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Canberra Raiders v Newcastle Knights
Famous Matches

Round 18, 1994

Canberra continued a month of devastating form with their finest away performance of the season - a 52-16 demolition of Newcastle at Marathon Stadium. The Raiders were ruthless. They led 24-6 at halftime and continued their assault in the second half to pile on a further 28 points.

For the second week running, fullback Brett Mullins scored four tries. The post-match reviews were as stunning as his on-field bursts. His opportunities were created by a near faultless exhibition of ball control by the Raiders and the magical talents of halfback Ricky Stuart.

While Canberra's outside men received the plaudits, the efforts of the Raiders' forwards went largely unnoticed. Kiwis John Lomax and Quentin Pongia and back-rowers Brett Hetherington and David Furner played decisive roles in the victory against a Newcastle pack that is rarely outgunned.

Furner continued his rapid all-round improvement by kicking eight goals from as many attempts.

Round 2, 2006

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The Canberra Raiders figured in a landmark day at Canberra Stadium, playing their part in the highest scoring game in premiership history. But it was cold comfort for the Raiders, who were caned 70-32 by an energetic Newcastle side.

Typically, captain Andrew Johns was intricately involved for the Knights, contributing 30 points from two tries and a club record 11 goals. He took his career points tally past Parramatta legend Michael Cronin in the process, finishing the day on 1,998 points. Apart from the two tries he scored, he was the instigator of five others as the Canberra scoreboard ticked over at an alarming rate.

The Raiders were heavily affected by injury and lost captain Clinton Schifcofske, winger Adam Mogg and interchange Thom Learoyd-Lahrs in the lead-up to the game.
Canberra claimed the first try when rookie fullback William Zillman scored with his first touch of the ball in the fifth minute but from the time that Johns converted a try by centre George Carmont soon after, the Knights were not headed. They led 34-8 at halftime and brought up their half century in the 61st minute. A further try to Carmont (the 18th of the game) took the match total to 100 points, with Johns converting on fulltime to make it 102 points in 80 minutes play. The tally eclipsed the previous record of 97 points set in 1935 when St George demolished Canterbury 91-6.

Round 8, 2001

Canberra halfback Brett Finch could not believe a game could turn on him so savagely.

At fulltime he crouched down, his face buried in his hands as he contemplated his actions that led to a 22-20 loss to Newcastle.

Minutes earlier, fired by the optimism of youth, he tried to win the game for his team. The scores were locked at 20-all and Finch opted to kick for the sideline when the percentage play was a tap restart. The 19-year-old aimed for open territory, 30 metres downfield and a convenient bounce into touch. That result would have given the Raiders the scrum feed and a final chance to pot a match-winning field goal. But he over-reached by a mere half a metre and the ball sailed over the sideline on the full.
Referee Sean Hampstead hesitated for a moment before awarding the mandatory penalty to Newcastle in front of the Raiders’ posts. Andrew Johns made no mistake with the kick, claiming victory with effortless ease.

Finch was inconsolable, even though players from both teams offered their genuine sympathy. Finch was a former Newcastle ball boy and was well known to most of the Knights’ players, which only added to the poignancy of the moment.
No one criticised Finch for his blunder. “Brett tried to win the game so you can’t criticise him for that,” said Knights’ coach Michael Hagan. And his own coach, Mal Meninga said: “Everyone is very supportive of the decision he made.”

The dramatic finale overshadowed a captivating game. The Raiders led 12-0 early, but the Knights drew level with two tries to centre Timana Tahu. Canberra repeatedly snuck ahead, but Newcastle kept catching them. Finally, second-rower Ben Kennedy plunged over for the Knights to draw level at 20-all, setting up a thrilling finish. It was Newcastle’s first victory in eight visits to Bruce Stadium.

Round 8, 1999

Canberra supporters were kept on the edge of their seats until the final four seconds of the Raiders’ clash with the Newcastle Knights after centre Luke Williamson landed a field goal to salvage a vital premiership point.

The successful one-pointer capped a remarkable comeback by the Raiders, still smarting after their 42-point loss to St George Illawarra a week earlier. Canberra trailed 16-6 at halftime and 20-6 when winger Darren Albert completed his hat trick by spectacularly climbing above Ken Nagas to claim a cross-field bomb.

But as possession began to swing the way of the Raiders, Newcastle’s hold on the game became shaky. The Knights were without their entire front row through injury and their normal up-front authority was lacking.

Tries to Brett Mullins and Ben Kennedy and three Williamson goals saw Canberra draw level after an hour, but Andrew Johns appeared to end the Raiders’ hopes with a field goal 10 minutes from the end. As the clock wound down, Canberra played themselves into field goal territory and Williamson made no mistake. The match finished in a 21-all draw.
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