The Broncos were holding out for a miracle.
That the Tigers could somehow not just beat the Raiders but win by 54 points or more to close out a season which had seen the joint-venture reach new lows.
Instead, it was the Tigers on the wrong end of a lopsided scoreline, crashing to a 56-10 defeat, trailing 42-0 at halftime as Brett Kimmorley's side were booed off the field by the Leichhardt faithful.
And as if you could not script it any better, an alarm was accidentally activated in the final five minutes of the game, but the fire at the Tigers is out of control and will take a while to put out.
It was Canberra's seventh win in eight games, building on last week's 48-6 demolition of Manly and sees the Raiders book an elimination final meeting with the Storm.
For the Tigers, the additions of Apisai Koroisau and Isaiah Papali'I will be welcome blessings next year but Sunday's shellacking was only further proof of just how far they have to go.
In reality, the Tigers were not actually that bad to open Sunday's game, showing plenty of intent early before the Raiders hit the front after a Jamal Fogarty kick took an unfortunate bounce.
Matthew Timoko was chasing in support to pounce and it went downhill from there for the home side as Jordan Rapana and Sebastian Kris wreaked havoc on the left edge.
The two combined to score Canberra's second try before Nick Cotric put his stamp on the game, bursting through the middle off the restart before finishing off a well-worked move in the right corner.
The tries kept coming for the Raiders, with Rapana and Kris again putting on a show as the former scored in the 20th minute before Zac Woolford went short to Hudson Young for their fourth of the game.
Canberra then went 80 metres on the ensuing set as Xavier Savage snatched a Matt Frawley kick and, as you would expect, the onslaught was just letting up.
This time Zac Woolford split the Tigers through the middle and linked with Fogarty in support as the score blew out to 42-0 after 34 minutes.
To their credit, the Tigers showed some rare resilience defending their own line to keep it at that scoreline heading into the sheds.
The Raiders benched Fogarty, Josh Papalii and Joseph Tapine to open the second half while fullback Savage (head knock) had to come from the field shortly after, although he would later return.
It opened the door for the Tigers to win back some respect in the second half and they made the perfect start as Daine Laurie burst onto an Adam Doueihi pass to score.
The points kept coming for the home side with Laurie involved once again, cutting it out to Starford To'a before Ken Maumalo dived over in the corner.
Papalii and Tapine were brought back on in an attempt to halt the home side's momentum and it paid dividends immediately, although it was Young who bumped off a few tackles to score in the 55th minute.
The tries were not coming as thick and fast as they were in the first, but the Tigers still could not hold the Raiders out from extending their lead further.
Next it was Papalii who beat four Tigers defenders, using his footwork and size to power over and push the buffer out to 44 points.
The Raiders added an extra penalty goal in the only other points of the game, running out 56-10 winners to end their regular season.