Raiders put Knights to the sword - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Raiders put Knights to the sword

By Karlis Salna 31/08/2009 10:42:57 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle's hopes of making the NRL finals remain on hold after the Knights slipped to a 30-14 defeat to Canberra on Monday.

The result means Sunday's clash between the Knights and Penrith at EnergyAustralia Stadium will be a winner-take-all encounter with the loser missing out on a place in the finals.

Eighth-place Newcastle, who sit one place above Penrith on the ladder and lead the Panthers by a point, were their own worst enemy, conceding four first-half tries, the first coming in just the second minute.

The visitors could not have got off to a worse start after letting the ball go dead from the kickoff, gifting possession back to the Raiders, and they were made to pay with Canberra winger Daniel Vidot scoring from the next set of six.

Vidot then set up the Raiders' second try 10 minutes later when he chased through a kick to the Knights' in-goal area batting the airborne ball back from beyond the dead ball line for Bronson Harrison to score.

The Knights, who came into the game on the back of two successive victories, lifted their intensity in the second half but were never going to overcome their lacklustre start which saw them trail the Raiders 22-4 at the break.

Frustration showed when the match boiled over midway through the second half with Knights' five-eighth Ben Rogers and Raiders' Vidot sent to the sin bin for fighting.

Rogers is almost certain to be charged over the incident which started after he reacted to a push from Vidot following a tackle.

The result also confirmed seventh-placed Parramatta's place in the finals.

While obviously disappointed with his first loss in charge of the Knights, coach Rick Stone said the side still had everything to play for and was confident they could turn it around against the Panthers.

"The Panthers are a good team and still a chance of getting into the eight and they're looking to take our spot, so we'll be on next week," Stone said.

"We realise in six days we've got to play again and we still control our own destiny."

The Knights, however, are likely to be without Zeb Taia for that clash after the in-form second rower dislocated his shoulder during the match.

"He could be gone for a number of weeks and that's a major concern," Stone said.

"It's a massive blow, there's no doubt about it."

Stone conceded the Raiders played the conditions better while his own side made too many errors and lacked discipline.

"If you play like that against any opposition, but particularly the Raiders down here, you know you're not going to take the two points away.

"We're going to have to improve regardless against Penrith at home next week."

The Raiders have now accounted for three of the top four sides in the past two months, showing they have the talent to mix it with the best in the competition, but coach David Furner said the side was determined not to dwell on what could have been.

"We haven't been looking back at what ifs. What we need to do is look forward," Furner said.

The Raiders have another opportunity to have a say as to the final make-up of the top eight when they take on the Broncos in Brisbane next week.

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