Jack Wighton declared he will be fit for next Sunday's NRL grand final, alleviating any fears he might miss Canberra's first decider in 25 years after picking up a shoulder injury late in Friday night's preliminary final win over South Sydney.
The Orange product was left clutching his shoulder after a tackle late in the epic, 16-10 win at GIO Stadium but immediately after full-time he said, emphatically, he's "all good" for next week's decider.
"I feel good, got a little bit of a pincher on the top of the shoulder but I'll be all good [for the grand final]," Wighton told AAP.
I feel good, got a little bit of a pincher on the top of the shoulder but I'll be all good [for the grand final].Jack Wighton
Wighton continued his stunning 2019 form in Friday night's victory, he was at his bruising best in defence and scored a remarkable, albeit somewhat fortuitous, try as his Raiders produced an incredible effort to hold the Rabbitohs at bay.
The fullback-come-playmaker spilled it while trying to clean up a loose ball but had the presence of mind to toe it ahead before it hit the ground, chasing, regathering and then scoring a crucial try that pushed the Raiders ahead 10-6.
Canberra continually turned Souths away despite going one man down when Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad was sin-binned, before Josh Papalii capped a man-of-the-match showing by powering his way over in the 74th minute and book the Raiders' grand final tickets.
"Our defence is something we've worked really hard on and the results are showing," Wighton said, having moved into the front-line at five-eighth this season.
"We put in a lot of hours through the preseason and a lot of hours through the year and it's showing."
Next Sunday's grand final, the Raiders' first since 1994, will also give Wighton a chance to complete his remarkable redemption after a tumultuous 2018, in which he was at serious risk of having his contract torn up and falling into NRL purgatory.
The 26-year-old's maiden grand final appearance comes less than 12 months after being handed a suspended jail sentence for an alcohol-fuelled assault outside a Canberra nightclub, the Raiders standing by their five-eighth through the ordeal.
He's gone a long way to repaying their faith this season, his shift to five-eighth also bringing a State of Origin debut this year as well.
"I've been here a few years and last year was one of my lowest lows," Wighton said.
"One of my biggest promises was to repay the boys and repay the club and there's no better way to do it than to make the grand final as a team.
"It's the same in all of life - you've got to have your lows to enjoy the highs and it just makes it 10 times better.
"Success is the best type of revenge and turning it around this year and not buying into all the bullshit - I'm in a happy spot."
While Wighton is also trying to win a place in the Kangaroos' squad for Australia's end-of-year Tests against New Zealand and Tonga, his focus won't shift from Sunday's grand final against the Sydney Roosters.
"We've got to really embrace it and take it all in and enjoy our moment," Wighton said.
"You don't get these moments very often so you've got to embrace and make sure you play your best footy."
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