The Knights started the match in the worst possible fashion, with the kick-off being allowed to bounce over the dead-ball line in what was to be a sign of things to come. The Raiders didn't take long to open their account with winger Daniel Vidot scoring a remarkable first try. With his body in the air, over the sideline, Vidot managed to keep his hand on the ball and put it on the try-line. Several minutes later, the Raiders extended their lead with another amazing piece of individual brilliance from Vidot leading to second-rower Bronson Harrison's try. Vidot chased a grubber kick from Campese, launching himself over the deadball line, before batting it back in Greg Inglis-like fashion. The Knights had little to no ball for most of the first half, before Ben Rogers set up winger Cooper Vuna's try which was to be the one and only try for the Knights of the half. Two more tries before halftime extended the Raiders' lead to a match-winning one, with Phil Graham scoring both tries as the Raiders turned on the razzle dazzle. The sides' went to the break with the Raiders leading 22-4.
For the Knights to be any hope of staging a comeback, they needed to score first in the second half, and centre Junior Sau did just that, taking advantage of some good leadup work from Jarrod Mullen. Alan Tongue put the result beyond doubt when he chased another Campese grubber. The match escalated in the 62nd minute when Canberra's Daniel Vidot and Ben Rogers sparked an ugly all-in-brawl with both players being sin-binned. Rogers may face scrutiny from the match review committee, while Vidot appeared to have lifted a knee in the ensuing melee. The Knights did score a final try of the game, when Cooper Vuna latched onto a Jarrod Mullen chip kick.
Next week, the Knights face a must-win encounter against the Panthers, with the victor progressing to the semi-finals, while the Raiders finish their season at Suncorp Stadium next Sunday night.
Canberra Raiders 30 def Newcastle Knights 14
Round 25 - Monday August 31st, 2009 07:00pm Venue: Canberra Stadium Referee: Ashley Klein & Matt Cecchin
Sideline Officials: Russell Turner & Peter Kirby
Video Referee: Chris Ward Crowd: 9,400 Halftime: Canberra Raiders 22 Newcastle Knights 4
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the Raiders v Knights Round 25 clash as it happens - forum discussion - click here!
And welcome here to Canberra Stadium for this crucial round 25 encounter between the Raiders and Knights. In light of results over the weekend, the Knights can book themselves their first play-off spot since 2006 with a victory, while the Raiders will be looking for one final good performance at home. Kick-off is scheduled for a few minutes after 7pm. Stay tuned.
In team news, both teams are as named on Tuesday, with Glen Buttriss dropping off the Raiders' bench and Cory Paterson doing likewise for the Knights.
RAIDERS: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Daniel Vidot 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joel Monaghan 5. Phil Graham 6. Terry Campese 7. Josh McCrone 8. Dane Tilse 9. Alan Tongue (c) 10. David Shillington 11. Joel Thompson 12. Bronson Harrison 13. Josh Miller Interchange: 14. Trevor Thurling 15. Travis Waddell 16. Troy Thompson 17. Joe Picker; Reserves: 18. Glen Buttriss KNIGHTS: 1. Kurt Gidley (c) 2. Akuila Uate 3. Junior Sau 4. Adam MacDougall 5. Cooper Vuna 6. Ben Rogers 7. Jarrod Mullen 8. Mark Taufua 9. Isaac DeGois 10. Chris Houston 11. Steve Simpson 12. Zeb Taia 13. Matt Hilder Interchange: 14. Wes Naiqama 15. Marvin Karawana 16. Richie Fa