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The legendary 1989 decider between Canberra and Balmain is Peter Sterling's greatest grand final memory as a commentator.

The '89 classic was arguably rugby league's greatest ever finale, featuring a stirring comeback and plenty of late drama. Canberra fought back from a 12-2 half-time deficit to send the game into extra time at 14-all, before a Steve Jackson try gave the Raiders their first ever premiership.

"It was a game of missed opportunities for the Tiges. An ankle tap on Michael Neil, a field goal attempt from Ben Elias that hit the post," Sterling said ahead of Sunday's premiership decider between Manly and the Warriors.

"Ultimately it was a barnstorming try from big Steve Jackson, carrying players to the tryline, that secured the victory for the Canberra Raiders, and saw their skipper Mal Meninga in tears after the final whistle."