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Former Knights junior Hudson Young came back to haunt his old club with a 79th minute piece of brilliance saving the Raiders from a second half fadeout to beat Newcastle 20-18 on Sunday. 

A stirring second half performance from the Knights, who fought back from a 14-0 deficit, threatened to snatch the win for the Raiders before Young came up with a grubber for himself to plant the ball down with a minute remaining.

It was a heart-breaking finish for the Knights, who got within reach of victory before Young, who played with Newcastle in his junior days, delivered under pressure to hand the Raiders their seventh win of the season. 

The Raiders skipped to a 14-0 lead after 23 minutes on a sunny afternoon in Canberra before the Knights began to claw their way back into the contest and eventually steal the win in the nation's capital.

Young waves the wand to gift the Raiders victory

The momentum started to swing before half-time when Kurt Mann crossed via a Kalyn Ponga pass.

It continued to favour Newcastle when Elliott Whitehead was sin-binned for a late shot on the Knights fullback, enabling the visitors to strike twice in 10 minutes. 

A line break by Adam Clune was finished off by Edrick Lee, who fended off Xavier Savage down the left edge to the line. 

Newcastle appeared to be in again before full-time but a try-saving effort from Joseph Tapine denied them a chance to score. 

Canberra went 100 metres off the back of Tapine's effort with Young ensuring the Raiders stayed in the race for the top eight.

Raiders hold on for a big result

Match snapshot

  • The Raiders opened the scoring in the ninth minute through Nick Cotric before centre Matt Timoko made light work of Enari Tuala to score the side's second shortly after. 
  • Canberra were in for their third when Xavier Savage plucked a ball from the air to score next to the posts. 
  • A strong effort from Kurt Mann got the Knights on the board before half-time with Kalyn Ponga the provider to send the lock forward over. 
  • Newcastle lost forward Tyson Frizell to a failed head injury assessment with the NSW Origin hopeful set to undergo concussion protocols this week. 
  • Raiders back-rower Elliott Whitehead was placed on report for a late shot on Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga. 
  • Newcastle hit the lead in the 65th minute when Edrick Lee crossed. 
  • Hudson Young scored his fifth try of the year - and the match winner - when he kicked for himself in the 79th minute.
  • Joseph Tapine finished the match with 203 metres, including 91 post-contact, a try and try-saving tackle. 
  • Kalyn Ponga, who brushed aside illness throughout the match, set up two of Newcastle's tries and made seven tackle busts ahead of Origin II next week. 

Plays of the game

Scoring from kicks for both side's were the flavour of the day but none more so than Hudson Young's vision and effort late to get the Raiders home. 

It couldn't have happened without the two defensive plays late from Raiders pair Sebastian Kris and Joseph Tapine to deny the Knights tries in the final 10 minutes that would've got the visitors home. 

Young just misses with the grounding

What they said

“I’m really proud of the never give in attitude toward the contest. We showed a lot more of the resilience that I think we’ve lacked this year. (Kalyn) has had gastro and I was confident that he was on top of it this morning but he couldn’t eat and wasn’t in a good way. I could tell it was going to be a real ask for him but Kalyn being Kalyn said he needs to be out there.” - Knights coach Adam O’Brien.

“We played lethargic and played ugly today. It was so slow and ugly on the ground. But we’ll be able to have a nicer spell now that we’ve got two points. We’re lacking cohesion but I still think our game is moving in the right direction. I love coaching Hudson. The one thing about him is if he’s playing well or not, he’s giving one hundred percent every game and every training session, he’s a really good guy to have around the club.” - Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

NRL Press Conference: Raiders v Knights - Round 15, 2022

What's next

Both side's will take a breather with the representative round next weekend before resuming in round 16. 

Canberra will travel to Wollongong to take on the Dragons on July 3. 

Newcastle will host the Titans on home turf in a match they'll be desperate to win in front of their faithful after heavy losses in recent months. 

Clune and Lee electrify and shock the Raiders

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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