Fly-in, fly-out Queanbeyan Kangaroos star Brent Crisp's premiership hopes could hinge on a semi-final blockbuster on Saturday as he prepares for a two-week stint in Darwin for work.
Crisp, who won the Les McIntyre Medal earlier this week, will lead the Kangaroos' bid for a grand final berth when they play cross-town rivals the Queanbeyan Blues at Seiffert Oval.
Crisp landed back in Canberra on Tuesday to prepare for the clash against the Blues, but will fly back to Darwin next week and is set to miss the preliminary final if the Kangaroos stumble at the first finals hurdle.
The Kangaroos have lost their past two games, but they finished second on the ladder and will have a double chance in the finals.
Crisp, 32, scored a remarkable 16 tries in 10 games as he juggled work commitments as a scaffolder in Darwin and his Canberra Raiders Cup premiership hopes.
"It will be a slogfest down there," Crisp said of the clash against the Blues.
"Hopefully we can just peg them at the end and get the week off ... It's good we're in the position where we can get a second bite of the cherry."
The former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs back will run out for the major semi-final in what will be his first game for the Kangaroos in three weeks.
Crisp scored four tries and eight goals to help his side smash the Goulburn Bulldogs 60-6 in a performance in which everything he touched turned to gold.
The winner of the Blues-Kangaroos derby will advance straight to the grand final, while the loser will play either Yass or Tuggeranong in a preliminary final.
Kangaroos coach Aaron Gorrell will notch his 100th Canberra Raiders Cup appearance on Saturday and believes his side will be more than a force to be reckoned with given the returns of a host of stars.
"We'll have eight changes from the side that played last week so we'll be totally different," Gorrell said.
"This week I've actually got the headache of who to leave out, whereas the last eight weeks I've struggled to come up with a side, especially last week. We're going to have a pretty fresh squad and hopefully we've done enough to get a win on the weekend.
"We're confident in the 17 we'll put in front of the Blues. If we play to our potential we'll get the points.
"If you can't get up for a game like this you're playing the wrong sport. We've trained for nine months to come to this and two bad games and you're gone."
The Blues won both games against the Kangaroos this year. They snagged a 36-26 victory in round two despite a Crisp double, before sneaking home 24-20 winners in round 11.
CANBERRA RAIDERS CUP SEMI-FINALS
Saturday: Queanbeyan Blues v Queanbeyan Roos at Seiffert Oval, 3pm.
Sunday: Yass Magpies v Tuggeranong Bushrangers at Kippax Oval, 3pm.