The nib Newcastle Knights have claimed a stunning 24-16 win in one of the games of the season in front of 6642 fans at Wagga Wagga's McDonalds Park.
The Knights trailed 16-0 at half-time before completing the comeback in the second half when Tyson Frizell stormed over next to the posts.
Ponga's conversion gave the Knights the lead for the first time in the 69th minute.
It was an incredible turn around given the stark differences between the sides in the opening half.
The game was a must-win for both sides, who were each looking to kick-start their season's in the Riverina Region.
This was made clear in the opening minutes, however it was the Raiders who started the better of the two sides.
Errors were the Knights' Achilles heel, completing just seven of their opening 11 sets.
Despite dominating the opening stages, the Green Machine only had a pair of George Williams penalty goals to show for it heading into final 10 minutes of the first half.
It was actually Enari Tuala who was the first player to cross the stripe, however a bunker intervention saw it knocked back for an obstruction in the lead up.
Joe Tapine finally broke the drought in the 32nd minute, giving the Raiders a 10-0 lead.
A try to Bailey Simonsson on the stroke of half-time added further misery in what was a disastrous opening 40 for Newcastle.
With many fearing the worst at half-time, the game changed the second the latter half got underway.
A short Ponga kick-off found Lachlan Fitzgibbon, with Phoenix Crossland crossing just seconds later to open the Knights' account.
The try breathed some much-needed life into the Novacastrians and when Ponga crossed in the 60th minute, it was game on.
Frizell's four pointer gave the Knights a slender lead, which they were forced to protect from a barrage of Canberra attacking raids in the dying stages.
A late try to Jayden Brailey sealed a valuable two points for the Knights, who will now head on the road with some much needed momentum next week.