"We're contenders and we're coming."
That's the message from Canberra after the Raiders beat a top-four NRL side for the first time this season, toppling competition leaders Melbourne last week.
Canberra will contest their third consecutive top-four battle when they host Manly at GIO Stadium on Sunday.
Another win for third-placed Canberra will almost certainly lock up a top-four spot with two games to play.
The Raiders' comeback win in Melbourne was the clearest sign yet that coach Ricky Stuart's men have what it takes to snap a 25-year premiership drought.
It was their first away win against the powerhouse Storm since 2013 and they had to overcome an 18-0 deficit and two sin bins in the first half.
Raiders forward Dunamis Lui said the gutsy victory proved they can go all the way in 2019.
"To have that much time (in the sin bin) and still come away with the win really showed a lot of heart and where we are at the moment," he said.
"Even the week before against the Roosters we know we could have won that game, we were one or two passes away.
"So it was just a matter of proving to everyone we can face those top teams and win those games.
"To win that game last week, hopefully we proved to everyone we're real contenders and we're coming."
Manly are flying under coach Des Hasler.
They've won four of their past five games, beat Canberra in round seven and were the last team to defeat Melbourne before the Raiders.
"They have a lot of big bodies, so they'll really challenge us down the middle," Lui said.
"But our game plan won't be any different than last week just going at them and trying to win the ruck."
English prop Ryan Sutton said the Raiders' best was yet to come and that they need to improve against the Sea Eagles.
"They're another team you can't clock off against," he said.
"You've got to be on your game for the full 80 minutes and as good as the game was on the weekend we've still not had an 80-minute performance.
"These are the games you want to play in to prepare yourself for (finals)."
Australian Associated Press