The Canberra Raiders have finished fourth on the ladder after going down to the New Zealand Warriors 24-20 at GIO Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It was a cold and windy afternoon in the capital for 13,331 home fans who turned out to watch the Green Machine play their last home game of the regular season.
Despite a valiant effort and a half-time lead, a try in the last five minutes to the away side saw the Green Machine lose a tight contest riddled with penalties.
The boys in green were the first to get on the board after Elliott Whitehead batted a ball back from over the dead ball line for Seb Kris to collect and put down.
A knock on from the visiting team gave the Green Machine a perfect opportunity just 20 metres from the try line.
Following a penalty in front of the goal posts, the Raiders opted to go for the extra two points to extend their lead with Croker converting with ease.
Consecutive penalties helped the New Zealand Warriors cross the line in the 19th minute through Lachlan Burr with Isaac Luke converting to level the score.
The visiting side were able to score through Adam Pompey who spun his way through the Raiders defence and crashed over following a dominant attacking set.
The Green Machine wasted no time getting back in the game, Josh Papalii bumped off two defenders to charge across the try line just minutes later to once again even the score.
Josh Hodgson was able to put one more try on the board for Canberra right on the siren, using some illusive foot work from dummy half to give the Raiders a four-point lead heading into the sheds.
The Raiders started the second half to a flying start, with Bailey Simonsson breaking through the Warriors defence and racing 80 metres, getting tackled not far out only for the ball to be stripped by the Warriors in the following play.
The speed from Michael Oldfield could not be matched, sprinting 50 metres down the side line and fearlessly diving into the corner to score a four pointer 14 minutes into the second half.
The Warriors got one back with twelve minutes to go after Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scored off the back of a miraculous last tackle play that saw the ball travel from side line to side line multiple times.
With four minutes remaining, Warriors halfback Blake Green crossed the try line untouched leaving the Raiders scratching their heads.
One last effort from the Canberra Raiders lead to nothing as they went down to the New Zealand Warriors 24-20 in their last home game of the regular season.
Canberra Raiders 20 (Tries: S Kris, J Papalii, J Hodgson, M Oldfield. Goals: J Croker 2/4) d New Zealand Warriors 24 (Tries: L Burr, A Pompey, R Tuivasa-Sheck, B Green. Goals: I Luke 4/4)