Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
24 hours ago
Canberra have won a willing encounter in the nation's capital, defeating Sydney Roosters 24 points to 20 in front of 8,860 fans.
Canberra came into tonight's clash, looking to make it three wins on the trot and keep pace with the pack in the fight for the top eight. They got the start they needed with some early penalties for Roosters ill discipline.
Roosters weathered the early storm though and off their first penalty, went in for the opening try. Mitchell Pearce providing a lovely short ball to Shaun Kenny-Dowall to go in.
Some lucky bounces allowed the Raiders to keep possession and in the 19th minute they made Sydney pay with a run-around and grubber for Joel Thompson to level the scoreline.
A nice hole run from Josh Papalii from another run-around play gave Canberra their second try and the lead after the opening quarter of the game. Croker converting to make it 10-4.
The Roosters weren't going to lay down quietly, Jake Friend getting a quick play the ball and finding Frank-Paul Nuuausala who slammed it down and followed by an Anasta conversion made it 10 all at oranges.
Ill discipline from the Roosters on last tackle in the 46th minute, gave Jarrod Croker the easy penalty goal, handing Canberra the lead once again.
Once again though, the Roosters would hit back after a controversial held up call against Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Roosters went for the kick option again, finding success with Bosden getting his first NRL try and Anasta converting for a level scoreline again.
Nothing seemed to be going the Roosters way though, as they conceded once again through a kick, with everyone letting it bounce and Reece Robinson gladly accepting to claw it back again for the Raiders.
There was a late flicker of a come from behind win for the Roosters when Moga went in after a lovely pass from Brad Takairangi but there would be no heroics. Canberra held on and won their fifth home game in season 2012.
It doesn't get easier for the Raiders, they host the high flying Canterbury Bankstown team looking to stay in the top eight fight. Sydney Roosters head back to Sydney hosting the depleted Wests Tigers and will be missing Anthony Minichiello.
Canberra Raiders 24 defeated Sydney Roosters 20
National Rugby League - Round 24 - Saturday August 18, 2012 5:30pm
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Paul Mellor
Touch Judges: Ricky McFarlane and Nick Beashel
Halftime: Canberra Raiders 10 Sydney Roosters 10
CANBERRA RAIDERS (24)
Tries: Reece Robinson, Joel Thompson, Blake Ferguson, Josh Papalii
Field Goals: Josh McCrone (0/1)
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (2/4)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (2/2)
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (20)
Tries: Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Jack Bosden, Tautau Moga
Conversions: Braith Anasta (2/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Canberra Stadium.. which is cold and windy tonight for the clash between Canberra who are still chasing a top eight position and Sydney who are trying to avoid the wooden spoon.
The Raiders Toyota Cup side have prevailed in a high scoring contest, winning 44 points to 20.
TEAM CHANGES -
Canberra - They only have one change, Glenn Buttriss who replaces Travis Waddell at hooker.
Sydney - Only one change for them as well, Daniel Tupou coming in for Adam Henry.
Both teams make their way out to the field in front of a modest crowd. Roosters will run right to left and Canberra kick off. Here we go!
2 min: Soft penalty to open the game. Roosters were offside from the tap kick, inexcusable.
3 min: A wonky kick from Josh McCrone just evades the post but it does force the Roosters in-goal. Dropout.
4 min: Another penalty against the Roosters, this time for a strip. Raiders have failed to find touch! Smart work from the debutant Tupou!
6 min: The kick on fifth rebounds off a Rooster and back into the hands of the Raiders. Six more.
7 min: Josh McCrone puts a kick close to the posts and Dugan almost gets there but knocks on.
7 min: First penalty to the traveling side, David Shillington not getting off the ball.
9 min: TRY
Roosters have struck first in their first attack on the Raiders line. Mitchell Pearce holds the pass up long enough for Shaun Kenny-Dowall to stride through and open the scoring. Anasta with his first conversion pushes it wide left.
Sydney Roosters 4-0
11 min: An ill advised offload from Dane Tilse has given possession right back to the Roosters.
12 min: Mitchell Pearce puts in a pin-point kick but is spoiled by a mid-air tackle from Daniel Tupou.
13 min: Raiders get another penalty, their FOURTH. Roosters offside and we have a bronx cheer when Dugan finds touch.
14 min: Sam Williams tries to dabble one through, it hits Pearce into Aubusson. Accidental offside.
16 min: Canberra were disjointed on last tackle but Buttriss forces another set.
VIDEO REFEREE: Possible try to Joel Thompson, checking everything it seems.
18 min: TRY
This was a much more well constructed try from the Raiders.. Buttriss does the run around and passes to Williams who kicks through for Joel Thompson to touchdown. Croker takes his first shot for the afternoon and misses it.
22 min: Mitchell Aubusson tries to punch through the line but forgets one important thing, the ball. Raiders will go on the attack.
24 min: Good football all round there.. McCrone put in a nice kick which forced Minichiello to play at it but he got out of the in-goal.
25 min: Pearce goes the powerplay on last tackle but knocked on by Takarangi
27 min: Canberra getting a good result from these grubber kicks. They've forced another accidental offside, Hargreaves into another Rooster. Raiders scrum.
29 min: TRY
Raiders do the run around again, giving Josh McCrone space to send Josh Papalii in for the second try of the game. Croker with a wider conversion, puts this one straight through.
Canberra Raiders 10-4
33 min: Raiders are strolling through the middle of the Roosters and chip it for Earl but he knocks on.
34 min: Huge bomb there from Mitchell Pearce has pinned Dugan right on his line and forced an error. Roosters scrum.
34 min: Blake Ferguson is offside from the scrum.
35 min: TRY
Quick play the ball opened up that opportunity, Friend gives Nuuausala the short ball to steam over for the TRY. Anasta converts from besides the posts.
36 min: Pearce throws it inside for Minichiello on last and his looking for support, finds Shaun Kenny-Dowall who loses it. The error is compounded by a cheap penalty.
38 min: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's Sandor Earl trying to fly through the air for a four-pointer but he couldn't repeat his effort from 2010 and is taken into touch.
40 min: One more attacking raid from the Raiders is fruitless and we're off to HALFTIME.
Here comes the green machine song signalling the return of the teams! Roosters kick off.
43 min: Solid opening set from the Roosters but the Raiders can't do the same, Williams kicking out on the full.
45 min: Last tackle penalty against the Roostes.. for Tasi hand on the ball. Raiders opt for goal.
46 min: PENALTY GOAL
From right in front, Croker makes no mistake. Raiders have hit the lead again.
Canberra Raiders 12-10
48 min: Followed by another penalty for offside at the kick-off. It was obvious.
50 min: The rebound falls advantageously for the Roosters but Anasta can't regather.
52 min: TRY
Simple play from the Raiders.. McCrone takes it to the line and gives it to Ferguson who has too much pace for Moga and strides in for the Raiders third try. Croker with his toughest assignment for the night, puts it wide again.
Canberra Raiders 16-10
54 min: A forward pass from dummy-half, some simple errors in this game. Roosters ball.
VIDEO REFEREE: Off we go to the third referee.. checking if Tuivasa-Sheck got the ball down.
56 min: REF'S CALL and he calls.. held up!! Changeover. Raiders have dodged a massive bullet there.
59 min: Big charge from the Raiders but it pops out at the last second. Scrum Roosters.
VIDEO REFEREE: Here we go again.. Roosters claiming another try. This time to Bosden.
61 min: TRY
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Jack Bosden gets his first try in the NRL.. off a bat back from Tupou. Anasta from the sideline to level up the game again.. strides in and nails it!
62 min: A serendipitous piece of luck for the Raiders there.. Seluini grubbers through for himself and almost regathers but the Roosters can't pounce.
64 min: Roosters have warmed into the contest and run it on last, Moga almost going through but a last gasp tackle from McCrone saves the Raiders.
65 min: Penalty against the Roosters.. McCrone earning that one.
VIDEO REFEREE: Guess who? Video referee again, checking if Reece Robinson has scored.
66 min: TRY
Well that was just the bounce of the ball.. Kick goes up and everyone let it bounce for Reece to go thank you and have it bounce into his hands for the try. Croker converts.
Canberra Raiders 22-16
68 min: Almost from the Raiders there. The kick pressure forces McCrone to run and he almost gets a result through Earl but he passed it straight to a Rooster.
70 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
Nothing doing, so McCrone tries a field goal but it goes wide right.
Canberra Raiders 22-16
70 min: The ball is punched out.. penalty to Roosters.
72 min: Another chip kick from the Roosters but Tuivasa-Sheck can't reign it in. 20 metre tap.
73 min: The door is kept ajar from the Raiders.. an incorrect play the ball from Earl. Roosters have a scrum almost on halfway.
73 min: Brad Takairangi is into the hole and passes as he was falling, Pearce is in for the try.. no it's forward.
75 min: Shaun Fensom is in the clear.. looking for support, finds Dugan who is taken high by Minichiello but he continues on, Minichiello comes again and collects him high again. Time off and Dugan is down, so the rest of the team come in and it's heating up!
75 min: After the tussle.. Minichiello is SENT OFF! Anasta is going nuts. Penalty to Raiders and this should seal the game. Raiders point to the posts immediately.
76 min: PENALTY GOAL
No worries from Croker.. he slots another to make it a eight point lead.
Canberra Raiders 24-16
77 min: Short kick-off is unsuccessful. Raiders will just wind down the clock for a much needed win.
77 min: An accidental offside against the Raiders, Roosters will go on the attack.
78 min: Roosters throw it around like a hot potato, giving it to Kenny-Dowall with no room to move, he kicks for himself but it's batted dead. Dropout.
VIDEO REFEREE: Checking if Tautau Moga might have scored. Looking at the knock on.
79 min: TRY
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Some nice work from Takairangi finds Moga in some space and after a juggle he puts it down cleanly. Anasta misses.
Canberra Raiders 24-20
80 min: Roosters have to score off this set.. they throw it wide to Kenny-Dowall who was in some space but Joe Picker is there, tosses him into touch and it's FULLTIME. Raiders win and go to 26 competition points.