Confident Raiders target NRL title tilt

Canberra are third in the NRL with three rounds of the regular season remaining.
Canberra are third in the NRL with three rounds of the regular season remaining.

Canberra playmaker Jack Wighton believes their rousing win over Melbourne has proven they are the real deal when it comes to winning the NRL premiership.

The Raiders stunned the Storm when they piled on 22 unanswered points to hand the competition leaders a 22-18 loss on their home turf.

After the match coach Ricky Stuart said it should silence the "non-believers" and Wighton agreed, saying it showed what they were capable of when they clicked into gear.

"We know we can beat any team on any day," Wighton said.

"We have got all the confidence in this team and it's totally up to us."

Trailing 18-0 with Melbourne making the most of Wighton and then Joe Tapine being sin binned, it looked like the Storm would sail home.

Wighton was rested for a professional foul while Tapine was given 10 minutes for throwing a punch during a scuffle.

But the Raiders sent a message to their rivals before the finals that they will keep coming, with Josh Papalii barrelling on 75 minutes to give them the match-winning lead.

Wighton said the third-placed Raiders would learn more about themselves winning in that manner than by thrashing their opposition.

"You need to win scrappy sometimes," Wighton, who celebrated his 150th NRL match, said.

"We have had a lot of good wins lately and we lost in a close one last week but winning scrappy like that I think is a lot better than rolling through teams.

"It shows that when we need to dig deep we can come out the other side."

The 26-year-old said he was relishing wearing the No.6 jersey after he got a taste during his maiden Origin series with the NSW Blues.

He felt he was growing in confidence with each outing and his partnership with halfback Aidan Sezer was blossoming.

"I love five-eighth and I love left centre, and I am not going anywhere else apart from that," Wighton said.

"I think I have come of age and maturity ... just thinking week to week and day to day is what is helping me personally."

Tapine was cited by the match review panel but escaped with a fine.

However, he's unlikely to be available for next Sunday's clash with fourth-placed Manly after being forced off AAMI Park just after halftime with a rib injury.

Australian Associated Press