne away in the final round next week to have any chance of finishing in the top eight.
Sitting four points in arrears of the seventh-placed Cowboys and eighth-placed Sea Eagles, the Raiders would also need that pair to drop their remaining two games, and the ninth-placed Dragons to lose at least one.
Canberra lost four games in a row - two either side of the bye - between rounds 13 and 17.
But it hit back with three consecutive wins when scoring 98 points for and 46 points against before last week's defeat to the Panthers.
"That period where we lost a couple in a row, a lot of teams would have thrown it in but to the boys' credit they toughed it out. It's round 25 and we're still hanging in by the skin of our teeth," Croker said.
Croker, however, wasn't buying into comments made by Knights coach Nathan Brown that the Raiders were the unluckiest team in the competition.
"We've been in situations where we've put ourselves in with a chance to win it and didn't do it," he said. "I wouldn't call that unlucky."
While relying on other results, the Raiders will look to at least get back on the winners' list. But they will be wary of the Knights, who upset them 34-20 in round 10.
"That energy they bring and a lot of young kids that bring enthusiasm, it can be hard to handle sometimes and we didn't handle it last time we played them up there," Croker said.
The Knights won't have five-eighth Brock Lamb (knee), second-rower Sione Mata'utia (concussion) and bench forward Luke Yates (ankle).
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.