Leilua's unfinished business in NRL finals

Canberra centre Joey Leilua is confident the Raiders can snap their NRL premiership drought in 2019.
Canberra centre Joey Leilua is confident the Raiders can snap their NRL premiership drought in 2019.

Canberra centre Joey Leilua says he has unfinished business in the NRL finals ahead of the Raiders' first home preliminary final in club history.

Leilua's flick pass set up the match-winning try against Melbourne last week and put Canberra one win shy of their first grand final since 1994.

This is the Raiders first finals series since 2016 and they'll host the winner of South Sydney and Manly next Friday for a spot in the premiership decider on October 6.

Leilua, 27, played for the Sydney Roosters in a losing grand final in 2010 and admits he thought he'd be playing in the decider every year.

"That was my rookie season and I kind of let the boys down that year, I played on the wing and I was a bit disappointing," Leilua told AAP.

"As a little kid you think you've made the grand final and you'll be there every year but it doesn't happen like that. I've learnt how hard you've got to work to get back there."

And now the hard-hitting centre is confident the Raiders can go all the way.

"We can win it. There's so much belief in each other, there's no dickheads or anyone above the team," he said.

"We're all working hard for each other and that's why this team is so great.

"A couple of years ago we had some moments here and there but the whole team has been so gelled this year so I believe we can win it all."

Canberra skipper Jarrod Croker admits they'll need the individual brilliance of Leilua, the reigning Dally M centre of the year, to secure a drought-breaking premiership.

"When he's carrying the ball in one hand and drifting across the field he's just got that skill ... that's the sort of player he is and (John) Bateman is the same," Croker said.

"We want to win games off the back of our defence but you've got to have a different way of attacking as well.

"I know we're a tough side but I feel like we're a very tough side to defend because of blokes like BJ (Leilua), Batey and Jack (Wighton) being a running six (five-eighth)."

Australian Associated Press