Nowhere in the increasingly predictable script of NRL 2021 did it say anything about the Raiders beating Manly on Thursday.
But Canberra had no interest following the text - they were too busy composing a season-resurrecting Brookvale sonnet which ended in a 30-16 triumph.
"The way we won tonight it was a credit to the mentality of the players, the attitude of the players," Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said.
"It's the exact opposite to what I said last week. There wasn't a player that didn't get a tick of approval in regards to their defence and attack and that's what it takes.
"We had a team effort tonight so I'm just really happy that they've got a good feeling as an individual and group tonight.
There were multiple performers who stole the show.
Sam Williams was front and square as the curtain came down. His two tries from close range propelled the Raiders to a winning position, and showed he still had plenty of desire and drive to offer the Green Machine despite the expiration of his contract at season's end.
Bowing proudly adjacent to Williams at fulltime was local junior Matt Frawley, who controlled proceedings for lengthy periods with the ball tethered to his pinpoint left boot.
Flanking the unfamiliar halves pairing was a makeshift forward pack missing its two leaders in Queensland enforcer Josh Papalii, and the injured Elliott Whitehead.
Dunamis Lui went down early with a calf strain and played no further part, but it only seemed to park Joe Tapine to his best game since the semi-final win last season over the Sydney Roosters.
He was ably assisted by Ryan Sutton and Emre Guler, the latter scoring a try with five minutes remaining to seal the club's third win in 12 games.
Let's not forget Xavier Savage, who's initial bow was thwarted last month when he took the field illegally against St George Illawarra. The 19-year-old started at fullback, finished on the wing and put in a fearlessly assured performance even producing a try-saving tackle on Brad Parker, who otherwise would've put Manly two tries ahead and most likely turned this one into yet another tragedy.
This was an uncharacteristic Manly outfit, missing their two biggest names in Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans who were also off on state v state duties.
And for 60 minutes nothing went right for the Sea Eagles, summed up entirely midway through the second half when a Williams bomb bounced off Moses Suli's face and into the grateful arms of Sebastian Kris.
But Des Hasler's men still threatened to steal the show late on when Haumole Olakau'atu and then Suli scored late on.
The Raiders held on to draw level with eighth-placed Cronulla, and their show in 2021 goes on.
"You hear a lot of comment about our situation at the moment that we're fractured as a group, that we've got issues in the camp," Stuart said.
"We haven't, but we're all very competitive. We're a club that strives to be a competitive football team that wants to play finals football. When you're in a very volatile, competitive industry, there's always going to be headbutts.
"I've never coached a football team or be coached as a player where there hasn't been a few headbutts throughout the year but we're all men and we get on with it. It's a lot different inside our club than what the comment is outside.
"We've been accused of players not putting in, lack of effort, that couldn't be anywhere further from the truth."
AT A GLANCE
Canberra Raiders 30 (Williams 2, Kris, Starling, Guler tries, Croker 5 goals) bt Manly Sea Eagles 16 (Walker, Olakau'atu, Suli tries, Garrick 2 goals)