A career defining performance from Jordan Rapana has seen the Canberra Raiders upset the Parramatta Eels 12-10 at Cbus Super Stadium.
Scoring a try, running for over 250 metres and producing a match-winning tackle on the final play of the game, the makeshift fullback was in superb touch as the Raiders moved back into the top eight for the first time in two months.
In a fierce opening where both teams struggled to capitalise on attacking opportunities, the Eels came closest to posting points through Marata Niukore, only for the bunker to rule the Blue and Golds had knocked on in the lead up.
Debutant centre Will Penisini looked to exploit the Raiders down the blind side midway though proceedings, however recalled winger Blake Ferguson was unable to hold onto the Steeden with the line in sight.
For the first time since Newcastle hosted Cronulla in the opening round of the 2019 season, both sides headed to the sheds locked at 0-all after the Raiders defended an error from Rapana with seconds left in the first half.
Returning for the second half with renewed intensity, the Raiders opened the scoring after Sam Williams delivered a superb short ball to send Corey Harawira-Naera (45th minute) over for first points.
Following up a strong surge from Sebastian Kris close to the Eels' try line, Rapana (53rd minute) burrowed over from dummy half to put the visitors up 12-0.
Determined to make amends after spending six weeks out of the NRL squad, Ferguson produced one of the plays of the season with a long-range break and chip kick that enabled Dylan Brown (56th minute) to narrow the deficit to a converted try.
After Nathan Brown was unable to hold onto an offload with the try line in sight, Williams attempted to secure the result with a field goal only for his kick to skew right of the posts.
Making the most of the ensuing seven tackle set, Maika Sivo (76th minute) displayed brute strength to crash over in the corner; Clinton Gutherson failed to convert from the sideline leaving the Eels to trail by two.
The Eels had one final chance to hit the front as Sivo launched at the corner, however a desperate tackle from Rapana ensured the Raiders prevailed with a deserved victory.
Next week, the Eels face the Roosters on Thursday night, while the Raiders take on the Knights on Saturday evening.