Raiders wins revive Green Machine days - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders wins revive Green Machine days

By David Beniuk 12/09/2010 06:00:17 PM Comments (0)

They were five from 15 back in July - now the Canberra Raiders are reliving the glory days of the famous Green Machine with a home NRL semi-final.

An almost unthinkable scenario then, David Furner's men will now line up against third-placed Wests Tigers at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.

That quirk of the NRL's McIntyre play-offs system has attracted controversy, especially when minor premiers St George Illawarra had to travel to sixth-placed Brisbane last year after losing to eighth-placed Parramatta.

Naturally, the seventh-placed Raiders don't go along with the critics after knocking off second-placed Penrith 24-22 on Saturday night.

"I like the reward for going to one of the top sides and beating them and getting an opportunity at home," Raiders coach David Furner said.

"That's pretty helpful.

"You've still got to win the game but they've deserved to get an opportunity, our fans have deserved an opportunity to see the side again at home.

"That's pretty exciting."

Canberra will shoot for their 10th win from 11 starts since that unwanted July record after becoming the first side this year to win six straight at CUA Stadium.

They hadn't won a finals match since 2000 before Saturday night, prompting suggestions the core of the club's 2008 under-20s premiership side could be ushering in an era to rival the title winning years of 1989, '90 and '94.

"You saw Parramatta do it last year," captain Terry Campese said.

"As soon as you get to the semi-finals, whoever turns up on the day with the right attitude gets the win and moves on.

"That was our goal, just to get to the top eight halfway through the year.

"We knew we had to win a few games leading into the back end of the year and we knew if we got here we could really give it a crack.

"We talked about it all week and we built energy."

They've also built confidence in the face of setbacks like Campese's controversial disallowed try on Saturday night, which the Panthers answered with a four-pointer of their own.

"We've learnt as a squad," Campese said.

"Earlier in the year we would have let them score a few more tries and let it get to us but now we're a team that put that behind us and move on with the next thing.

"We backed our defence and they had to resort to their kicks to get their tries.

"We've got to take a lot of confidence out of that."

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