It killed two birds with one stone. Not only is a rested Green Machine ready to launch into an NRL final, but it's created a buzz that can launch their finals campaign.
Canberra Raiders prop Sia Soliola got through his injury return unscathed, but he also got an added boost of excitement from the efforts of the Raiders rookies who ran the Cronulla Sharks ragged.
Soliola said the victory had lifted the returning rested Raiders ahead of their elimination final against the Sharks at Canberra Stadium on Saturday.
It's set to be played in front of a sold-out crowd - albeit capped at 9600 - with less than 1000 tickets left on Monday night.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart welcomes back nine first-grade regulars to take on the Sharks, having allowed them all to get over some niggles ahead of finals.
It allowed four NRL debuts and one Raiders debut in a young side that was still too strong for Cronulla.
Soliola said it was the perfect boost on the eve of play-offs.
"It's definitely generated a lot of energy and a lot of buzz around the joint," he said.
"Just seeing how the guys responded. I haven't seen anything on social media yet, but just talking to people and getting a few texts from all the boys how proud they are and that comes from seeing these [young] guys train all the time.
"Since May they've been busting their balls this whole time. They're training harder than what the boys playing [are].
"Collectively as a club [it was] really enjoyable for everyone because we understand how hard it is."
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Soliola was happy with his return from a two-and-a-half-month lay-off following surgery on a Le Fort fracture of his face.
Stuart had warned he needed to protect Soliola from himself in his return, with the 34-year-old heeding his coach's words.
He eased his way back with his opening 15-minute burst before finding his groove when he returned for his second stint.
All up, Soliola played 48 minutes - running for 158 metres and making 23 tackles.
"It was alright. I wouldn't say I was conservative, but I think it was pretty noticeable I was just trying to ease into it," Soliola said.
"It was more being a little bit more controlled than coming out all guns blazing.
"I wouldn't say conservative, but I was trying to be a little bit smarter and trying to get a feel for everything again.
"But when I came out in the second half I was pretty comfortable with everything. It's natural, but it was good."
Stuart revealed how much Soliola had been itching to get back on the field.
Having not played since round eight, Soliola was made to wait until the final round of the home-and-away season before returning - even though he'd been cleared to return a week earlier.
Soliola even had to warm up the week before as one of the non-playing reserves - something he found one of the toughest things he's gone through in the his 300-plus, first-grade career.
But his coach said it was worth the wait - and also timely to have all that experience back as the NRL finals arrived.
"He brings a lot of stability to the middle and a lot of experience. He was great for the young blokes last week. He led by example and it's nice to have him back," Stuart said.
NRL ELIMINATION FINAL
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks, 5.40pm.