Star Raider Jack Wighton has emerged as a genuine Dally M Medal contender after a stirring NRL season which has left the Green Machine just 80 minutes away from a second-straight grand final.
After winning his first Mal Meninga Medal alongside Josh Papalii as the Raiders' best this year, Wighton is expected to feature prominently in next Monday's medal tally.
The in-form five-eighth had collected 10 points by round 12 before voting went behind closed doors. That had him in seventh spot on the list, three points behind surprise early leader Harry Grant.
Cameron Smith and Clint Gutherson were one point off the lead at the time, while Penrith halfback Nathan Cleary had 11 points at the conclusion of round 12.
Canberra won six of their last eight matches once voting went behind closed doors with Wighton playing a lead hand in several victories.
He leads the club's try-scoring ranks with 13 so far in 2020. Wighton has also dished out eight try assists, and managed 11 line breaks, and 64 tackle breaks across the season.
His late try at the SCG on Friday night proved to be the match winner as Canberra down the Roosters 22-18 and progressed to a third preliminary final in five years.
"It's probably just the stage of my life - I'm comfortable and happy, it's been a rough year and that but it's been made better by everyone around me," Wighton said.
"When you get your outside life right and your footy gets better and I think that's really relevant to me.
"A lot of that has settled down and I've got a beautiful partner than supports me in every way and my two girls are growing up awesome too."
MORE RAIDERS NEWS:
Wighton recently moved to a property just outside of Canberra which has also contributed to his footy-life balance.
"I enjoy it and it's something I've always wanted, it's really suiting us and [we're] loving every minute of it," Wighton said,
"Ever since I moved from home I've always said I want to end up on a bit of land that's a bit more quiet and private."