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Raiders' McCrone 'kid in a candy shop'

After two weeks of the most horrific sideline viewing of his career, recalled Canberra playmaker Josh McCrone is "kid in a candy shop" excited.
Raiders' McCrone 'kid in a candy shop'
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, May 17 AAP - After two weeks of the most horrific sideline viewing of his career, recalled Canberra playmaker Josh McCrone is "kid in a candy shop" excited.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has temporarily scrapped the Jack Wighton experiment in the halves, promoting McCrone from reserve hooker to halfback for Sunday's NRL clash with Penrith at Canberra Stadium.

Wighton's move back to centre is one of several key changes aimed at stopping the rot after leaking 108 points in their past two outings.

McCrone, who has played more than 100 games for the Raiders in the halves, is champing at the bit to rekindle his partnership with Josh Papalii on the right edge.

"I've missed his secret handshakes and stuff," McCrone said.

"We're like kids in a candy shop."

He admitted that watching the carnage unfold from the sidelines against Manly and the Warriors made for the toughest viewing of his career.

"Being on the bench has been the hardest adjustment, not playing the 80 minutes and feeling helpless," he said.

That said, McCrone has a pretty clear idea on what he needs to do when he partners skipper Terry Campese in the halves this week to steer the Raiders back on course.

"Our talk has got to pick up more - we've been playing individually a bit too much," he said.

"And taking that ball to the line and playing really square, so we can create some space for our outside backs to give (Anthony) Milford a little room to move."

Despite sitting in sixth spot heading into round 10, the Panthers will be pushing for their first back-to-back wins of the season.

They'll be without captain Kevin Kingston due to a niggling foot injury, meaning James Segeyaro will start for the second straight week.

Nigel Plum is out due to concussion, while prop Tim Grant has been brought into the side on the bench.




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