The Canberra Raiders NYC team will be out for revenge when they return to GIO Stadium this week to face the undefeated Newcastle Knights.
The last time these two teams met it looked like the game was heading for a draw, only for Knights fullback Jake Mamo to score a try after the siren to pinch the game for the Novocastrians.
Canberra isn’t coming into the game with the greatest amount of form, last week they were beaten to the tune of 30 points by a previously winless Penrith Panthers side.
With that said the team is heading into this game full of belief, and Raiders’ coach Mick Mantelli has named an unchanged line up from last week except for an extended bench which includes Jamal Nchouki, Ezra Howe, Jake Wheeler and Jed Pearce all added to the squad.
Tevita Pangai Junior is free to play this week after it was him and not Patrick Mago that was reported during last week’s game.
Captain Patrick Mago said the side was wanting to repay the faith shown in them by their coach.
“We all knew that we should’ve played better in that second half, we just gave up which isn’t like us at all. He (Mantelli) was quite disappointed at that, he just wants us to never give up.”
Despite the score line from last week the Raiders team had plenty of possession in good field position, but struggled to put points on the board following multiple errors in the Panthers defensive 20.
Canberra hasn’t led at half time in the five matches they have played this year, and Mago said it was something the side would like to improve.
“Obviously we need more urgency, a little bit more ticker. We have to want to be there and to play, it’s all about representing the Canberra jersey to a high standard and not taking it for granted.”
Despite the Knights being the only undefeated team so far in the competition, Mago believes that the boys are more than capable of causing an upset this week.
“We got to get one back from them, especially now we are at home. We aren’t going to go out there and take them lightly, but we feel like they stole it at the end of the game last time. It’s going to be a good game and everyone is looking forward to trying to get the win this week.”
Mago reserved praise for a few individuals in the squad who he said have really impressed him this year.
“Jared McIlwrick has been great, Jack Creith and Hursty (Lachlan Hurst) have been good down that left side and whatever they’re doing has been working. Mitchy (Barnett) has been good since coming back from suspension and Jules (Webley) has been good, but there are a number of others I could praise.”
The Raiders will be weary of Knights fullback Jake Mamo, who managed to score three tries in the last game contested between the two sides. It’s unlikely he will be gifted the same space he was allowed last time.
Canberra will be looking to use the home crowd to their advantage this week following a tough few weeks on the road, it will be just their 2nd home match for the season and the boys are certainly looking forward to it.