David Furner made it five wins from five starts against Wayne Bennett-coached sides as the Raiders scored an emphatic 32-16 win at Hunter Stadium in Round 14.
Confining the home side to their fifth consecutive loss, Canberra shot out of the blocks with Edrick Lee collecting the scraps of a Josh Dugan bomb in just the fifth minute to take an early 6-0 lead.
Four minutes later the lead was doubled as Joel Thompson stepped out of a Jarrod Mullen tackle before racing 20 metres to score. A Jarrod Croker penalty goal extended the lead to 14 before Newcastle finally got their act together as mid-season recruit Dane Gagai – playing his first game for the club – stepped inside Croker to narrow the gap to eight.
Canberra regained their 14-point buffer when Bronson Harrison scored from a Josh McCrone cross-field bomb but the Knights returned the favour right on half-time as Willie Mason stormed onto a Zeb Taia short-ball to make it 20-12 at the break.
The Knights’ faithful was back in full voice midway through the second half when a slick backline move saw James McManus cross to narrow the gap to four points, but that’s where the joy ended: Trevor Thurling helped regain control for Canberra when he crossed from a Dugan inside ball, then Lee secured victory when he took an intercept and ran 70 metres for his second.
The Raiders ran for 1382 metres to Newcastle’s 1153, with Lee contributing 159 metres to go with his two tries, and Jarrod Croker ran for 131 metres and added 10 tackle-breaks.
Chris Houston made 40 tackles for the Knights.