Canberra can taste NRL finals after holding on for a thrilling 22-16 win against the Sydney Roosters on Sunday afternoon.
The Raiders never trailed and relied on a stoic defensive effort to claim the points, in the process moving to 6-7 having beaten top eight teams in three of their last four outings.
However, it was once again far from stress-free for the Raiders as they conceded two tries in four minutes to see their 12-point lead cut to two with 15 minutes remaining.
Sydney found their lifeline through Paul Momirovski, who scored on 61 minutes thanks to an Angus Crichton assist, before Joseph Suaalii once again showed his immense leaping ability, hovering above Raider Nick Cotric to gather the ball and score in the corner.
Canberra centre Matt Timoko showed his strength to restore a six-point lead, ploughing through the Roosters’ line, although Jamal Fogarty’s missed conversion left the door open for a late comeback.
The contest was a genuine battle of the fullbacks, with Raider young gun Xavier Savage once again flashing his considerable potential in running for 201m and scoring a brilliant try, although Sydney’s Joey Many was similarly sensational with 271m, 14 tackle breaks and an assist.
Earlier, Adam Elliott found perhaps the easiest try of his career to open the scoring, cruising through a lacklustre Roosters line to cross under the posts on 10 minutes.
Discipline was a huge problem for Sydney and they conceded six penalties in the first 22 minutes, and with the Raiders conceding four of their own the game really struggled to find any rhythm.
Manu got things going, however, with a clever run and superb flick pass to find Sitili Tupouniua for 6-6.
But the Raiders were soon back in front courtesy of an outrageous pickup from Savage, reaching down without missing a step to gather a Ryan Sutton offload for his second try of the season.
And the margin was 12 quickly after the break thanks to a charge-down from Corey Horsburgh, the prop gathering the ball and breaking away before finding Seb Kris to score under the posts.
It was a clunky performance from the Roosters, with the absence of State of Origin stars James Tedesco and Daniel Tupou hurting their fluidity in attack.
They slip to 7-6 for the season but remain sixth on the ladder.