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Adam O'Brien doesn't have a blueprint for a rare four-day turnaround but will roll with the punches after Newcastle returned to form with an emphatic win over Canberra on Sunday.

A hat-trick to winger Enari Tuala and centre Bradman Best's brilliant comeback from injury propelled the Knights to a 34-24 win over a sloppy Raiders side in their rescheduled clash at Suncorp Stadium.

In a match delayed almost 24 hours by Queensland's snap COVID lockdown, the Knights seemed to handle the disruption far better with that challenge to get even greater this week with only four days until they face the Broncos on Thursday night.

O'Brien was racing through his last three interchanges to get Kalyn Ponga and the Saifiti twins off the field once the result seemed beyond doubt but admitted this week would present fresh challenges.

"I was mindful with him and the Saifiti boys, I knew there was four days and I thought at the end the game was in the bag," O'Brien said.

"I'm not even sure we're allowed to use the pool; I don’t know [how we'll handle this week].

"It's all about recovery. We won't get any work done I wouldn't imagine on the field. I don't even know if it's confirmed yet. It's never been done before so I don't have a blueprint for a four-dayer. I don't know.

"Ever since we got relocated, the team, led by the staff have done a really good job at just rolling with whatever comes our way.

Pearce to return as Knights gear up for four-day turnaround

"At the end of the day we're privileged to be able to get the game on, we're really grateful to Peter [V'landys] and the Queensland government for allowing us to come here today, it makes all those hoops you've got to jump through all worthwhile once that game starts.

"We're really happy. If it's four days we'll get on with it."

Best's return from an ankle injury revitalised the Knights' left-side attack with five tries coming through that channel, including a maiden NRL hat-trick for Tuala, with the centre earning praise from his coach. 

"He's only a young, young man starting out on his journey so it's hard to keep putting a lot of pressure on him but they certainly love playing with him," O'Brien said.

"His energy is infectious within the group. He's so committed to the sport, he wants to compete all the time so that's infectious for us. I'm really pleased for him, he's only a young man but I really enjoy coaching Bradman."

The Raiders frequently came up with mistakes and handed out set restarts at inopportune times as each team produced a big reversal of fortunes compared to last week.

Ponga hits Best and his big centre does the rest

The result denied the Raiders a fourth straight win and chance at finishing the round inside the top eight, while the Knights' finals hopes are well and truly alive as they draw level with the ninth-placed Raiders on 18 competition points.

The Knights were near perfect in attack and defence in racing out to an 18-0 lead with Tuala and Best each crossing inside the first 10 minutes. 

The Knights then had to withstand four successive sets at their own line but celebrated like they'd scored another try when the Raiders' raid eventually came undone via a Corey Harawira-Naera dropped ball.

They quickly did have another try to celebrate as they marched downfield and Mann latched onto a Jake Clifford bomb to make it 18-0.

Ponga provides Tuala with his hat-trick

Clifford put a clearing kick out on the full to invite the Raiders to attack again with Jordan Rapana finally creating his side's first points as he chimed into a right-side move to put Harley Smith-Shields over.

Best put an exclamation point on a dominant half with a powerful run to send Tuala over for his second on the stroke of halftime and a 22-6 lead.

Mann leaps his way to a four-pointer

Josh Papalii produced a potent mix of power and footwork to crash through early in the second before the Knights took a penalty goal to restore their lead to 12 points.

A slick Ponga cut-out handed Tuala his hat-trick in the 57th minute before Ponga burned Harawira-Naera on the outside to put the result beyond doubt at 34-12 and earned himself an early mark in the process.

Jack Wighton had a forgettable game for the most part but produced some individual brilliance to set up Hudson Young in the 71st minute before Emre Guler forced his way over on the stroke of full-time.

Jayden Brailey was rattled by a big shot from Josh Papalii in the first half but passed his HIA to see out the game, but Seb Kris failed his half-time HIA.

Papalii and Elliott Whitehead were each placed on report for a crusher tackle on Hymel Hunt and Sia Soliola for a high shot on Ponga.

Brailey told Fox League straight after the game he would have no hesitation in backing up in four days to face Brisbane while O'Brien also expected to have halfback Mitchell Pearce back from a hamstring injury after the veteran No.7 was close to facing the Raiders.

Press Conference: Knights v Raiders - Round 20, 2021

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