Knights too strong for Raiders in trial

A hat-trick to Newcastle winger Akuila Uate has helped down Canberra 26-4 in a scrappy NRL trial.


The Raiders’ performance wouldn’t have gone down too well with their 6,000-odd fans who braved the wet conditions at their former home ground of Seiffert Oval.

The Green Machine’s woes kicked off in just the fourth minute.

Captain Jarrod Croker left the field with a match-ending head knock after copping a massive hit from Sione Mata’utia.

“It was precautionary more than anything,” Croker said after the match.

“The match was a little bit scrappy. There were some definite positives, but also a few things we need to work on.

“I went off pretty early, so it’s hard to form combinations and stuff like that.”

The Raiders were unable to muscle up in defence on their left fringe and failed to hold onto simple passes when in good field position.

This was expertly exploited by Knights five-eighth Jarrod Mullen, who fed his backs with well timed passes that led to Uate’s triple.

“It wasn’t really a plan to be honest,” Mullen said.

“We usually attack both sides of the field. We’ve got good players out wide like Dane Gagai and Uate so it was good to give them some early ball and they did their stuff.”

“But probably the most pleasing was our defence, they threw a lot at us.”

The Knights scored their first of five tries through Uate in the 18th minute, then the big man crossed again on the right wing four minutes later to go up 8-0.

Knights centre Joey Leilua managed to overcome a slight leg complaint to return to the field and score his side’s third.

Knights hooker Adam Clydsdale sold Edrick Lee a dummy to scoot over for the fourth, before Uate picked up his third 10 minutes later to go 26-0 up.

The Raiders finally got on the board in the 63rd minute through Shaun Fensom.

Both teams will now prepare for round one of the NRL season in two weeks’ time, with the Knights to take on the Warriors at Hunter Stadium and the Raiders to play the Sharks at Remondis Stadium.