FOR two years they've played off-Broadway, now the Canberra Raiders are keen to test themselves as the main act.
Saturday's 30-12 win over Penrith at Wagga puts Canberra in third spot with a 6-2 record, and clears the way for consecutive blockbusters against the Roosters (first) in Brisbane this Sunday, followed by Souths (second) in Canberra.
It's a fortnight where the Raiders' top four credentials will be given a thorough examination. But Canberra co-captain Jarrod Croker said said they would take belief from beating the Roosters and Rabbitohs in consecutive weeks in rounds 23 and 24 last year.
"I think it does give us a bit of confidence, but we'll enjoy this win now," Croker said.
"We've got two big weeks coming up that will really test us. It should be a great weekend up there for Magic Round 30 or 40,000 will be there and we're looking forward to it.
Canberra has won one of three matches against fellow top eight sides this year, beating Parramatta in round five but falling to Manly (round seven) and Melbourne (round two).
Backrower Elliott Whitehead said the side confidence they can spring an upset against the defending premiers in Queensland.
"We've got the belief we can go to Brisbane and beat the Roosters," Whitehead said.
"We'll work hard this week and look at where their weaknesses are."
Asked what his side would learn from playing the top two, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said: "The next month is going to be a big month for all club, not just the Raiders.
"It's that period of time where there's that bit of separation between the top and bottom four.
"The feeling in the change rooms (after Penrith game) is why you get so shitty after a loss, you want those feelings and you want those wins."