3 Josh Hodgson’s sheer brilliance

Everyone saw it last Friday night, in front of a packed crowd at GIO Stadium, Hodgson in the second half made two game-changing strips. Those strips, including a one-on-one with Cody Walker, quite literally delivered his side a spot in the Grand Final. The Englishman has been one of the Raiders’ key performers this season. On the year he has 12 try assists, so as well as being brilliant defensively, he also gives Canberra another focal offensive threat. Last match vs South Sydney he made 48 tackles, the most of any Raiders player. He will be a key factor in deciding the outcome of the Grand Final.

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4 The Cooper Cronk factor

He has experience in bucket loads. A total of 374 NRL games and 61 combined representative games (AUS, QLD and All-Stars). He’s won two Dally M Player of the Year awards and is currently aiming for his third Premiership in a row and back-to-back cups with the Roosters. He will be going all out in his final and last game before he retires from the NRL for good. He will steer his side around the park and will deliver in the clutch moments. He, just like Hodgson, will be massive in deciding who takes the title out.

5; Calmness under pressure

Canberra have won nine games this season decided by eight points or less. In their opening finals game vs Melbourne, John Bateman scored the match-winner with just three minutes left on the clock. That same number for Sydney this campaign is seven. Going back earlier this season, a double to Daniel Tupou saw them beat the Raiders, 22-18. His final try helped turn what was a 12-6 deficit into a 22-12 lead. Both sides have shown consistently this year that when the game is on the line, they have what it takes to hold their nerve and claim a decisive and commanding victory.

This game will be tight. It will be fiery. And there will be moments within the match that we’ll be replaying for years and years to come. But one thing for certain is that Grand Finals never disappoint. So, bring it on!!!

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