Canberra advances to preliminary final in NRL playoffs

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Joseph Leilua on the attack for the Raiders.

Joseph Leilua on the attack for the Raiders. (Photo: Mitch Cameron Photography)

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Canberra Raiders have advanced to within one match of the National Rugby League grand final with a 22-12 win over Penrith on Saturday.

The Raiders, who led 12-0 at halftime, next face Melbourne in a preliminary final on Sept. 24, with the winner of that match advancing to the grand final at Sydney's Olympic stadium on Oct. 2.

On Friday, the North Queensland Cowboys beat state rivals Brisbane 26-20 in extra time to stay on track for a repeat of NRL titles.

North Queensland will play Cronulla next weekend in the other preliminary final, with the winner also advancing to the grand final.

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