Knights in record demolition of Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights in record demolition of Raiders

By Sharon Mathieson 19/03/2006 07:54:11 PM Comments (0)

What do you get when an in-form Andrew Johns-led Newcastle meets an injury-depleted Canberra? Australia's highest scoring rugby league premiership match.

The champion halfback weaved his magic on Sunday to orchestrate a 70-32 crushing defeat of the Raiders at Canberra Stadium.

It was the first time more than 100 points have been scored in an Australian premiership clash, eclipsing the previous record set when St George beat Canterbury 91-6 in 1935.

Johns' total of two tries and 11 goals boosted his career tally to 1,993 points, 114 shy of halfback Jason Taylor's record 2,107 points.

He surpassed Parramatta great Michael Cronin (1,971 points) to move into third place on the all-time point scoring record and edged closer to Daryl Halligan's tally of 2,034.

Johns' effort of 30 points was the second-highest ever in one match by a Knights player. Needless to say, he holds the record - also against Canberra in 2001 - and now also the individual record for the most points scored for one club.

The win was the most points Knights have scored away from home, while for the poor Raiders it goes down in history as the match where they conceded the most points.

Among the Knights' 12 tries to six victory over the Raiders was a spurt of four tries in seven minutes late in the first half as the Raiders crumbled.

Raiders coach Matthew Elliott summed up his team's effort as "horrible, in capital letters," while his Knights counterpart Michael Hagan described it as a milestone for the game.

Canberra lost captain and fullback Clinton Schifcofske, winger Adam Mogg and reserve Thom Learoyd-Lahrs to injury late last week, adding to another seven first-graders on the injury list.

Hagan was the first to come to Canberra's defence, saying he knew only too well what it meant to have an injury-depleted team, referring to last year when Johns was sidelined for most of the season.

Hagan also revealed he gave Johns the opportunity to come off the field with 10 minutes to go.

"But he choose to stay on there and add to his points tally," Hagan said.

"He's got Jason Taylor in his sights."

A humble Johns was reluctant to talk about his points blitz, saying he had already received too much media attention.

Asked about declining to come off the field for the final 10 minutes, Johns pointed out he had little choice but to stay given five-eighth Kurt Gidley had come off with a corked hamstring.

"It was an okay win but they were down on personnel with a lot of players out," Johns said.

"It's a win, it's already out of mind."

The one positive for Canberra came in the form of debutant fullback William Zillman who opened the scoring with his first touch of the ball in the fourth minute to give the home team an early four point lead and added a second, consolation try in the 66th minute.

Newcastle replied three minutes later when Johns jumped on a loose Raiders ball for centre George Carmont to score.

A try to Knights winger Anthony Quinn in the 30th minute sparked the start of Newcastle's four tries in seven minutes effort, with Johns playing a hand in every one and scoring a double himself to give his team a 34-8 halftime lead.

The Raiders came out firing in the second half with two early tries but the Knights spent most of the remainder racking up their 70-point tally.

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