FAST FINISHING KNIGHTS GIVES FANS HOPE

The resolve of Newcastle can’t be questioned especially in front of their home crowd at Hunter Stadium.

Behind 18-6 going into the final twenty, Sam Mataora crashed over under the posts to reduce the lead to six points.

With the crowd finding their voice, suddenly the Knights went up a gear in attack and three minutes later Pat Mata’utia found space between some lazy Raiders defence to level scores.

Shortly after they were in again.  A dream start to the career of Knights winger Cory Denniss, scoring his second to give his side the lead.

Brenko Lee’s late try squared the ledger and unsuccessful field goal attempts saw the game end in a rare draw at 24-all.

An impressive period which could be a give Knights fans some hope for a decent 2016.

RAIDERS STRUGGLE TO FINISH OFF OPPOSITION!

For a second week running Canberra looked in control of the match, only for their opponents to storm back into the contest.

Last week it was the Raiders up 16-6 at half time and just held on by the skin of their teeth with thanks to Josh Hodgson.  This week a very similar look with the Raiders ahead 18-6 with twenty-three minutes to go.

It’s been a great run for Canberra so far.  Five games (including the last two in 2015) unbeaten and could notch up a third win at home when they host Gold Coast Titans next Saturday.  Good things are happening in the nations capital.  However they really would love back Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer.

Ricky Stuart will be well aware that his side needs to improve with the next month including opponents in Canterbury, Cronulla and Parramatta.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE KICKING OUT OF DUMMY HALF

No Blake Austin. No Aidan Sezer.

There’s a lot of reliance on Sam Williams kicking game to click for the Raiders to be successful. Williams felt the pressure at one stage in the first half as the Raiders couldn’t complete a kick to end their set.

Just like last week Josh Hodgson kicked superbly out of dummy half.  For the second consecutive week a successful 40/20 kick downfield resulted in success with Josh Papalii scoring from the ensuing set.

Hodgson another impressive display at hooker and is a big reason for why Canberra have improved in the last two seasons.  Not only for his kicking but his service out of dummy half.

KNIGHTS DISCIPLINE MUST IMPROVE

A successful team is built on core principles such as defence and attack.  Another key area is discipline.

Newcastle Knights were their worse enemy in conceding too many penalties in the opening fifteen minutes of play as the Canberra Raiders jumped out to an early twelve point lead.

A fundamental error from Danny Levi who failed to put a foot to the ball when playing it led to Jordan Rapana’s try, extending Canberra’s lead to 16-0.

Late in the game a silly penalty led to Brenko Lee’s try that leveled scores at 24-all.

If they can work on their discipline and cut out the silly penalties they are on their way to landing a victory soon.

IN THE SHEDS

Raiders Shannon Boyd left the field with a head knock in the final twenty minutes and didn’t return.

No players placed on report.

FINAL SCORE

Canberra Raiders 24
Tries: Josh Papalii, Iosia Soliola, Jordan Rapana, Brenko Lee
Goals: Jarrod Croker 4

Newcastle Knights 24
Try: Cory Denniss 2, Sam Mataora, Pat Mata’utia
Goal: Trent Hodkinson 4