Canberra have shown last year's success was no fluke with a flying 3-0 start to the season, while Newcastle have won new admirers with their gritty performances.
The Raiders continued their recent dominance of Melbourne in their own backyard with an impressive win led by English halfback George Williams in round three.
The Knights preserved their undefeated record by drawing with Penrith in what felt like a win after they clawed back from 14-0 down with depleted troops.
Just how big a toll the inspirational effort took on Newcastle remains to be seen.
Match: Raiders v Knights
Round 4 -
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
Raiders: The Raiders will start 1-17 after Tom Starling and Matt Frawley were the final two players dropped from the squad. Bailey Simonsson returns on the ng with Jordan Rapana moving to the bench and Michael Oldfield out of the 17. Kai O'Donnell and Oldfield dropped off the extended bench 24 hours before kick-off. The Raiders are aiming for a 4-0 start for the first time since 2005.
Knights: Mitchell Pearce has passed all concussion protocols throughout the week and has been given the green light to play after leaving the field in last week's match against Penrith due after a head knock. In the final cuts to the squad, Gehamat Shibasaki and Chris Randall were omitted an hour before kick-off. Kalyn Ponga returns from suspension at fullback, bumping Tex Hoy to the bench. Andrew McCullough will start in Knights colours for the first time at hooker in place of Connor Watson (ankle). Herman Ese'ese starts at lock, with Tim Glasby on the interchange. Mason Lino and Pasami Saulo were the players trimmed from the bench on Saturday.
Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
Winger for Raiders is number 2 Bailey SimonssonWinger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod CrokerCentre for Knights is number 3 Enari Tuala
Centre for Raiders is number 4 Curtis ScottCentre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
Winger for Raiders is number 5 Nick CotricWinger for Knights is number 5 Hymel Hunt
Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack WightonFive-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Kurt Mann
Halfback for Raiders is number 7 George WilliamsHalfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce
Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh PapaliiProp for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Josh HodgsonHooker for Knights is number 9 Andrew McCullough
Prop for Raiders is number 10 Dunamis LuiProp for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Joseph Tapine2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Aidan Guerra
2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Sione Mata'utia
Lock for Raiders is number 13 Corey HorsburghLock for Knights is number 13 Herman Ese'ese
Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Siliva HaviliInterchange for Knights is number 14 Tex Hoy
Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre GulerInterchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Iosia SoliolaInterchange for Knights is number 16 Tim Glasby
Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Jordan RapanaInterchange for Knights is number 17 Brodie Jones
- Referee: Ashley Klein
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Video Referee: Beau Scott
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Bradman Best v Curtis Scott. The teenage Best was on fire against Penrith, scoring two tries in a powerful display. It'll be interesting to watch him face off with Canberra's Scott, who himself burst onto the scene at a young age.