A four-minute burst from Joseph Leilua and the head of Jack Wighton combined to send the Canberra Raiders to a share of the competition lead.
Canberra registered a 26-22 win over the Brisbane Broncos at GIO Stadium on Sunday to move to a 5-1 record and a share of top spot.
After a barnstorming Leilua run which included sending Brisbane fullback Darius Boyd and another three Broncos flying resulted in a 29th-minute try, the powerhouse centre scored again less than four minutes later his send the Raiders towards a fifth win from six starts.
Brisbane, desperate to earn their second win for the season, hit the lead in the 59th minute, but that advantage was to be short-lived.
A Jack Wighton 40/20 kick soon after saw the momentum swing back towards the Raiders who scored twice to score a hard-earned victory.
Canberra opened the scoring through Nick Cotric in the fifth minute, but the four points largely belonged to co-captain Jarrod Croker, who pulled off a brilliant one-hand flick pass while under heavy pressure.
Match: Raiders v Broncos
Round 6 -
Venue: GIO Stadium
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
Brisbane were their own worst enemies early in the clash with turnovers and penalties not allowing them to build pressure.
However, back-to-back penalties for the Broncos allowed them to pick at the Raiders defensive line, with Kodi Nikorima cruising through a gap to make it 4-4 after 20 minutes.
Leilua's rapid-fire double provided the Raiders with the 10-point lead they would take into the break.
What at first looked a serious knee injury suffered by Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad ended with the New Zealander remaining on the field and playing out the remainder of the match.
Trailing by 10 at the break, the Broncos did not have to wait long to get their second try when David Fifita capitalised on a huge overlap on the Broncos right edge after the away side spread the Raiders across the field.
Oates then gave Brisbane the lead after collecting a perfectly-placed Anthony Milford grubber.
With the Broncos on top, the Raiders threw a counter-punch in the form of a Jack Wighton 40/20 kick. Bateman then dived as the hosts put their noses in front 20-16.
Ryan Sutton's 66th-minute try – his first in the NRL - is one of the more bizarre four-pointers seen in recent years.
After Jack Wighton grubbered the ball along the ground, it bounced up and hit him on the head. The rebound went into the path of Sutton who made the most of the opportunity he was presented.
Bateman placed pressure on his side with a penalty for taking a chaser out off the ball which allowed Jack Bird to score to narrow the score to 26-22 before time ran out.