NRL Match Report: Raiders roll Knights in another road win
Breaking their three game losing streak, the Canberra Raiders have put on an attacking clinic defeating the Knights 44-22 in Newcastle Saturday afternoon.
The Green Machine proved why they are the number one attacking side in the NRL, scoring almost every attacking chance that was given to them.
The forwards provided great metres up the middle, whilst the halves worked briliantly together. Sam Williams controlled the kicking game and Blake Austin added damaging, scoring runs throughout the match.
The successful afternoon was capped off as Captain Jarrod Croker equalled the great Mal Meninga's all time try scoring record of 75 tries for the Canberra Raiders.
Canberra started in terrific fashion, scoring a try seemingly out of nowhere. Back inside their half, Sam Williams threw a ball back inside to Blake Austin who ran through a massive hole in the defensive line.
He then put in a grubber kick for a fast footed Edrick Lee who collected the ball and scored after just four minutes, Croker converted and it was 6-0 to the Green Machine.
After recieving a penalty from Gidley conceding a lifting tackle the Raiders went on the attack in Newcastle's half.
Consectuive penalties from the Knights saw Canberra opt to take the two points that were on offer, Croker slotted the conversion right down the middle to give the Raiders an eight point lead after 14 minutes.
With Newcastle again piggy backing Canberra out of their own half with penalties, the Green Machine looked to get the start they had been looking for the past couple of weeks.
Sam Williams kicked a pin point ball out left towards Edrick Lee who jumped high above everyone else to come down with the ball to score Canberra's second in just 17 minutes.
Croker missed the conversion from the left sideline and the Raiders were out to a fast start leading 12-0.
Canberra just two minutes later showed why they are the number one attacking side in the NRL.
Off a Knights error, Canberra took on the line strongly starting with Hodgson at dummy half. He gave the ball off to Williams, as he straightened the attack he found Jack Wighton who ran through the hole untouched.
Scoring almost as many points as there were minutes the Raiders were winning 18-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The Knights looked blown away by Canberra and if they wanted to get back into the match they needed to score next, which they did in the 25th minute.
A dubious penalty given against the Raiders saw Newcastle attack the right edge through Akuila Uate. He managed to bump off Wighton to get into position to put the ball down on the chalk, the video ref was called upon and handed the try to the Knights.
Newcastle began to make their way back into the contest with the deficit just 18-4.
After such a promising start, Canberra then let the Knights score consecutive tries just a minute after the last.
A grubber kick was put behind the Raiders defence by Kurt Gidley, Austin attempted to dive on the ball but missed and Joseph Leilua took a sharp catch to score their second try of ther afternoon. The easy conversion was successful from Gidley and the Knights were only eight points behind 18-10.
The Raiders then scored in the 38th minute with a play which saw a similar try scored earlier in the half.
The ball came quikly out from dummy half to Sam Williams, held up the ball just enough for big Josh Papalii to run onto the ball strongly and palm off his defender to score. Just on the stroke of the half time siren Croker again proved how accurate he was with his kicking as Canberra went into the sheds 24-10 leaders.
Just six minutes into the seond half the Knights were looking the most likely to score and so they did.
Kurt Gidley shaped to pass but instead kicked to a high flying Uate who caught the ball and passe it back in one motion to Mata'utia who fell over the try line.
With the score then 24-16 again the Knights were showing that they weren't going to concede this game easily to the Green Machine.
After a long period of both sides showing strong defence, the Raiders again showed their ability to score great tries.
In the 56th minute, Williams put up a high bomb inside Newcastle's 20 metres, Sisa Waqa then jumped high to bat the ball back to the ever dangerous Austin who stepped his way past numerous defenders to score under the posts.
Again Canberra managed to extend their lead out to 30-16 with Croker accepting the two easy conversion points from in front.
Blake Austin then showed just how good of a year he was having with the Canberra Raiders.
Scoring his 9th try of the season Austin took on the line and threw a dummy which fooled everyone as he ran in to put the game firmly in Raiders' hands. Croker guided the conversion kick through the uprights and Canberra were out to their largest lead 36-16.
Newcastle scored quickly after through a fast and brilliant run from Dane Gagai saw him score under the posts despite a great cover tackle from Jack Wighton, the score was the 36-22 with just 16 minutes left on the clock.
A 40/20 kick from Canberra's Jos Hodgson put them on the front foot again and the Knights proved they couldn't handle the pressure.
Again they conceded a penalty right in front of the posts and Croker again opted for the penalty points to be taken, with 10 minutes remaining the Raiders were leading 38-22.
To then cap off a successful afternoon for the Radiers, Captain Croker hen added himself to the try scoring list in the 75th minute.
Sam Williams was again pin point with his kicking as Croker rose above his defender to collect the ball and score, as he did so he equalled Mal Meninga's all time try scoring record of 75 tries. As he converted his own try the Green Machine led 44-22.
Suffering three straight losses, the Raiders put their season back on track getting the crucial win heading into their first bye next weekend.
The forwards layed the platform all game and the backs scored all afternoon as a result. Sam Williams showed just how important he is to Canberra, as his cool head was their to control most of the game for the Raiders.