Six minutes of magic from Jack Wighton has saved Canberra's blushes with the Raiders coming from behind to down last-placed Canterbury 34-20 in their Sunday night NRL match.
The 2019 grand finalists were outplayed in the first half at GIO Stadium and trailed the Bulldogs 20-12 at the break.
But Wighton fired up his team early in the second half, scoring in the 48th and 54th minute.
The Test and NSW Origin star used his brute strength to reach out and slam the ball down for his first effort, and then fended off Bulldog Sione Katoa to touch down for his second to put his team in the lead 22-20.
The tries knocked the wind out of the Bulldogs, who then conceded again five minutes later through Hudson Young.
The Raiders jumped above South Sydney into fifth place on the competition ladder on the back of the win, but it looked far from a sure thing in the opening 40 minutes.
Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said Wighton got his team back into the hunt.
"Jack Wighton got the game by the throat and took it on himself to get the us on the front foot," Stuart said.
But Stuart gave credit to the Bulldogs for putting his team in a sticky position.
"Don't discredit the way the Dogs played," he said.
"I'm not trying to take the blame off my boys for being down at halftime but they (Bulldogs) were committed and they played well."
The Bulldogs played way above their status as current wooden spooners and were first on the scoreboard through returning winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
The home side responded with four-pointers to Joseph Tapine and hooker Tom Starling, who had an eventful night with two tries and a sin-binning after three repeat set restarts.
After a 35th minute try by Canterbury captain Josh Jackson, centre Kerrod Holland scored one of the tries of the season when he spiralled a ball wide and then backed up the pass to grubber ahead twice before winning the race to it.
That gave his team the 20-12 halftime lead but it came no avail in the second half as the Raiders showed their class to romp home.
Bulldogs interim coach Steve Georgallis said a 15-minute period early in the second half where his team went away from their game plan proved costly and lamented their poor game management.
"It was that period that cost us any chance of winning the game and if you give that amount of ball and field position to a team like Canberra you are going to get punished," he said.
"There were some poor reads in defence on the tryline which wasn't good."