A career best performance from Drew Hutchison has seen the Sydney Roosters bring an end to the Canberra Raiders season with a 40-16 victory in Mackay.
Having a hand in three tries and taking on the line with confidence, the journeyman five-eighth played a leading role as the undermanned Tricolours fought back from an early deficit to outscore their 2019 grand final opponents seven tries to three.
The result sees the Roosters temporarily move into fourth position; the side's final standing won't be known until the Eels and Sea Eagles complete their fixtures over the weekend.
The Raiders started full of enthusiasm and opened the scoring through captain Elliott Whitehead (5th minute) after Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad offloaded to send the English second-rower over with a determined run.
Appearing to hit back only for Adam Keighran to lose control in the act of grounding the ball, a run of penalties enabled James Tedesco to send Matt Ikuvalu (11th minute) over for a possible eight-point try; Nicoll-Klokstad was placed on report for leading with his knees, however Keighran could only add the extras with his second shot from in front.
Both sides continued to trade tries with Josh Papalii (18th minute) producing a powerful run from close range only for Angus Crichton (25th minute) to lock the scores up at 12-all in his return from suspension.
The Roosters hit the front for the first time through Keighran (32nd minute) after Hutchison pulled off an instinctive kick that fell through Semi Valemei's fingers into the goal-kicking centres hands.
A penalty goal on halftime saw the Roosters take a 20-12 lead to the sheds.
Coming out for the second half with an intensity the Raiders failed to match, a break from Tedesco allowed Keighran (46th minute) to take advantage of retreating defence.
A few minutes later Keighran (51st minute) collected his hat-trick with one of the tries of the season involving a line break from within his own half, supporting Tedesco through the middle of the field and culminating in a collision with the goal posts while grounding the ball.
Losing touch with the contest due to poor ball handling and discipline, the Raiders accepted their fate as Hutchison took on the line and offloaded to send Ben Marschke (66th minute) over for his first try in the NRL.
A late cameo from Sam Walker saw Lachlan Lam (75th minute) cross before the Raiders finished with a hollow consolation try to Harley Smith-Shields (78th minute) in the shadows of fulltime.
The Raiders will need a miracle to qualify for the finals in the form of the Sharks losing by 74 points to the Storm and the Titans going down on Sunday afternoon.