Raiders rookie Xavier Savage ran riot in a 34-18 win over the Sharks with exceptional speed and skill, but it was his toughness that most pleased coach Ricky Stuart.
Playing in his second official NRL match after being illegally used as a reserve in round 15, Savage scored the match-sealing try and racked up two line-breaks, 246 metres from 16 carries and nine tackle busts.
Canberra five-eighth Jack Wighton succumbed to a rib injury in the 61st minute but told Fox League that he would be fit to face the Eels next Thursday while Savage battled through a shoulder issue.
The fact that 19-year-old Savage gritted his teeth and stayed on the park, shifting to the wing late in the game, earned Stuart's admiration.
"That was his biggest credit on the night, that he played on with injury," Stuart said post-match at Cbus Super Stadium.