2022 NRL Round 23 Preview, Knights Vs Raiders

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Newcastle Knights Vs Canberra Raiders
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Date: Sunday August 21, 4:05pm


Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Krystian Mapapalangi 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Brodie Jones 13. Jacob Saifiti 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Pasami Saulo 16. Simi Sasagi 17. Mathew Croker 18. Sauaso Sue 19. Chris Randall 20. Jack Johns 21. Oryn Keeley 22. Hymel Hunt

This week the Knights stood down Enari Tuala and Bradman Best following their loss to the Broncos last weekend. Krystian Mapapalangi will make his NRL debut and Edrick Lee returns on the wing. David Klemmer has been named after missing last week’s match.

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Raiders: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Adam Elliott 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Corey Harawira-Naera 18. Albert Hopoate 19. Ata Mariota 20. Matt Frawley 21. Ryan Sutton 22. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

The Raiders welcome back Nick Cotric, with Albert Hopoate relegated to the reserves. Joseph Tapine returns to the side at the expense of Emre Guler.

Referee: Grant Atkins


Canberra Raiders will be confident that they can keep their NRL Finals hopes alive when they travel to McDonald Jones Stadium to take on the Newcastle Knights.

With the Brisbane Broncos heavy loss to the Melbourne Storm at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, they look the side which could drop out of the eight given their poor differential. If the Raiders can put on a score against the Knights, they’ll narrow the differential gap between themselves and the Broncos. However, the Raiders will need to keep on winning to continue their late push for a finals spot.

They’ll come up against a Newcastle side which have been in the news for all the wrong reasons this week. The embarrassing video of Kalyn Ponga and Connor Watson which has led to an investigation, was followed up by Enari Tuala and Bradman Best being stood down for missing a team bus after their loss to the Broncos last Saturday. This has paved the way for nineteen-year-old Krystian Mapapalangi to make his NRL debut this Sunday.

It’s hard to see how Newcastle find the motivation or enthusiasm to win this game. Their home record has been terrible, winning two of ten matches this season. Perhaps this is an afternoon where Anthony Milford could produce a match-winning performance, supported by the experienced Dane Gagai and a forward pack who are committed to defending their own line.

Their online defence will need to be pristine given the firepower of the Raiders. This could be an afternoon where Xavier Savage tears up from the back and that Jack Wighton takes the game by the scruff of the neck and produces a blinder.

Yes, the Raiders could cash in should they play error free football and defend their line stoutly. Their finals hopes should continue with victory on Sunday.

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Hudson Young continues to be a valuable asset to the Raiders forward pack. In becoming an eighty-minute player this season, Young has the second most tries for the Raiders in 2022 (8). He also has the most line breaks of any forward for the Raiders (7), and averages 102 metres per game. Look for Young to have a big game against the Knights as the Raiders remind the bottom half of the top eight that one slip up could help them sneak into the finals.


Winner and margin only. No commentary here.

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