Canberra Raiders vs Newcastle Knights: NRL live scores, blog
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Canberra Vs. Newcastle
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 30 July, 2012
|Canberra Stadium, Canberra, ACT|
|Newcastle 36 defeated Canberra 6|
|Referee: M Cecchin|
|Touch judges: Nick Beashel & Gavin Reynolds|
The Canberra Raiders host the Newcastle Knights this afternoon, with both sides desperate to keep their finals dream alive. Join us for live scores and commentary from 2.00pm AEST.
Both teams were level on 20 competition points before the start of this round, alongside the St George Illawarra Dragons, Warriors and the Titans.
With all five teams only two points out of the eight, a win for either the Raiders or the Knights this afternoon will be priceless.
The teams met as recently as last month at Hunter Stadium when the Raiders ran out comfortable victors on the night 32-16.
Newcastle have thrown themselves back into finals contention since then, winning four of their last five games, including a dominant performance against the reigning premiers and a spirited come-from-behind win away to the Warriors last start.
Meanwhile, Canberra have posted three wins from five since the two teams last clashed and they too remain in the hunt for a finals berth.
Don Furner will be looking for his men to put in a better performance in front of the home fans than their putrid effort against the Titans two weeks ago.
In team news, Newcastle have named the same 17 players that stormed home against the Warriors. Marvin Filipo has been added to the team but is expected to drop off the bench.
The Raiders are also unchanged from the same 17 that crushed the Sharks last weekend. Jarrad Kennedy has been included on a five-man bench while beanpole front-rower Dane Tilse, who is recovering from a rib injury, was due to undergo a fitness test yesterday and could be a late inclusion in the squad.
Canberra look to have the edge out wide with raw pace on both sides of the field. Josh Dugan, backing up after returning from injury against the Sharks, adds to their attacking options.
The ability of the Raiders big men to contain and get on top of the experienced Newcastle pack will likely set the tone.
With Danny Buderus, Willie Mason and Neville Costigan having played 600 first grade games between them, the Raiders will have to muscle up if they are to stand a chance.
For those looking for some historical omens, Raiders coach Don Furner has never lost to a Wayne Bennett-coached side. Furner, incidentally, is the son of Bennett’s mentor at the Raiders, Don Furner Snr.
Newcastle also has a disturbingly poor record at Canberra Stadium, having won only three of the 18 games they have played there.
One of those wins however was a 40-8 pasting, dished out on their most recent visit to sunny Canberra almost 12 months ago.
Will the slick Raiders backline be given enough space to strut their stuff and erase the memories of their woeful effort in their last home game or will Wayne Bennett’s Knights leave Canberra Stadium with a rare away victory?
Find out from 2.00pm AEST as we cover the action with live scores and commentary. If you’re watching or following along, feel free to leave a comment in the space below.