Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson said his side was forced to get "down and dirty" to win a pulsating top-four NRL clash with Canberra at GIO Stadium.
The 22-18 victory clinched a fourth-straight win for the Roosters and snapped a five-game losing streak in Canberra.
The result keeps the Roosters second on the ladder and Canberra third after Melbourne's defeat of South Sydney in Sunday's other top-four game.
Roosters fullback James Tedesco continued his superb season and set up two tries, while star winger Daniel Tupou bagged a double.
Robinson said his men were made to work for the win in front of 19,530 fans - the biggest regular-season crowd in Canberra since 2010.
"I was happy about how we scrapped to win that," Robinson said.
"You know, if you want to go toe-to-toe, we'll play the longer-style games and kick returns and all of that and, if you want to play stop-start, we'll get down and dirty and play that too.
"There was a real good principal to the game, the stuff you want to see at this time of year. I thought we executed fairly well.
"But I can still see a lot of improvement in us."
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said the match lived up to its billing as a finals precursor and remained adamant his men could win the grand final if played tomorrow.
"If we had got different calls on some things, it might have been a bit different, but we didn't. It was a good education for a team moving into a really important part of the season," Stuart said.
"Could we beat the best team in a grand final tomorrow? I reckon we can. It didn't happen tonight but Melbourne are on top of the competition and we've got them next week."
Tedesco sliced through the Raiders' defence to put Victor Radley in for the opening try on four minutes.
Canberra soon hit back when English star John Bateman flicked one out the back for Jordan Rapana to scamper over from three metres out.
The Raiders marched back down field and made it two tries in four minutes after Jarrod Croker collected the final pass to score his 122nd try in his 250th match.
But the premiers weren't going anywhere and, when Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad put down a bomb, Roosters star Latrell Mitchell swooped and shrugged off three defenders to score.
The next try arrived when Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary was pinpoint with his kick for Tupou, who leapt over Rapana and scored in the corner.
The Tedesco show continued in the second half as the star fullback manoeuvred an incredible catch-and-cut-out pass for Tupou for his second on 53 minutes.
Canberra were determined to make it a grandstand finish when co-captain Josh Hodgson guided a grubber through for Elliott Whitehead to score, but that was it.
Whitehead was put on report for knees into the back of Joey Manu.