Raiders add to Sharks' woes in spoon playoff

The Canberra Raiders have all but secured 15th on the competition ladder after scoring four second half tries to sink Cronulla 22-12 in the Sharks' final home game of the season.

The win was sparked by Raiders five-eighth Anthony Milford, who scored two tries and set up the other two in the Raiders four-tries-to-two victory in a game where execution was otherwise very poor from both sides.

With penalties and errors mounting from the get-go, the two teams played out an opening half befitting of their lowly ladder positions. Edrick Lee looked to have opened the scoring in the 25th minute but dropped the simple chance over the line in one of his four errors for the afternoon.

In a game where co-captain Josh McCrone was benched midway through the first half with five errors already to his name, and very few others shined, the game looked headed for a nil-all halftime scoreline.

After seven penalties, 13 errors and 30 missed tackles, the deadlock was finally broken in the 37th minute by an unlikely Blake Ayshford run. With the defence looming, Cronulla's makeshift lock tried to spin it out wide but with Canberra batting the ball down, winger Sosaia Feki was able to pick up the scraps and make it 6-0.

Jack Wighton capped off a less than memorable first half with an almost comical fumble in his own in-goal trying to pick up a bobbling Sharks kick.

Matt McIlwrick squared the ledger in the 48th minute, diving on an Anthony Milford grubber, and the Raiders went back-to-back four minutes later when Jarrod Croker crossed for his 17th try of the season.

With the Sharks' defence still trying to re-set after struggling to stop Wighton from scoring, Milford threw a sneaky ball from dummy-half to an unmarked Croker who fell over the line to put the Green Machine up for the first time in the match in the 51st minute.

The Raiders were in again in the 59th minute when Milford inspired a play that concluded with the five-eighth himself scoring. From his own dummy-half run, the ball went out wide through Lee and Croker before being drawn back in for Milford to cross the stripe.

Adding salt into Cronulla's wounds, Jonathan Wright was placed on report midway through the second half for a lifting tackle on Croker, though prop Tim Robinson got his side back in the contest when he crossed under the posts for the Sharks in the 66th minute to make it a 16-12 ballgame.

Milford continued Cronulla's pain when he scored his second of the afternoon with 10 minutes remaining in the game when the five-eighth was the benefactor of a pinpoint Mitchell Cornish grubber to the in-goal to close out a 10 point victory for the Green Machine.

With Cronulla's poor for-and-against they would likely need to win both their remaining games – away to the Cowboys and Wests Tigers – if they want to avoid taking out the wooden spoon for 2014. They would then still need Canberra to lose both their remaining games, at home to Wests Tigers and Parramatta.

Cronulla were dealt another blow to their shocking year when five-eighth Fa'amanu Brown was carried off in the final three minutes with an apparent knee injury after huge Canberra prop Shannon Boyd landed awkwardly on his leg in a tackle.

Canberra Raiders 22 (Milford 2, McIlwrick, Croker Tries; Croker 3 Goals) defeated Cronulla Sharks 12 (Feki, Robinson Tries; Gordon 2 Goals) at Remondis Stadium. Crowd: 13,496.