A teenage Canberra Raiders recruit helped lift the Gungahlin Bulls to just their third win of the season in his first grade debut on Saturday.
NRL hopeful Josh Allan gave the Bulls an important spark in their bottom-of-the-table clash against the Yass Magpies after moving to the capital.
The Bulls won 34-6 to four points clear of the last-placed Magpies, who will be determined to rally for their 100th year celebrations when they play the Goulburn Bulldogs next week.
The Bulls' win made sure coach David Howell was in a good mood before attending the Raiders' reunion function at Canberra Stadium.
"It's been a tough year for us with the amount of injuries we've had, but the guys have been putting in and they finally got the result they deserve," former Raiders winger Howell said.
"Josh Allan was good in his first game for the club, he's only 18 years old. He played really well given we didn't know what to expect.
"But our whole forward pack stood up this week, and that was very pleasing.
"We've lost a few forwards through injury this year so it was handy to have another forward in Josh come in, rather than having guys back up from second grade."
Cody Smith played a full game of second grade before helping the Bulls clinch a first-grade win as Gungahlin shared the tries to get a morale-boosting result.
The Magpies face the daunting challenge of celebrating their centenary at home next week against the high-flying Bulldogs, who dismantled defending premiers Woden 49-6.
The Bulldogs star trio of Mitch Cornish, Nick Cornish and James Aubusson set up the first try after 11 minutes to start an avalanche.
They led 27-0 by half-time and had complete control of the game, only conceding one try after the break.
The loss puts the Rams in danger of slipping outside the top four with just four games left in the regular season.
The West Belconnen Warriors can jump ahead of the Rams if they beat the Queanbeyan Kangaroos at Kippax on Sunday.
The Bulldogs are second on the ladder behind the Tuggeranong Bushrangers, who cruised to their 10th win of the season when they beat the Belconnen United Sharks 44-18.
AT A GLANCE
Saturday: GUNGAHLIN BULLS 34 bt YASS MAGPIES 6; TUGGERANONG BUSHRANGERS 44 bt BELCONNEN UNITED SHARKS 18; GOULBURN BULLDOGS 49 bt WODEN VALLEY RAMS 6
Sunday: West Belconnen Warriors v Queanbeyan Kangaroos at Kippax, 3pm