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Time is ticking on Adam Elliott’s brief stay at the Raiders but the back-rower is hoping to delay his move to Newcastle by at least another month ahead of his first finals match on Saturday.

Elliott has gone 124 NRL games without a playoffs appearance until now with the 27-year-old missing the cut for his former club Canterbury’s last sudden-death match in 2016.

He was dropped by Des Hasler midway through the season that year and was never recalled, instead left to help prepare his old side for an eventual defeat to the Panthers in week one.

“That was my debut year in the NRL and watching on the sidelines sucked but I had the mentality that we’ll be there again the next year,” Elliott told

“Then it went back-to-back years, then three. I’ve been playing for six now and to not play a finals game, I started to wonder if it would ever happen.

“Seeing people like James Graham, Josh Jackson and Josh Reynolds get ready for these big games… there’s a switch that flicks… seeing them prepare for finals was different.

“I’m looking forward to getting in that zone.”

Canberra's departing players messages to members and fans

Elliott’s exit at the Bulldogs in September last year by mutual agreement was messy at best but his move to the Raiders has resurrected his NRL career both on and off the field.

Despite their best efforts to retain him, Elliott will be moving on in 2023 after agreeing to a three-year deal to join Newcastle, where his partner Millie Boyle is based as an NRLW player.

“It will be hard to leave but I’ve tried to not think about it too much, I had a bit of an emotional moment at GIO Stadium last week and don’t want it to affect my footy brain in the finals,” he said.

“I knew coming down here that I wanted to make sure I played well for my teammates and for Ricky [Stuart].

“I’ve shared a special bond with him and the boys from the minute I got here. They’re a great bunch of blokes who have made me feel like family and I’m just trying to soak in as much time as I can with them.”

Elliott had never tasted victory against the Storm from five attempts while at Belmore but did so for the Raiders in Round 18. 

It's that victory that should give the Green Machine plenty of confidence leading into the sudden-death finals match.

"It gives us a little bit knowing that we can play well when we're on our game, but Melbourne in the finals is a different beast," Elliott said.

"There's a high level of respect for the Storm."

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.