The Canberra Raiders Holden Cup team has defeated the Newcastle Knights 24-18 at GIO Stadium in a brilliant come-from-behind performance.
An error riddled first half gave the Knights the early ascendancy over the Raiders with a 14-0 lead however a much improved second half effort saw them get back into the game and eventually snare the previous two points.
The first ten minutes of the game saw both teams trying to get through the defensive line with little success.
The Green Machine found themselves guilty of several moments of ill-discipline with a penalty against a shoulder charge and the failure to find touch from a kick for touch.
Newcastle was able to get the scoring underway in the 13th minute when some quick passing found the Raiders defence short out wide and winger Fuaimamao Uta scored in the corner for a 4-0 lead.
It was back-to-back tries for the Knights after a repeat set gave them another chance to attack. From the repeat set, a grubber kick was put through and Ben Stone was able to dive on the loose ball to score. The conversion from Brock Lamb was again unsuccessful leaving the score at 8-0.
The Knights again made the Raiders pay for a mistake coming out of their own end with another try moments later as they were able to score from another kick in behind Canberra’s line that the Raiders were unable to get to. The conversion from Lamb was successful to give the Knights a 14 point lead.
The Raiders were able to get on the scoreboard right on half time after the Raiders spread the ball out wide and Cleveland McGhie made a 20 metre run to score in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score at 14-4 at half-time.
The Green Machine was able to score first in the second half after a strong break from Lachlan Lewis led to a try by Jack Williams. The conversion from Chevi Ellis was successful for a 14-10 score line in favour of the Knights.
Newcastle hit back quickly however scoring in the 53rd minute. The Knights created space out wide and scored in the corner. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the Knights’ lead at eight points.
The Raiders were able to reduce the lead again in the 58th minute after some quick hands created space that the Raiders were able to take advantage of with Brenko Lee putting Jack Hickson across down the right hand flank. The conversion for Zac Woolford was unsuccessful leaving the score at 18-14.
The scores were tied shortly after when the Raiders scored in the 65th minute. After a penalty was given away by the Knights for a high shot on Woolford, the Green Machine gained the necessary field position required to launch an attack. They made the most of this and Ellis to score in the corner to level scores at 18 points apiece. The conversion was unsuccessful ensuring a tense finish to the match.
Canberra dug deep and took the lead for the first time with five minutes to go in the game when Lachlan Lewis put Williams through for his second try of the match. The conversion from Woolford was successful for a six point lead.
Man of the Match: Brenko Lee.
Canberra Raiders 24 (Williams 2, McGhie, Hickson, Ellis, Tries; Ellis 1/1, Woolford 1/3 Goals) defeated Newcastle Knights 18