Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart labelled his side’s second-half performance as “pathetic” after they let a 12-point lead slip when losing to the Cowboys on Thursday night.
The Raiders were hoping to finish in the top eight of the NRL this season but it looks a tall order at the moment following the 18-12 loss.
Canberra started like a house on fire and found themselves leading 12-0 in the early stages of the first half but they could not see the job out.
They were a different side after the break and Jeremiah Nanai completed the North Queensland fightback when grabbing the winning try eight minutes from time.
Stuart was far from happy with the intensity of his players after the re-start and let rip after the game.
"The way we started that second half was pathetic and there's some individuals who just didn't start the way they needed to and get us back onto the front foot," he said.
"It's just not on and I'm sick of it. As individuals, they're got to have a good look at themselves because it was not NRL standard, nowhere near the standards we want to set as a football team.
"We showed what we can do in the first 40 minutes, and we were let down by our performance in the second half."
Cowboys coach Todd Payten was delighted with the response from his team as they moved to 3-3 for the season so far.
"It just proved again to the squad that if we can play the game the right way, we're not a bad team,” he said.