Extraordinary scenes have taken place at AAMI Park as Canberra Raiders star Joey Leilua was unable to start the match due an injury sustained while the team were running onto the field for their NRL finals clash against the Melbourne Storm.

The Raiders centre was substituted before kickoff due to getting scalded in the eye by fireworks.

"A firework has gone off near his eye," revealed Phil Gould.

Leilua was in all sorts and replays showed that fireworks were not just shooting off the arch but dripping and one got the Canberra centre right in the eye.


"The left eye is closed, he is in extreme discomfort – apparently a spark from the firework went in his eye when he ran out," Billy Slater added.

It's just the latest debacle for the NRL that they did not need.

As a result and in another turn up – Bailey Simonsson, who replaced Leilua in the staring side, scored a try in the opening minutes to give the Raiders a 6-0 lead.

Leilua did manage to return 10 minutes in, and rejoined the Canberra bench, before throwing what proved to be the match-winning pass as the Raiders claimed a 12-10 win.