Jack Wighton has experienced a whirlwind past 18 months but the Canberra Raiders five-eighth hopes a new-found maturity means the best is yet to come.
Wighton dealt with an off-field issue in court last year and then had to contend with the ups-and-downs of rep footy this year during his maiden Origin series with the NSW Blues.
His debut didn't go quite to plan, as he threw an errant pass that Dane Gagai scored off to lead Queensland to an 18-14 victory in the opening game of the 2019 series.
But Wighton rebounded quickly to play a starring role in helping the Blues claim the series 2-1 and has since returned to the Raiders to help the premiership hopefuls maintain their place inside the top-four in the run home to the finals.
Wighton played his 150th game for the 'Green Machine' against Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Saturday night - the 26-year-old having a pivotal role in helping his side to a tremendous come-from-behind 22-18 victory.
Match Highlights: Storm v Raiders
He hopes it’s the start of something special in the nation’s capital as he believes the Raiders are capable of doing some serious damage during the post-season.
"We know we can beat any team on any day," Wighton said after the Raiders blew away an 18-0 deficit to claim victory over Storm.
"We have got all the confidence in this team and it’s totally up to us."
Wighton has played in a variety of positions for the Raiders over the years and only this season has made the No.6 jersey his own during 20 appearances for the Canberra side.
The Orange-product says he has matured immensely over the past 18 months and he is glad he has finally found a position in the Raiders line-up he can call his own.
"I love five-eighth and I love left centre and I am not going anywhere else apart from that," he said.
"I think I have come of age and maturity [recently]...just thinking week to week and day to day is what is helping me personally."
Wighton suffered a mixed bag against Storm, being sent to the sin bin in the fourth minute of the game for a professional foul, before returning to help guide the Raiders to their 14th win this season.
It was a dramatic turnaround for Ricky Stuart’s side after they trailed by three converted tries inside 30 minutes. Wighton was impressed with the way his teammates held their nerve and fought back to beat the NRL leaders.
"You need to win scrappy sometimes," he said.
"We have had a lot of good wins lately and we lost in a close one last week but winning scrappy like that I think is a lot better than rolling through teams.
"It shows that when we need to dig deep we can come out the other side."