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NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Knights

The Canberra Raiders will travel to McDonald Jones Stadium to take on the Newcastle Knights this Sunday afternoon with their finals hopes still very much alive.

The Raiders will be hoping to claim back to back wins and will be confident after picking up an important 24-22 win over the Dragons which all but ended St George's season.

The Raiders remain in ninth position on the NRL ladder but if they can win this weekend then they could finish equal eighth with the Sydney Roosters. 

Meanwhile the Knights will be playing for pride in front of a big crowd in Newcastle, with the Knights NRLW season kicking off following the Raiders match.

Joe Tapine and Nick Cotric return to the side this week in a huge boost for the Raiders, with Emre Guler moving back to the bench and Albert Hopoate to 18th man.

The Raiders need to win all three remaining games of the regular season to have a chance to play finals football this year. 

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Tex Hoy
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Xavier Savage
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Nick Cotric
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Dane Gagai
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Krystian Mapapalangi
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Sebastian Kris
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Dominic Young
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Anthony Milford
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Adam Clune
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Jamal Fogarty


  • Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
    Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Jayden Brailey
    Hooker for Raiders is number 14 Tom Starling
  • Prop for Knights is number 13 Jacob Saifiti
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Brodie Jones
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 17 Mat Croker
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
  • Lock for Knights is number 18 Sauaso Sue
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Adam Elliott


  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Phoenix Crossland
    Interchange for Raiders is number 9 Zac Woolford
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Pasami Saulo
    Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre Guler
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Simi Sasagi
    Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Corey Horsburgh
  • Interchange for Knights is number 21 Oryn Keeley
    Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Harawira-Naera


  • Replacement for Knights is number 20 Jack Johns
    Replacement for Raiders is number 18 Albert Hopoate

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton

Last updated:

Last Time They Met

The Raiders played the Knights in round 15 earlier this year and secured a 20-18 win at home thanks to a match-winning try by Hudson Young.

Key Matchups

Jack Wighton v Anthony Milford

Jack Wighton will be wanting to keep his great form hoping to lead the Raiders to finals footy and will need to be at his best again up against Anthony Milford this weekend. 

It's been another fantastic season for Wighton on the stat sheet and he has become a great leader for the Raiders both on and off the field. While Wighton has only scored three tries in 2022, he has looked more dangerous than ever thanks to his playmaking ability and running game, as seen by his seven try assists, 12 line break assists and 50 tackle breaks.

After some quiet seasons at the Broncos, Milford has been a shining light for the Knights despite a disappointing 2022 season for the club. Despite not having scored a try this season, the Dolphins-bound star has created six try assists and five line break assists in just 11 appearances.

The game came down to the wire in the last meeting between the two sides and if it does again, it will be up to both of these star five-eighths to produce the brilliance we have seen from them all season.

Josh Papalii v David Klemmer

Josh Papalii stood up in the absence of Joe Tapine last week and will be wanting to replicate that performance when he goes head to head with David Klemmer.

Despite the rise of Tapine, who has cemented himself as one of the competitions best players, it has been another consistently great season for Papalii. In just 54 minutes against the Dragons last Sunday, Papalii ran for 150 metres which is just over his season average.

Papalii has also had his best defensive season of all time, making 524 tackles in 2022 at an efficiency of over 97%.

Meanwhile, David Klemmer has had a career best year for the Knights and has returned to the form that saw him selected for both Australia and the Blues. Despite some off-field dramas, Klemmer is averaging 156 running metres to go along with 29 offloads and 20 tackle breaks.

It will be up to Papalii to stand up once again, especially up against Klemmer and the Knights forward pack which is full of representative players.

Hudson Young v Tyson Frizell

It has been a great year from Hudson Young who has proven to be one of the best back-rowers in the competition and he will have the chance to prove it again when he matches up against Tyson Frizell.

At just 24 years of age, Young has taken it upon himself to take on any back-rower in the competition and usually comes out on top. In his 19 appearances this season, Young has scored eight tries to go along with seven line breaks, four line break assists, 24 offloads and 50 tackle breaks in which nine came against the Knights.

Tyson Frizell has become a real leader for the Knights in 2022 and his great form to start the season earned himself a recall into the Blues squad after missing last season due to injury. Frizell has scored three tries in 2022 to go along with 107 running metres per match.

Young proved to be the difference the last time these two sides met with that now famous match-winning try and the Knights will be doing everything they can to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Head to Head

The Raiders have played the Knights 42 times since 1998 and they currently sit at 20 wins a piece with two draws. Whoever can come out on top this Sunday will not only go ahead in the head to head battle but will take a mountain of confidence heading into the final fortnight of the regular season.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.