Canberra's comeback to beat Melbourne looked the stuff of miracles but according to Jack Wighton, the real miracle happened before kick-off at AAMI Park.
The Raiders became the first team to ever fight back from an 18-0 deficit to beat the Storm, with Josh Papalii crashing over in the 76th minute for a 22-18 victory on Saturday.
The match marked the return of star centre Joey Leilua, who hadn't played since suffering a bulging disc in round seven in April, which required surgery.
The injury almost ended his career and he certainly wasn't expected to play again this season.
Unable to feel his neck before the surgery, he feared he would no longer be able to play with his two children Leonidas and LaDanian.
But instead the 27-year-old, who is the reigning Dally M centre of the year, celebrated his comeback, and 200th NRL match, in style.
Wighton was thrilled to have his teammate back in the line-up against the odds.
"It's massive to have him back," said Wighton, who also marked a milestone clocking up 150 games.
"I had to chat to him not long after and his worries weren't about playing football it was about whether he could play with his kids again.
"It really rattled him and for him to make a return like this, and so early against such a great team, and to perform the way he did was a massive credit to him."
While Papalii scored the match-winner the Raiders backline, orchestrated by Wighton and halfback Aiden Sezer proved a handful for the Storm,
Centre Jarrod Croker scored a try either side of halftime before winger Jordan Rapana planted a ball down in the corner to get his team to within two points.
Australian Associated Press