Eels v Raiders: Five key points
Canberra finally win a close one after a year of heartbreak, Parramatta's disappointing season ends in dramatic cicumstances, Josh Hodgson finishes his first year in style, while Semi Radradra breaks the Eels try scoring record.
Raiders finally win a close one
After losing five of their seven home clashes this year by two points or less, the Raiders were thrilled to finally win a close match on Sunday afternoon.
"It was nice to win a tight one for a change, I said through the year the more we're in, the closer we are to winning one," Ricky Stuart said.
"I'm just happy for the players because they're learning how to win those scenarios and to do it with 12 men, we had three of our best attacking players not playing, there was a heap of adversity in that game."
The Raiders coach also said his side's character to come back late was built on the heartbreak they've endured so many times when losing close clashes.
"That character we displayed there in the last eight minutes of that game with 12 men, is through probably those hardships of this year," he said.
"You build character through adversity and you either come out without it or you come out the other end with a good culture and that's what we're starting to build here through tough times that we've had to face this year."
Whirlwind game reflects Eels season
The Eels were the better team on the park for most of the game at Pirtek Stadium but lost concentration at key stages, particularly in the final minute of normal time to allow Edrick Lee to barge over.
Their coach Brad Arthur was clearly aggravated by the drop in intensity at key stages.
"That game there typifies our season," he said.
"Too many lost opportunities and every single game this year we've been in and the boys have tried really hard and played with some pride and passion and a bit of spirit in their performances, but it's not good enough anymore.
"We need to learn how to win games of footy, it's just not good enough any more.
"That game there was ours, we were the better team, we need to win that game of football."
Croker's hard work getting noticed
The season's top point scorer Jarrod Croker had a wow of a game against the Eels, scoring twice and going close on two other occasions.
He scored 16 points to take himself to 236 individual points for the season, 10 clear of second place James Maloney.
But the Raiders captain's most valuable contribution was a clutch sideline conversion to even the ledger in the 80th minute.
He nailed that attempt and according to his coach, it was no fluke.
"I tell Jarrod I never take it for granted what he does," Stuart said.
"I appreciate having a goal-kicker and a footballer such as Jarrod as captain.
"He thoroughly deserves winning the point-scoring award for the season but nobody sees the effort he puts in behind the scenes, nobody sees the hard work he puts in and the hours and hours of preparation and the work he does.
"His attitude and work ethic shows young kids what you can do if you work hard."
Meanwhile Croker said he was calm during the attempt, despite the magnitude of the moment and the stand full of loud opposition fans behind him.
"I wasn't too bad, I was pretty relaxed," he said.
"I spoke to the boys after we got behind with five minutes remaining and we spoke about enjoying the moment and if we come out on top, we'll enjoy it even more."
Radradra breaks try scoring record
Despite a disappointing season for Parramatta, Semi Radradra became the club's highest ever try scorer in a single season, breaking Steve Ella's record of 23 set in 1982. Radradra scored a double during Sunday's clash with Canberra to sit atop the record books with 24 tries.
Considering the Eels have the third worst attack in the competition, it is some achievement.
Hodgo doing well for the Green Machine
With the game-winning try against the Eels, English import Josh Hodgson capped off a stellar first year in the NRL.
He completely fooled the Eels ruck defence to go over untouched out of dummy-half in the 84th minute.
"He done well the POM, although he cheats in cards a bit but other than that, he's been one of our best players this year and probably goes a bit unnoticed," Croker said.
"Our recruits have been great and I spoke on the field about how good a leader Hodgo is and how good it is to have him in our leadership group. He's just fitted in so well here so it's good to have him."