That's where I'll leave it for today. Stunning win by the Raiders, forgettable for the Knights.
FULLTIME: What an absolute sensational performance from the Canberra Raiders, smashing the Newcastle Knights 44-14 at Canberra Stadium. It's easy to forget the Knights led 14-0 early on before the Raiders clicked into gear. The Raiders scored nine tries to two, with Blake Ferguson and Sandor Earl getting a hat-trick each. Ferguson was outstanding and pushed his claims for NSW Origin selection. And for the Knights, well, dear oh dear. Certainly a day to forget apart from the first 15 minutes.
78min: TRY: The Raiders are on fire! Jack Wighton leaps high to grab another great Campese bomb. The Knights have given up. An utterly embarrasing day for the men from Newcastle. Ferguson misses the conversion, but it doesn't matter. Raiders 44; Knights 14
75min: Ferguson kicks his fourth conversion of the day. Raiders 40; Knights 14
74min: This is now an absolute rout! The Raiders are on song and would trouble any team in the competition in this sort of red-hot form. Edrick Lee challenges for a bomb and Joe Picker picks up the crumbs for the seventh unanswered try. Raiders 38; Knights 14
71min: GOAL: Ferguson converts the try and the Raiders have this one in the bag. Raiders 34; Knights 14
70min: TRY: Champagne football from the Green Machine. Guess who? It's Blake Ferguson, chasing down a curling grubber kick from Campese, who is having a blinder. Ferguson plants it down before punching his chest towards the fans. He's pumped, and so are the 10,453 in attendance. Raiders 32; Knights 14
69min: Perfectly placed bomb from Campese forces Uate to take it in the field of play before he's driven back to force the line drop out.
68min: GOAL: Ferguson takes back the goalkicking duties and duly slots it over. The Knights need a massive comeback from here. Raiders 28; Knights 14
66min: TRY: The Raiders are just about home as Reece Robinson captailises on a fantastic Josh Papalii break to score the team's sixth try of the day. Papalii makes a strong bust out wide before finding Robinson, who does what every fullback should do and looms up in support. Raiders 26; Knights 14
62min: Nothing going right for the Knights, not even for their milestone man. Kurt Gidley's 200th game for the club looming towards defeat as he throws a forward pass to gift possession to the Raiders. Raiders 22; Knights 14
59min: Every time the Raiders go wide they're looking like a chance of busting through a gap. Loving the injection of Reece Robinson into the attacking raids. The Knights repel the latest attack and are taking the ball out of their own half.
56min: Great chance there for the Knights as Chris Houston powers his way towards the try-line, but loses control of the ball as he attempts to put it down. Lots of desperation from the Raiders to get three players around him.
53min: A couple of injury concerns for the Knights. Tahu has a cork to the leg and the Knights are hopeful he can return. Meanwhile, Uate has a right ankle complaint, but is still on the field.
48min: Reece Robinson takes over from Ferguson with the kicking duties, but misses to the left. Raiders 22; Knights 14
47min: TRY: Call off the fight, the Raiders are on a rampage. And it's the right-edge again, Sandor Earl getting his hat-trick, showing neat footwork to shimmy past his opposite winger. And yes, Ferguson was involved in that one as well. Raiders 22; Knights 14 KTC
46min: I've been talking all about the Raiders, but the Knights are in all sorts. No cohesion, no structure, simply looked rattled. Robbie Rochow is forced to kick on the last, his kick going dead to take the pressure off the Raiders.
43min: Ferguson converts from straight in front to make it one from four for the afternoon. Raiders 18; Knights 14
42min: TRY: It's Ferguson again running riot on the right edge. He's giving Tahu nightmares, cutting through of a great Papalii pass for his second try of the day. Raiders hit the front for the first time. Raiders 16; Knights 14
Injured Raiders forward Joel Thompson liking what he's seeing in the first half.
Blake ferguson once again what a freak.. Keeping us in the game!! #blues #RAID3RS #bringhomethewin @fergyferg2— Joel Thompson (@joel_thompson12) May 12, 2013
After smashing the Raiders canteen with the $15 lunch voucher, I'm back in the chair, but not after running into injured Raiders centre Jarrod Croker. Croker is backing Blake Ferguson to get his kicking radar sorted out and reckons he'll come good in the second half.
HALFTIME: The Raiders have scored three tries to two but trail the Knights 14-12 at the break. A great fightback from the home side after being down 14-0 early. Sandor Earl has a double and Blake Ferguson has been sensational in pressing his NSW Origin claims. The Knights have very little ball in the last 15 minutes.
39min: Another key touch from Ferguson puts his Dorguson mate Sandor Earl in for his second of the afternoon. Ferguson bats on a pass after getting one himself from Josh Papalii to Earl, who dives over dramatically just inside the sideline. Sensational try. Knights 14; Raiders 12 KTC
Our Raiders scribe Jon Tuxworth makes a valid point about the absence of hooker Glen Buttriss.
The Raiders are missing Glen Buttriss terribly today. Don't underestimate how important he was last week. #nrlcannew— Jon Tuxworth (@Tuxy81) May 12, 2013
31min: Joel Edwards just put a rib-rattling shot on his old side. Obviously out to make a statement after the Knights stalled contract talks last year and he joined the Raiders instead. Plenty of intent here from the Raiders.
28min: You might even say Ferguson '' breezed'' his way to the try-line. Anyone, anyone. In other news, Ferguson's conversion misses to the left. Knights 14; Raiders 8
26min: He can't kick goals, but jeez can Blake Ferguson run. Blues coach Laurie Daley would take notice of that, as Ferguson shrugs off Tahu, one of the stronger defending centres in the game, to run 50m to bring the Raiders back into the game. Great try from Ferguson, who re-signed with the Raiders until 2015. Knights 14; Raiders 8 KTC
25min: That Sandor Earl try is going to hurt Terry Campese in the back pocket. Campo is a part-owner of Crust pizza, and Earl's try came during the five-minute crunch time promotion, giving fans two for one pizzas. The last time it happened it cost Campo's business $11,000 in dough.
23min: Christ, that's the worst kick at goal since Shaun Johnson' s shocker for the Warriors earlier in the year. Blake Ferguson is carving up and is NSW contention, but maybe not with the boot. Knights 14; Raiders 4
22min: Sustained pressure for the Raiders pays off, as Sandor Earl scores in the right corner to get the home side on the board. Off an error from Aku Uate under a high ball, the Raiders spread the ball to the right off the 10m scrum and give Earl a clear passage to the line. Great finish by the part-time male model. Knights 14; Raiders 4 KTC
20min: It's a simple statement, but the Raiders need to turn the massive gulf in possession around if they're any chance of getting back into it. A good start here, a solid set is followed up by a Knights knock-on by Dane Gagai.
16min: Tough call against the Raiders there. Kade Snowden appears to be losing control of the ball as Dane Tilse is penalised for stripping the ball out. The Knights take the easy penalty shot from 15m out right in front. Gidley converts. Knights 14; Raiders 0
13min: Gidley nails the conversion from the sideline and it's all the Knights. All comes back to the kick out on the full by Terry Campese. Knights 12; Raiders 0
11min: Tyrone Roberts, take a bow! The Knights are in again as Roberts sets up Robbie Rochow, who runs a beautiful line at speed to palm off a couple of defenders. Knights 10; Raiders 0 KTC
10min: It's a game of inches as Campese can attest to. He goes for the 40/20, but misses it by a matter of centimetres and it's out on the full. The Knights get the scrum in great position 40m out. Knights 6; Raiders 0
8min: Terry Campese rated last week's game the worst of his career, and that chip kick to Sandor Earl's wing is definitely a bit rusty. Needed the eight iron but took the driver, a fan catches it in the crowd. Knights 6; Raiders 0
3min: TRY: Sensational inside pass from Timana Tahu sets up James McManus for the game's opening four-pointer. Tahu draws in three defenders and somehow flicks the ball back to McManus for the easy finish. He hasn't been talked about in NSW circles, but with plays like that you'd had to consider him for a recall. Knights 4; Raiders 0 KTC
2min: Darius Boyd shows nerves of steel to let that ball trickle over the dead-ball line. Massive 60m kick from Terry Campese just has too much on it.
And we're underway with the Raiders kicking off. Perfect day for football here in the national capital.
For those of you tempted to have a flutter, the Raiders are $1.60 favourites after their massive win over the Storm last week. The Knights are just about right at $2.40, given Jarrod Mullen failed a fitness test and is out.
I've sounded out Newcastle Herald scribe Robert Dillon for a bit of inside goss on debutant Adam Clydesdale. It's been a big week for the kid. Signed a new three-year deal for the Knights after allegedly having verbally agreed to join Manly. A great prospect at dummy-half who is a NSW under-18 representative.
Good afternoon on a perfect Mother's Day at Canberra Stadium. This is Lee Gaskin here for the next couple of hours for this match between the Canberra Raiders and the Newcastle Knights. A bit of team news from both camps. For the Raiders, seacond-rower Josh Papalii comes into the starting side, forcing Joe Picker to the bench and Jake Foster out of the side. And a couple of changes to the bench for the Knights. Matt Hilder and Neville Costigan are both out, replaced by Adam Clydesdale and Korbin Sims. Kick-off here at 2pm.