Knights hand Raiders sixth straight home loss

The Newcastle Knights have relegated the Canberra Raiders to their sixth consecutive home loss with a 26-12 win in front of 9519 fans at GIO Stadium in Canberra.

In what was a close first half, the Knights looked the better team with ball in hand as late inclusion Jarrod Mullen added a strong kicking game and overall confidence boost to a Newcastle side that has lacked consistency and direction at times this season.

Despite this, it was the Raiders who scored first on 9 minutes when a set play down their left hand side resulted in Jarrod Croker getting over the line for the opening try of the match.

The Knights struck back soon after through James McManus in the 16th minute in what was almost a carbon copy of the Raiders opening try. The ball was played through the hands to the Knights left hand edge and Tyrone Roberts ensured scores were level when he added the extras from less than metre from the sideline.

The Raiders had a video referee decision go against them when Jarrod Croker dropped the ball over the line on the 30 minute mark. To rub salt into the wounds, the Knights then went down the other end and within 90 seconds Adam Clydesdale gave them the lead for the first time in the game.

Wayne Bennett wouldn't have been pleased when the Raiders were allowed to reply soon after through the barnstorming Shannon Boyd. The big man barged through some soft ruck defence in the 37th minute on the back of a penalty, and scored under the black dot to level the scores on half time.

The second half began with both sides making a number of unforced errors however the momentum of the match turned sharply in Newcastle's favour when James McManus made a break down field in the 48th minute. On the next play the Knights spread the ball to their right with Beau Scott finding space before finding the try line.

The Raiders became their own worst enemy with a number of unforced errors putting unneeded pressure on their defence and gifting the Knights good field position. The pressure finally resulted in points in the 60th minute when Joseph Leilua almost ran the length of the field before Dane Gagai scored on the next play with the Raiders defence unable to reorganise themselves in time.

The Raiders were unable to get back into the contest as the match turned into an arm wrestle and Tyrone Roberts kicked a 74th minute penalty goal to lock up the two points for the Novocastrians. The Raiders did have a chance to get back into the match late but a Jarrod Croker pass to an unmarked Ben Tupou was dropped cold with only the try line in front of him.

Despite a strong victory, Knights fans will be asking at what cost it has come, with Kade Snowden and Kurt Gidley both going off with head injuries during the match and Akuila Uate looking to have sustained a minor knee injury despite staying on the field.


Match Details
Canberra Raiders 12 Newcastle Knights 26
Venue: GIO Stadium
Crowd: 9519
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 12 Newcastle Knights 12

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Beau Scott
2 points - Willie Mason
1 point - Paul Vaughan

CANBERRA RAIDERS (12)
Tries: Jarrod Croker, Shannon Boyd
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (2/2)
Penalty Goals:

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (26)
Tries: James McManus, Adam Clydsdale, Beau Scott, Dane Gagai
Field Goals:
Conversions: Tyrone Roberts (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Tyrone Roberts (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM CHANGES:

CAN: Only one change for the home side - Paul Vaughan starts in place of Josh Papalii

NEW: There are several changes for the Knights including the return of Jarrod Mullen in place of Michael Dobson. Zane Tetevano and Chris Houston start with Willie Mason and Robbie Rochow going to the bench. Adam Cuthbertson and David Fa'alogo dropping out.

Welcome to Saturday afternoon football. Today the Canberra Raiders host the Newcastle Knights from GIO Stadium.

The Raiders have had a rough go of it when playing from home in recent times. Ricky Stuart will know that GIO Stadium needs to become a fortress if the Raiders are to be a serious top 8 threat this season.

The Knights have had an emotional fortnight culminating in a big loss to the Cowboys on Monday Night. They will need to find some consistency, something they have struggled with so far this season.

With all this in mind, this afternoons match promises to be a tough encounter with both teams fancying their chances to take the two points.

Teams heading out onto GIO Stadium on what looks like a beautiful day in Canberra. Only a few minutes until kick off.

KICK OFF! The Raiders get us underway and the Knights will have first use.

1: Strong first set from the Knights as Mullen puts a kick into the corner.

2: Terry Campese's first kick is charged down.

3: PENALTY Knights.

4: Knights with their first attacking chance but the Raiders hold firm.

5: Now it is a 10 metre PENALTY to the Raiders and they will go into the Knights half.

6: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Reece Robinson makes an unforced error.

Good pass from Campese and Vaughan is nearly through. The kick on the last tackle is put high into the corner but Robinson knocks it forward.

7: The Knights kick on the last trickles dead in goal.

8: The Raiders put a grubber into the in goal area and Mullen is caught in goal. Line drop out.

9: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Jarrod Croker. Kick to come.

A good set play down the left side. The ball goes through the hands and Croker scores.

11: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

Croker adds the extras from close to the sideline.

12: The Knights muscle up for the first set after the Raiders score and Campese is forced to kick from inside his own 40.

13: Mullen puts a kick to the right side of the field. Uate bats it back but Gagai can't handle it.

14: Early kick on the third tackle from the Raiders, perhaps looking for the 40/20.

15: Raiders force the Knights into touch but it is a PENALTY for offside.

15: Another PENALTY for the Knights for a strip.

16: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by James McManus. Kick to come.

Back to back penalties and a good chance for the Knights. They make the most of it as McManus scores in the left corner.

17: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Roberts converts from the right hand sideline.

19: PENALTY Raiders for a mid air tackle.

20: Jack Wighton puts in a very good grubber but Darius Boyd knocks it dead for a line drop out.

21: The line drop out from the Knights travels 74 metres. WOW!

22: Milford through a gap but it is a PENALTY for the Knights for obstruction.

23: Mullen with a dangerous kick and Campese catches it right on his own in goal line. Now the Raiders receive a PENALTY.

24: Double knock on as the Raiders look to attack and they will get another set of six.

26: Campese grubbers the ball in goal and the Knights are ruled to have played at it but the video referee overrules it and it is a 20 metre tap.

27: Mullen grubbers the ball into touch. Mullen has made a drastic difference to the Knights kicking game today with a number of smart kicks.

28: Wighton puts in a MASSIVE kick down field but he can't get it to go out for a 40/20.

30: Croker is held down for a bit too long and it is a PENALTY to the Raiders.

30: VIDEO REFEREE - Croker finishes another attacking move for the Raiders but it looks like he may have lost it.

30: NO TRY Raiders! Knock on and it is a 20 metre tap for the Knights.

31: The no try decision is compounded by a PENALTY to the Knights for a strip.

32: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Adam Clydsdale. Kick to come.

After the Raiders were just denied, the Knights march down field and score their own try.

33: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Another good kick from Roberts to extend the lead.

34: Great first set for the Knights after points ends with Milford tackled within his own 10 metre line.

35: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
James McManus makes an unforced error.

McManus takes a bomb awkwardly but then loses the ball when he gets tackled. Raiders to begin the set on the Knights 40.

37: TRY CANBERRA RAIDERS
Scored by Shannon Boyd. Kick to come.

PENALTY Raiders. Very dangerous position and Boyd powers over for the Raiders second try.

38: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CANBERRA RAIDERS
Conversion attempt by Jarrod Croker successful.

Croker makes no mistakes from right in front.

40: Wighton kicks the ball out on the full and the Knights may have one more chance.

40: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Darius Boyd makes an unforced error.

The Knights get very close late in the first half but Darius Boyd's last pass for Uate is forward.

40: HALF TIME: Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights locked at 12-all. Very close and tough half. Still any bodies ball game.

40: Second half is UNDERWAY at GIO Stadium.

41: PENALTY Raiders early in the second half.

42: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Terry Campese makes an unforced error.

A very big forward pass from Campese.

42: Leilua makes a break down field for the Knights but then loses it in the play the ball.

43: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Shannon Boyd makes an unforced error.

Shannon Boyd isn't expecting the pass and drops it cold.

43: Not the best start to the half from either team.

44: The Knights run the ball on the last tackle and Houston is caught with the ball. Turnover.

46: Mullen puts up a non-threatening kick which is caught in goal by Milford. This is compounded by a Raiders PENALTY for offside.

47: A weak grubber from Campese to end a good attacking set.

48: McManus makes a break but is wrapped up by Milford and Robinson.

48: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Beau Scott. Kick to come.

After the break, the Knights send the ball to the other side of the field and Scott scores.

50: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Roberts adds the extras from close range.

51: Milford takes the kick from the Knights and gets up limping after the tackle.

52: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Shaun Fensom makes an unforced error.

Raiders make a slight break and then get a PENALTY. And now Fensom knocks it on.

54: Roberts puts the ball dead. Knights have done this a lot today. Must be a tactic to slow the game down.

55: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Jarrod Croker makes an unforced error.

Croker spills a Jack Wighton pass.

56: PENALTY Raiders for the Knights players being offside from a Mullen kick. The Raiders needed that penalty.

57: Milford makes a break and it ends with Campese tackled 20 metres out from the Knights line.

58: Now it is a Raiders PENALTY just 10 metres out.

58: Kurt Gidley goes off after hitting his head on his own players knee.

59: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Jarrod Croker makes an unforced error.

A good attacking set ends with a Croker knock on as he attempts to take a ball that has been batted back off a kick.

60: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Dane Gagai. Kick to come.

Big break down field from Leilua and Gagai scores from the next tackle.

61: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Roberts extends the lead to 12.

62: INJURY UPDATE: Gidley getting stitches and undertaking a concussion test.

63: Play stopped as Snowden lays on the ground. Looks to have hit his head attempting a tackle.

63: Stretcher is coming on for Snowden and he will go off the field.

63: Time back on.

65: A real arm wrestle at the moment as both sides trade sets, but one that the Knights seem to be winning.

66: Darius Boyd picks up a kick close to his own line and is tackled 13 metres out.

66: Time off for another injury, this time for Uate clutching at his knee.

66: Uate will play on.

66: A good kick from Mullen as Milford is forced to pick the ball up in his own in goal.

67: Campese comes extremely close to a 40/20 but it still ends well with Gagai tackled in his own in goal for a line drop out.

69: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Bill Tupou makes an unforced error.

Bill Tupou only has to catch a ball from Croker and score but he drops it with nobody in front of him!

70: Once again it is Mullen putting a kick into touch and slowing down the game.

71: Boyd is forced to pick up a Jack Wighton kick in his in goal and JUST gets into the field of play.

72: And now it is Mullen stopping a kick only centimetres inside the Raiders in goal.

72: Tyrone Roberts has picked up a loose ball from the Raiders and they will get a chance in good attacking territory.

73: PENALTY Knights right in front of the posts and they will take the two.

74: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Penalty goal attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Tyrone Roberts looks to have sealed the win with a penalty goal.

74: Short restart from the Raiders and Croker takes it.

76: UNFORCED ERROR CANBERRA RAIDERS
Anthony Milford makes an unforced error.

Milford throws a flat pass to Croker but it is forward.

77: INJURY UPDATE: Kade Snowden is ok but will take no further part in this match.

78: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
James McManus makes an unforced error.

Darius Boyd picks up a kick and throws it to James McManus who knocks it on.

79: Raiders looking to throw the ball around late but Gagai makes an intercept pass.

80: Mullen with a kick on the last but it is too deep and rolls dead in goal. Campese kicks from the 20 metre restart but can't find touch.

80: FULL TIME: Despite a number of injuries today, the Newcastle Knights have won 26-12 over the Canberra Raiders in front of a crowd of 9519 at GIO Stadium.

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