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Canberra Raiders front-rower Dunamis Lui.

Few would consider taking on Melbourne away from home in the NRL finals a dream assignment but for Dunamis Lui and Canberra the chance to go to AAMI Park and upset the Storm for the second time in five weeks is an opportunity they wouldn't pass up.

To earn themselves a week off and a home preliminary final, the Raiders will need to rediscover the form that propelled them up the ladder from 10th last year to fourth entering the 2019 finals.

"If anybody said at the start of the year, 'do you guys want to finish fourth and play Melbourne in the first round of the finals' everybody would jump at the opportunity," Lui said.

"So, it's good to be here in his position but we've still got a lot of hard work do ahead of us."

Canberra finished the regular season with the third-best defensive record in the Telstra Premiership.

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However, in a sign of their drive to elicit real change at the club, coach Ricky Stuart was blunt in his assessment of his team's defending against New Zealand and the fact they didn't achieve their season-long goal of being the NRL's top defensive unit.

"Defensively we weren't happy with our performance," Lui said of their 24-20 loss to the Warriors.

"They kept poking their noses through our line and that's one thing we really spoke about before the game and we just didn't do it in the first 20 or 30 minutes of the game and we really paid for it."

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Despite their disappointing loss to the Warriors to finish to the regular season, Canberra had done enough through the previous 24 rounds to earn just their second top-four finish in 16 years.

"That's the good thing about our team this year, almost every loss we've had we knew we should have won them," Lui said.

"It'll be the same thing again, we'll prepare the same as we always do and as long as everybody keeps turning up and performing I'm sure we can get the job done."

The continued excellent form of Josh Papalii will help the Raiders move forward, with the veteran racking up 205 metres 27 tackles and a try against the Warriors. 

"He's one of our best players this year and he always leads by example," Lui said.

"He's someone you can really follow and the way he played today just shows how good he is.

"We're just happy to have him on our side and hopefully he can keep performing like that and we can keep playing off the back of that."