With neither side able to make the finals, the Raiders came out victorious over the Wests Tigers 27-12 at GIO Stadium tonight in front of a paltry 8,000 fans.
It was a game with little use but to blood debutants and try new structures, as well as some face-saving for both squads and their coaches. For host coach Ricky Stuart, he was gunning for his first back-to-back wins as a coach in five years, while Mick Potter went into the clash hoping his side would arrest the avalanche of points posted against them in the previous three weeks.
The Tigers spilled it first up from the kickoff and the Raiders took full advantage, Bill Tupou scoring off the Raiders first set. Canberra went on to double that advantage through Jack Wighton in the 34th minute. Stuart's men went in 12-0 up at halftime, keeping the Tigers scoreless in the first half for the umpteenth time this season.
It took until the 55th minute for the Tigers to cross, five-eighth Blake Austin stepping through some feeble defence. Inexplicably the Raiders attempted a penalty goal following this, despite the chance to extend their lead being presented. It backfired immediately with the visitors forcing an error from the kickoff and going on to reduce the gap to two with a bullocking try to Martin Taupau.
Sadly for the Tigers the story of their season continued - Aaron Woods spilling the pill and inviting the Raiders back in, Josh Papalii crossing this time.
Anthony Milford potted a field goal later in the game to seal the result before scoring himself in the final minute to put the result beyond any sort of doubt and ensure the Tigers dropped to 13th in light of Newcastle's big win over Parramatta earlier today.
Both teams have one more assignment for the 2014 season, with the Tigers headed home to Leichhardt Oval where they'll face wooden spooners Cronulla-Sutherland. For the Raiders it's one last home game where they'll face Stuart's former club Parramatta, who'll need a big win over the hosts next Saturday to have any hope of snaring an unlikely finals berth.