Canberra has blown an eight-point lead in the final 12 minutes against the Warriors and will face Melbourne next weekend in a NRL qualifying final.
The Raiders looked set for a trip to Sydney to face the Roosters but fell to fourth on the ladder as the Warriors stormed home on Saturday afternoon to win 24-20.
The Warriors’ win also locks up the other qualifying final in which will the Roosters will host South Sydney.
There was more pain for Canberra coach Ricky Stuart after his forward Hudson Young appeared to rake the face of Warriors winger Adam Pompey.
Young copped a five-week ban earlier this season for eye-gouging.
But Stuart dismissed claims his Young had attacked the face of winger Adam Pompey.
Young made contact with Pompey’s face as the winger scored a try in the first half. It was initially missed by officials because Pompey didn’t react but, when replays showed the incident, Fox Sports commentator and former NRL player Brett Finch exploded.
Finch called for a “12 to 20-week” suspension for Young who copped a five-game ban earlier in the season over a similar incident.
“He’s a repeat offender,” Finch said. “Watch these hands – they come in for another crack. Yeah he’s gone. He’s got serious issues. He’s done it before – that is absolute garbage.
“That is rubbish. That’s not what our game is about – that is a disgraceful act … look at the pressure on his eyes here.æ
Stuart said he spoke to Young and was satisfied the 21-year-old had not eye-gouged Pompey.
“I’ve only briefly seen it. I know he didn’t gouge the kid,” Stuart said.
“There was a hand on the face from what I’ve seen on the video and it’s something I’ve got to look at again and get a clearer version of it.
“It reminds me of the (Cowboys forward) Josh Maguire incidents where he got fined for whatever they call it on the face.
“I went straight to him and asked him if it was a gouge and he said ‘no’ and he’s spoken to the other player.
“If it was an eye-gouge, and look I don’t condone any of this, (but) if it was an eye-gouge, the kid would reel out of that and he didn’t.
“I hope for the kid’s sake that if it is anything, it’s the same as what Josh Maguire copped. Twice, he got the fine.”
South Sydney prop George Burgess served a nine-match ban for an eye gouge after he was found guilty of attacking Robbie Farah’s face in round 15.
Canberra rested four players and was not in the form which took it to second top-four finish in 16 years.
The Warriors were playing for pride but started the stronger at GIO Stadium as Taane Milne played his first game for the club after a drug ban.
However, it was an incredible piece of athleticism from Raiders back-rower Elliott Whitehead which led to the first try of the game.
Jack Wighton grubbered into the in-goal before Whitehead made a superman dive over the dead-ball line and batted it back for Seb Kris to score.
The Warriors hit back through Lachlan Burr who crashed over from close range on the back of three-straight penalties on 20 minutes.
The New Zealand men took the lead when Adam Blair popped a pass to Pompey but the lead only lasted four minutes as Josh Papalii barged over.
The sides looked set to head into halftime at 12-12 before Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson sold a dummy kick and dummy pass to score with the final play.
Raiders winger Michael Oldfield dashed 50 metres down the sideline to score in the corner but injured his shoulder in the process on 54 minutes.
The Warriors scored one of the tries of the season when Roger Tuivasa-Sheck began a fifth-tackle play on halfway that went through 13 sets of hands before the skipper finished what he started.
Warriors halfback Blake Green completed the comeback with a show-and-go in the 76th minute to score next to the posts.
Raiders captain Jarrod Croker endured a forgettable afternoon off the tee, converting just two of five attempts at goal in breezy conditions.