George Williams showed exactly why the Canberra Raiders wanted him. And then Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy labelled the Green Machine favourites to win the competition.
Williams set up two tries, played a hand in a third and prevented another. Plus threw in a big shot on Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen just for good measure.
It led the Raiders to a 22-6 victory over the Storm in Melbourne on Saturday night.
It's the first time the Raiders have beaten the Storm three times in a row and the first time they've started a season 3-0 since 2005.
Bellamy was full of praise for the club where he was inducted into the hall of fame earlier in the year.
"I was a little bit embarrassed by that performance to be quite honest. We knew we were playing a really good team tonight. They're tough, professional and we just didn't match that," he said.
"We know they're a good team, probably favourites to win the competition. Played in the grand final last year.
"We know they're a good team and very professional, very relentless and ruthless with what they do. It's not hard to pick what they do, but they do it so consistently well."
It was a fitting result for Josh Papalii, who ran for 161 metres in his 200th NRL game - against the team and at the venue he made his debut in 2011.
Then the Raiders had a mad dash to the airport to try and beat the fog - with a potential bus trip home from Sydney on the cards.
The way they defended you would've backed them to hold the weather back as well.
Raiders co-captain Josh Hodgson put their resolute defence, which kept the Storm scoreless in the second half despite the home team dominating possession, down to it being Papalii's milestone game.
He's a hugely popular figure in Canberra and has grown into the best prop in the game.
"We obviously spoke about it being a massive game for us. A massive incentive for us when it was going tough was Josh's 200th game," Hodgson said.
"He's such a big man around the club, he's an absolute legend of the club and we knew how important it was to get the win for him.
"When there's times we've got to dig deep and scramble for your mate you make sure you turn up to get the win for Josh and I thought we did that."
But the Raiders might have a nervous wait over a possible Joe Tapine shoulder charge, while Storm prop Tino Faasuamaleaui was put on report for a crusher tackle on Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad.
Tapine produced a try-saving tackle late in the game to deny Justin Olam a late try, holding him up over the line, and then scored the sealer in the dying seconds after another Williams break.
Williams put the room he found himself in down to work of Hodgson and his forward pack - Corey Horsburgh (109m), Sia Soliola (126m) and Emre Guler (107m) all produced centuries as well as Papalii.
The first try Williams set up was a cut-out pass coach Ricky Stuart would've been proud of for Nick Cotric to score in the corner.
The second he jinked his way through the Storm line before putting his fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad through.
"Hodgey was great with the middles and they were just rolling us forward," Williams said.
"Me and Jackie [Wighton] can just push off the back of that, and just push into the next hole. It was a great performance. We'll go back to the drawing board and not get too carried away."
Raiders winger Jordan Rapana made an instant impact on his return to Canberra, scoring a try after just four minutes from a nice Jarrod Croker catch-and-pass.
He went over untouched after a brief stint in Japanese rugby union, where the coronavirus meant he only missed two NRL games.
Rapana started on Canberra's left wing for Bailey Simonsson, who was out due to a leg infection.
Both the Raiders' opening tries came off the back of six-again ruck infringement - finally that phrase of six again has a good meaning in Canberra.
Storm lock Dale Finucane scored the Storm's only try, barging over from close range after Melbourne fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen lost the ball in the act of placing it down for a try.
The Raiders took an 18-6 lead into half-time and that's the way it stayed for almost all of the second half.
Melbourne dominated the stanza, but they couldn't break the Raiders' defensive line.
Storm half Cameron Munster was involved in everything for the home side, while prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona was his usual man-mountain self.
Right when you thought Canberra might finally crack, Hodgson produced two brilliant plays to relieve the pressure.
First a one-on-one strip and then he backed it up with a 40-20 kick.
The another Williams run ended up with a Cotric kick finding Tapine to seal the win in the final seconds.
Now the high-flying Raiders travel to Campbelltown for a "home" game against Newcastle.
AT A GLANCE
CANBERRA RAIDERS 22 (Jordan Rapana, Nick Cotric, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Joe Tapine tries; Jarrod Croker 3 goals) bt MELBOURNE STORM 6 (Dale Finucane try; Cameron Smith goal) at Melbourne. Referee: Grant Atkins.