Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
7 hours ago
THE Penrith Panthers have denied Alan Tongue one last home victory as the downed the 19-18 in front of a 10,085 crowd at Canberra Stadium this evening.
There was not much separating the two sides early in the first half, as they got through their first few opening sets.
It was the Panthers who drew first blood when Adrian Purtell made a break down the right touch line before offloading to Luke Walsh who scored in the fifth minute.
The Raiders were given several opportunities to hit back but failed to pull something together until the 21st minute when Josh McCrone threw two dummies to fool the defense before scoring.
Both sides struggled to get in front over the next passages of play as they failed to capitalise on their scoring opportunities.
The home side finally claimed took the lead in the 38th minute when Alan Tongue scored for the Raiders in what will be the last home game of his career and to give the Raiders the lead going into half-time.
A Josh McCrone kick out on the full gave the Panthers some good field position in only the second minute of the second half.
The visitors did not squander their opportunity, with Brad Tighe stealing ball from Reece Robinson after the Canberra winger diffused a Luke Walsh bomb.
The Raiders were given an opportunity to hit back quickly but the try went begging when Dane Tilse knocked the ball on only five meters out from the try line.
While the Raiders squandered their chances the Panthers created their own, exposing the Raiders' right side defence to put David Simmons over in the 53rd minute.
The home side were given plenty of opportunities to level the score, however the Penrith defence was too good.
It was the Panthers who scored next with Luke Walsh kicking a field goal in the 69th minute.
The Raiders were finally able to get over the line in the 79th minute when Michael Picker scored his maiden try. Jarrod Crocker added the extras to reduce the Panthers' lead to one point.
With 10 seconds left in the match the Raiders still had 50 meters to travel to snatch victory on the last tackle.
But it was not to be, Josh Dugan's ambitious kick and chase attempt was shut down as he was tackled without the ball and his chasers just were not fast enough.
Canberra Raiders 18 were defeated by Penrith Panthers 19
National Rugby League - Round 25 - Saturday August 27, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Brett Suttor and Gavin Reynolds
Video Referee: Chris Ward
Touch Judges: Jason Walsh and David Ryan
Halftime: Canberra Raiders 12 Penrith Panthers 6
CANBERRA RAIDERS (18)
Tries: Alan Tongue, Josh McCrone, Michael Picker
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (3/3)
PENRITH PANTHERS (19)
Tries: Brad Tighe, David Simmons, Luke Walsh
Field Goals: Luke Walsh (1/1)
Conversions: Luke Walsh (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening folks and welcome to Canberra Stadium where the Raiders will take on the Penrith Panthers.
The home side welcome back Josh Dugan and Dane Tilse for tonight's match, with Milne and Mataora making way for them. The Panthers have announced no late changes to their 17 named on Tuesday afternoon.
1 min: We have kick off in Canberra.
2 min: A good opening set by the Panthers and Dugan is just able to get back into the field of play.
2 min: Josh McCrone boots the ball down the field on the last and Coote runs it back from his own 15.
3 min: Lachlan Coote kicks the ball from his own 40 on the last and it goes dead in goal.
4 min: Nice kick by McCrone from half way on the fourth.
6 min: TRY
The Panthers spread it out wide and Purtell makes a good break before passing to Walsh who scores. Walsh converts his own try.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
8 min: Lachlan Coote lucky to get away with a knock on 10 out from his own line.
9 min: Nathan Smith loses the ball on his own 40.
10 min: Raiders now get a penalty.
10 min: Raiders will get six again from a few meters out after the Panthers concede another penalty.
11 min: Williams grubbers into the in goal on the last and the Raiders will get a line drop out.
13 min: Lachlan Coote cleans up a Raiders' kick an beats 3 defenders before being tackled 20 out from his own line.
13 min: Raiders are penalised and the Panthers will get some good field position.
14 min: Raiders concede another penalty.
15 min: McKendry loses it 10 out and the Raiders are off the hook.
18 min: Raiders get a penalty on half way.
19 min: Raiders will get a scrum 10 out and six again after Simmons bats a McCrone kick over the sideline.
22 min: TRY
Josh McCrone throws two dummies to draw the Panthers' defence and runs over to score. Jarrod Crocker's conversion attempt is successful.
22 min: Great kick off by Walsh and the Raiders will get a scrum 20 out.
23 min: Panthers get a penalty five out.
25 min: Walsh grubbers into the in goal but it goes dead.
26 min: We have another fight after a high shot from Thompson on Burns.
27 min: Thompson is on report and the Panthers will get a penalty.
32 min: McCrone puts up a beautiful bomb from 40 out from the Panthers' line. Laclan Coote gets a wicked bounced but Purtell is there to pick up the ball just as the Raiders defence a racing up.
35 min: Coote kicks it out on the full from his own 40 to give the Raiders some good field position.
38 min: TRY
Alan Tongue scores in his last home game after a cross field kick by Williams is knocked back by Crocker into the arms of his team mate. Crocker's conversion attempt is successful
Canberra Raiders 12-6
40 min: Great take by Dugan under pressure five meters out from his own line.
40 min: Williams finds touch as the half time hooter sounds.
41 min: Suttor blows time on to bring the second half under way.
42 min: McCrone attempts a 40/20 and kicks it out on the full.
44 min: TRY
Walsh goes to the air and Robinson diffuses the kick but Tighe steals the ball and scores for the Panthers. Walsh adds the extras.
45 min: Canberra are penalised for being inside the 10 but Walsh fails to find touch and the Raiders have the ball 40 out from their own line.
45 min: Panthers concede a penalty on halfway.
46 min: Bronson Harrison does not realise it's the last tackle and is tackled three meters out from the Panthers line.
47 min: Plum loses the ball 22 out from his own line, the Raiders will get another opportunity here.
49 min: Tilse loses the ball five meters out from the try line.
50 min: Ferguson brings it back to the 20 after a massive kick by Walsh from his own 40 bounces into the Raiders in goal.
52 min: TRY
Panthers run it on the fourth and David Simmons caps off a nice team try. Walsh's conversion attempt is successful.
Penrith Panthers 18-12
54 min: Grant loses the ball on his own 20 and the Raiders will get another chance to go on the attack.
55 min: Canberra will get six again from a few meters out after Penrith concede a penalty.
56 min: The Raiders get six again after Coote knocks down a Dugan pass.
57 min: Williams grubbers into the in goal but Coote cleans it up.
58 min: Simmons makes a break down the right touchline but throws the ball to Alan Tongue on halfway.
58 min: Dugan loses the ball 20 out from the try line.
60 min: Great kick return by Blake Ferguson, he catches the ball in his own ten and runs it back to the 30 before Penrith concede a penalty.
61 min: Picker grubbers into the in goal from ten out on the last but it goes straight to Coote
62 min: Raiders concede a penalty 30 out from the Penrith line.
65 min: A great set by the Raiders amounts to nothing after Tilse is pinned for an accidental off side.
68 min: Penrith will get a scrum 40 out from the Raiders' line.
69 min: FIELD GOAL
Luke Walsh kicks a drop goal from 20 out.
Penrith Panthers 19-12
73 min: The Raiders should go on the attack at the end of this set after Walsh kick goes straight down the throat of Ferguson on his own 40.
74 min: Joe Picker goes to the air from ten out on the last, Blake Ferguson regathers it and grubbers into the in goal for himself, but there's too much on it.
75 min: Weston loses out on his own 40 and the Raiders will get another chance to put something on.
75 min: Dugan grubbers for himself from ten out but can't get to it before Coote knocks it on and Purtell cleans it up for the Panthers.
77 min: The Raiders are denied again as Jarrod Crocker is help up over the try line on the last.
79 min: Possible Raiders try here.
79 min: TRY
Try! Michael Picker scores the first try of his career.
Penrith Panthers 19-18
80 min: Dugan grubbers for himself on the 50 meter line but is tackled without the footy. The Panthers get the ball as the full-time hooter sounds and the Canberra crowd are not happy.