Raiders ready themselves for Knights - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders ready themselves for Knights

By Liam Fitzgibbon 16/08/2008 11:19:48 AM Comments (0)

Canberra have forced themselves to put one of the club's greatest wins immediately out of their minds heading into Sunday's crucial NRL clash with Newcastle.

The Raiders shot into sixth place in style last Sunday with a stunning 74-12 thrashing of Penrith, the club's second-biggest win since entering the competition in 1982.

It was a further boost to a confident side that was among the wooden spoon favourites before the season kicked off, but skipper Alan Tongue said the reality of the tight battle for top eight spots meant the Raiders barely had time to enjoy the win.

"We spoke about not getting carried away with it probably immediately after the game," Tongue said.

"It was something where we obviously enjoyed the moment but we got back to training the next morning and we just sort of said that's it, that's done.

"We looked forward and knew how well the Knights have been playing and how tough it's going to be so we just got our minds back on the job.

"We haven't got too carried away with it at all but obviously it was pleasing and it gives us a lot of confidence going forward."

With nine sides fighting for five top eight spots, Tongue is fully aware that confidence will count for little in the scrap for a finals berth.

A win for either side at Canberra Stadium on Sunday virtually guarantees they'll hold a spot in the top eight for another week, while a loss would almost certainly see them drop outside.

"The reality is if we don't keep winning a few more game we're not even going to be featuring in the finals," Tongue said.

"This game is really important and we know the Knights are definitely going to throw a lot more at us."

The Knights are hitting form at the right time, having won their past three matches.

They will be further boosted by the return of NSW prop Ben Cross from a hand injury while centre Wes Naiqama is also expected to line up despite battling the flu this week.

The Raiders are without injured hooker Glen Buttriss for the match, with Tongue moving from lock to hooker, Joe Picker switching from second row to lock and Trevor Thurling taking a spot in the second row.

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