Knights cruise to big win over Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights cruise to big win over Raiders

Ben Horne 07/08/2011 04:25:56 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle showed more of their dark horse potential for the NRL finals when cruising to a 40-8 victory over Canberra at Ausgrid Stadium on Sunday.

The Knights made it six wins from their past eight matches and maintained their strong form in attack by racking up a big score for the second straight week.

While Wests Tigers and the Warriors are fancied as finals smokies, the Knights have largely managed to fly under the radar.

But if they can make some noise against the Warriors at Mt Smart next week, the gutsy Novocastrians might start to be taken seriously.

For a second consecutive week veteran centre Adam MacDougall put on a master class on the right-hand side of the field.

The 36-year-old scored twice and set up another in a dominant display which suggested his decision to retire at the end of the year could be a little premature.

Injuries have restricted MacDougall to just five matches this season and his relatively fresh body is allowing him to peak at the right time of the year.

Leading into the finals, the seventh-placed Knights have a secret weapon in MacDougall and his combination with winger Akuila Uate up the right flank.

Uate found himself in off the wing and passing to a strong-running MacDougall for his first try, before the roles reversed and the `Mad Dog' broke through and sent the flying Fijian over for the first of two tries in the 20th minute.

MacDougall completed his own double before halftime, after backing up a Chris Houston break and the Knights crowd rose to their feet in appreciation.

Knights captain Kurt Gidley and halfback Jarrod Mullen were outstanding, with their pin-point passing and kicking games setting up every Newcastle try.

The pair put on an exhibition of short kicking in the second half - Gidley on the run put a cross field dab onto James McManus' chest, before a short time later Mullen's boot found Uate steaming into an opening.

Canberra opened the day's scoring through Josh McCrone after just five minutes, but after that it was all the home side, with Matt Hilder and Chris Houston also crashing over for tries.

Raiders hooker Glen Buttriss' season is most likely over after leaving the field with a torn pectoral muscle injury, while Knights rake Isaac De Gois was forced off with a shoulder injury.

Canberra fullback Josh Dugan was placed on report for a stamp on Hilder's head after a play the ball - but the incident looked a complete accident.

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