Season 2020 has been the making of Canberra lock Joseph Tapine - just ask anyone at the Raiders.
Ricky Stuart says Tapine's freakish try against the Roosters was one of the best he's ever seen from a forward.
Raiders captain Jarrod Croker believes the 100-gamer has been just as influential as Josh Papalii in the club's charge towards Friday's preliminary final against the Melbourne Storm.
Papalii feels Tapine is providing immeasurable inspiration to his teammates as Canberra eyes back-to-back grand final appearances while the man himself has started doing weights this season, and has never been in a better head space.
As a crippling injury crisis threatened to derail the Raiders in 2020, Stuart called Tapine and Papalii into his office and asked them to take charge of a depleted forward pack.
Tapine has played in every match since, barring the final-round win over Cronulla during which he was one of nine first-team regulars rested.
And the New Zealand international has become one of Stuarts most reliable lieutenants.
"His back half of the season has been up there with Papa, he's been outstanding," Croker said.
"Taps has played a lot of test football for New Zealand so it's not like he hasn't been doing a good job here.
"That try he scored on the weekend out of nothing, I think Elliott [Whitehead] threw him a nice ball from dummy half, he picked it up after a couple of bounces and beat about three or four blokes, power and speed and strength and footwork and all of it. He's a special player."
Tapine's 22nd minute try at the SCG on Friday night was one of the greatest individual efforts in the league this season.
He picked up a wild Whitehead pass about 20m out from the Roosters' line and skipped across field beating several defenders to cross the line almost untouched.
"I gave a bounce pass to Taps and it opened it up a little bit for him so I'll take credit for it," Whitehead said.
"It was a great try by Taps, he's been playing outstanding the last couple of weeks and all year really. It's showing what work he's been doing in the gym with his strength.
"For me he's always been a good player and always had that potential, but he's had those little niggles or injuries or suspensions. He's had none of them this year and he's played nearly every game and he's grown in confidence and belief in himself and you can see that on the field."
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Friday's semi-final win over the Roosters was Tapine's 100th match in his fifth season at the Raiders.
The 26-year-old started his career at Newcastle, but move to the capital after just two seasons from where he's also established himself in the New Zealand side.
For most of his NRL career, Tapine has avoided lifting weights in the gym although that changed after his mid-year meeting with Stuart and Papalii.
"I've been doing my gym program, doing my extras in the gym, in my head I'm feeling quite good," Tapine said.
"In my head I know I've done everything I can to go into the game where as in the past I feel like I haven't done everything possible.
"It's not too often I get a try two weeks in a row. It's a good feeling when you get that support after you score."