By James MacSmith
Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett has declared Beau Scott is the form forward of the NRL after the tough back-rower inspired the Knights to a gritty win over Canberra on Saturday.
After the teams were locked at 12-all at halftime at GIO Stadium, Scott was instrumental in the second half in their 26-12 victory before 9519 fans.
Scott crashed over in the 48th minute to put Newcastle ahead after a James McManus break had put them in good field position.
The one-Test Kangaroo then laid on the final pass for Dane Gagai's 60th-minute try that gave the visitors a handy 24-12 buffer.
"He is the form player in the comp in terms of forwards," Bennett said of Scott.
"He has been outstanding every game, he has won four players' player (awards).
"He got a cork there near halftime but really toughed it out."
Five-eighth Jarrod Mullen was influential in his first NRL game of the year for the Knights after suffering a hamstring injury in the Auckland Nines.
Mullen's kicking game forced the Raiders to continually work the ball out of their own corners and managed largely to keep fullback Anthony Milford in check.
"He (Mullen) was really good for us today, it is good to have him back," Bennett said.
Jarrod Croker opened the scoring for the Raiders when they found numbers on the left in the ninth minute and converted his own try.
McManus hit back for Newcastle in the 16th minute with Joey Leilua throwing the final pass, before rookie hooker Adam Clydsdale forced his way over from close range to put the Knights ahead in the 32nd minute.
Massive prop Shannon Boyd crashed over for the Raiders three minutes from the break after clever work from hooker Glen Buttriss close to the line to lock up the scores after Croker's second conversion.
Bill Tupou spilt the ball with the line open in the 69th minute effectively ending the Raiders' hopes of a come-from-behind win.
After landing four from four conversions, a Tyrone Roberts 74th minute penalty goal put the result beyond doubt as Newcastle registered their second win of the year and Canberra slumped to a record sixth successive loss at home.
"We dropped too much ball in the second half and couldn't build any decent momentum," bemoaned Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.
Josh Papalii was solid without being spectacular in his return from an ankle injury.
Kade Snowden and Kurt Gidley both left the field in the second half due to concussion and Bennett said they were doubtful for Newcastle's Friday night clash with Brisbane.
The Raiders host Melbourne next Sunday in Round 7.