Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has confirmed that player Aidan Sezer will miss the clash with South Sydney after he has not overcome a hamstring complaint.
Sezer was a late withdrawal before the Raiders ran into trouble 14-12 win over the Sydney Roosters final round, with Blake Austin and Sam Williams pairing in the halved for the morale-boosting win.
Stuart said the absence of Sezer was a blow, but pointed to another part of the field that will be the main battle while the Raiders are trying to continue their late seasons when they organize South on Saturday.
"They are not at the top of the table for no reason, they have been very consistent all year round," Stuart said.
"The guys from Burgess have really been the leader of the consistency of their game, they are a big package with strong vanguard.
"The player we are really watching is Damien Cook, he had a great season, he is very sharp from the second half and causes all kinds of problems if you are not in the middle of your defense.
"That part of their game is probably their strength."
In all victories over four wins after South this season, Cook has ridden more than 100 meters, including a seasonality of 190 in the clash with Melbourne in round 21.
That victory over the Storm was the last of the Rabbitohs, now they are watching to prevent their mini-breaking streak reaches three in the final.
Stuart pointed to his own hooking wizard Josh Hodgson, saying that he will play a crucial role in the middle of the field if they do not allow the Souths pack to dominate early.
"You have to be effective with your defense, everyone around the ruck, anyone who is slow to come back to come back is a target with Cook's explosive running game from the second doll," he said.
The blueprint of what this weekend can not do for the Raiders is to be found in their seventh round performance when their attackers were steamed by the Souths pack in Gosford.
A poor delivery rate (69 percent) allowed South to camp in most of the first 20 minutes in the Raiders' half, thereby undermining the Canberra energy early in the second half. Zuiders scored three attempts in 10 minutes.
Despite a frustrating season, the Green Machine showed that they were able to match last weekend with the heavyweights of Telstra Premiership when they presented a disciplined football brand to hold out the Schedules.
"It was the way we won the game last week that impressed me, I thought we were keeping our game well under control with football and I thought that was really good in other parts of our game," Stuart said.
The coach regretted the loss of Joe Tapine for a broken thumb for the rest of Canberra's season, saying his presence on the edge will be missed as they try to end the year with three victories in the trot.
"He is a big loss, he probably had his best season this year during his time in Canberra," Stuart said.
Stuart said that his second hand in the course of 12 months should not prevent him from playing for New Zealand in the end of the season.