The Raiders' first trial match was against a highly understrength Brisbane Broncos team, with the top side in England playing their World Club Challenge match as premiers. However, the Raiders lost this game, resulting in widespread criticism and the team's entrenchment as wooden spoon favourites. Despite bouncing back against Wests Tigers in their second match, the Raiders were unable to put paid to these predictions, largely due to the side's lack of experience at both first grade and representative level.
The Raiders' first NRL match of the season started inauspiciously, with a 32–6 loss to the Manly Sea Eagles. Their first win was in the third round, a convincing 48–18 win over the Newcastle Knights. The team registered consecutive wins for the only time in Round 11 against the Dragons, and entered the top 8 for the first time in Round 13. However, this win was followed by four straight losses, and the Raiders were unable to find any consistency before the season finished.
This season was notable for the Raiders' struggles away from home – just two of their nine wins occurred away from Canberra Stadium.