Canberra Raiders star Jack Wighton has passed his first major test as he continues his on the job training at five-eighth.
Having nearly been lost to the game after pleading guilty to assault last year, Wighton's career is set to enter a second-phase as the Raiders' full-time five-eighth.
The 26-year-old played the full 80 minutes in a 28-22 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday in Bega. His imposing frame is likely to give the Raiders another potent attacking weapon in the front line in 2019.
"It was really good, the lungs were blowing a bit in the first half as I was trying to find my feet," Wighton said.
"I think it was the same way for all of the boys, the Dogs were very efficient in the first half but once we settled into the half it was really good.
"He [Ricky] gave me the full stint, I think I needed it after all of that time off."
Canterbury's line-speed was exceptional for a pre-season trial, and the lack of time was a bit of a wake-up call for Wighton as he adjusts to life as one of the side's primary playmakers.
"There's a bit of work to do, but the Dogs were really good at slowing down our ruck in the middle during the first half," Wighton said.
"So, it was hard to play off the back of that but when we got a bit more of a roll I was a bit more comfortable.
"We can't judge off the first half, we were very much on the back foot and it's hard to play to a game plan when you're under that kind of pressure.
"I think we did really well given the pressure we were under and managed to finish off well."
In a difference from previous seasons, the Raiders have needed both trials in order to establish a pecking order to help coach Ricky Sturt move closer to the 17 he will name for round one.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad looks to have locked up the fullback position, having looked solid under the high ball in swirling conditions. The ex-Warriors player also looking for work coming out of his own half.
Ryan Sutton continued to show signs they will continue the Raiders' strong recent tradition of getting the best out of English stars, and was impressive off the bench.
Despite coming back from 22-6 at half-time, Wighton knows the side has plenty of areas to improve on, including defence around the ruck and stamping out second-phase play.
"I've got a little bit of work to do, they found a bit of a gap they could they roll through in behind our ruck, but we'll go and have a look at that (on the video) and clean that up," Wighton said.