THE Queanbeyan Kangaroos can still pose a threat during the finals series despite hanging on to the top four by the thread of a needle in the Canberra Raiders Cup.
This is the word of skipper Troy Whiley, who believes his side proved they can cover the loss of seven regular first grade players after they lost by just six points, 30-24, to the Queanbeyan Blues last Saturday.
It was the first back-to-back loss for the Kangaroos in an incredible three years, and continued the tradition of each Queanbeyan club having one win each in the local derby in a single season.
But Whiley said no game plans had changed despite the mounting casualty ward before the Blues clash, and that he was confident any player in a Kangaroos jersey could contribute to defending their premiership.
"Whichever side we put on the field, we'll definitely be competitive, and still have a good chance," he said.
"All that has changed is our personnel, but our game plans will not change at all."
Whiley admitted losing two games in a row was a new feeling for his men- most of which have never experienced that- but he said the mateship and comradery at the club would help younger players step up into their new roles.
"We're still a force and we're still going to take a lot of beating I think," said Whiley.
"Our goal at the moment is to win each game before we start getting more players back from injury. We'd still like to finish in the top two, and that will give us two bites of the apple in the finals and more time for injured guys to get back into full gear."
Whiley praised the efforts of Jake Kiley and Simon Morgan against the Blues, whom he thought "held their own" and were two of the best on ground.
It was Kiley's second game in first grade playing centre, while second-rower Morgan has not played first grade in four years.
They will take on Belconnen United Scholars at Northbourne Oval on Saturday.