Goulburn player-coach Mick Picker was relieved to beat Tuggeranong. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Goulburn coach Mick Picker believes his side is crying out for the Canberra Raiders Cup finals to begin after surviving a huge scare to beat Tuggeranong 36-26 on Sunday.
The Bushrangers, out of finals contention heading into the penultimate week, threatened to pull off a boilover on the road leading 22-8 at half-time.
But the Bulldogs kicked into gear in the second half to keep their chances of a Canberra Raiders Cup top-two spot and the double chance in the finals alive.
Goulburn is now two points behind second-placed Queanbeyan Kangaroos with one round left, and the Roos have a 20-point superior points differential.
The Kangaroos take on fourth-placed West Belconnen, who will be desperate to break a three-game losing streak before the semis, while Goulburn takes on Woden Valley.
Goulburn player-coach Mick Picker insists his team is capable of winning the premiership even if it finishes outside the top two.
The first team straight into the grand final has struggled to deal with the subsequent week off recently, including last year's runner-up Queanbeyan Blues.
"[Goulburn player] Blake Hewitt was with the Blues last year and he said it's a long two weeks to wait around,'' Picker said.
"Whether we end up in the top two or not doesn't really bother us, as long as we're playing well it's up for grabs.''
Picker said it has been hard for his team to maintain motivation, with the four teams to play finals decided weeks ago.
"It's a bit of a shame the way it did pan out, having the finals decided nearly a month out,'' he said.
"It's pretty tough keeping the boys up, but if we're going to be a chance we have to be pretty hot going into finals.''
GOULBURN WORKERS BULLDOGS 36 (Michael Dodson 2, Tim Turner, Michael Campton-Smith, Ben Picker, Luke Turner, Matt Worboys tries; Picker 4 goals) bt TUGGERANONG BUSHRANGERS 26 (Brendan Brophy 2, Reinhold Kamilo, Steve Howard, Daniel Hickson tries; Carl Johnson 3 goals).
Saturday's results: Queanbeyan Kangaroos 56 bt Gungahlin 8; Queanbeyan Blues 60 bt Belconnen United 8; Woden Valley 32 bt West Belconnen 16.