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Campese returns to driver's seat


Jon Tuxworth

Terry Campese will return to the Raiders' starting side this week.

Terry Campese will return to the Raiders' starting side this week. Photo: STUART WALMSLEY

After more than a year of injury frustration, Terry Campese is finally back in the Raiders driver's seat.

For the first time in 382 days, on Tuesday the Canberra skipper will reclaim the green No.6 jersey he covets.

Having started on the bench in his first two games back from a second knee operation, Campese will be named at five-eighth for Saturday's crunch clash in Melbourne.

The Raiders have given up big leads in their past three matches, but they believe Campese's control and leadership from the outset can stop the worrying trend. Having come back from 16-0 and 16-4 down against the Warriors and Roosters respectively, the Raiders failed to arrest an early 16-6 deficit against the Cowboys on Saturday night.

Canberra coach David Furner is all too aware digging a similar hole against the undefeated Storm would be terminal.

''He'll be fine, Campo's fit and ready to go,'' Furner said. ''We've done it [slow starts] the last few weeks, but we can't afford that against Melbourne. The four teams [Melbourne, Newcastle, Cronulla and Manly] we've got next, we'll get belted if we give them that opportunity.

''We've planned this [for Campese] and we've planned it well.''

Campese has been injected into games late in the first half, with starting five-eighth Josh McCrone shifting to hooker with some success.

Furner was tight-lipped on what his plans are for McCrone and halfback Sam Williams with Campese to play 80 minutes.

Canberra prop David Shillington agreed injecting Campese into the starting line-up could help solve the slow starts which have plagued them in recent weeks. ''There's definitely merit to that, there's no harm in giving it a try and hopefully it will work,'' Shillington said.

''The slow starts are purely because of [poor] on-line defence and errors, but if we had Campo there early he'd definitely control things a lot better.

''His desperation on the line or anywhere on the field is second to none, and there's definitely merit to him helping us out in that department.''

The 28-year-old has been given around 50 minutes in his first two matches, and has sat helplessly on the line as the Raiders have dug an early hole. They simply cannot afford a repeat against undefeated premier Melbourne, who are aided by a nine-day break after the Anzac Day win over the Warriors.

The Raiders are undefeated at home but remain winless on the road, although they have upset the Storm at AAMI Park in the past two years.

Fox Sports commentator and former Queensland five-eighth Ben Ikin said the emotional high the Raiders have ridden since Campese's return was now over.

''Sam Williams and Josh McCrone have had to take charge, and now you're introducing the club captain and one of the better playmakers in the competition into the team,'' he said. ''You can see they get a real confidence kicker when he comes on, but it can also do funny things with your combinations.

''Teams can ride that emotional high the first couple of games when a player like Campo comes back, then it just gets back to footy.''

McCrone is dealing with a change in position and Campese has played just 10 games in two years. But Ikin nominated Williams as the crucial element if the Raiders' new playing formation is to succeed long term.

''I thought Sam Williams was a bit absent on Saturday night, he has to show everybody he's a first grade halfback,'' Ikin said. ''There's no doubting his talent, but he has to be consistent and stay in the game.

''He's the real important piece of this puzzle. If he's the long-term answer at seven, and I'm talking about the rest of the year, he needs to be better than he was on Saturday night.''


Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park, 5.30pm. TV: Live on Fox Sports 1.

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BRI 6vs SOU 36 Report Stats
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PAR 42vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4vs SYD 28 Report Stats
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PEN 24vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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STG 4vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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Round 2
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CBY 32vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40vs GCT 0 Report Stats
MAN 24vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22vs STG 4 Stats
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Round 3
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MAN 12vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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Round 4
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PAR 29vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24vs CBY 25 Report Stats
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NEW 26vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12vs MAN 4 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34vs CBR 6 Report Stats
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NQL 18vs MEL 17 Stats
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Round 5
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CBY 17vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16vs BRI 26 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW 0vs STG 13 Report Stats
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SYD 12vs CRO 20 Report Stats
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PAR 6vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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Round 6
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BRI 22vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22vs NEW 6 Report Stats
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PAR 16vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22vs MAN 12 Report Stats
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CBR 10vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31vs CBY 6 Report Stats
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SOU 12vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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Round 7
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CBY 28vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 32vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17vs SYD 16 Report Stats
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WST 22vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22vs PAR 28 Report Stats
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CRO 18vs SOU 10 Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14vs WST 38 Stats
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NZW 28vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24vs NQL 26 Report Stats
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BRI 28vs PAR 16 Stats
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PEN 26vs CRO 18 Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36vs WST 4 Stats
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CBR 56vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23vs CBY 16 Stats
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MAN 30vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10vs MEL 28 Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
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NQL 31vs BRI 20 Stats
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PAR 13vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16vs SOU 12 Stats
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STG 32vs CBR 18 Report Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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WST 0vs NQL 8 Report Stats
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CBR 34vs CBY 41 Stats
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NEW 18vs BRI 31 Stats
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Round 12
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PEN 20vs PAR 26 Stats
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GCT 16vs SOU 22 Report Stats
CBR 12vs BRI 24 Stats
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STG 42vs CRO 6 Stats
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Round 13
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NEW 22vs CBR 44 Stats
SOU 36vs NZW 4 Stats
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Round 14
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WST 34vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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NZW 21vs SYD 25 Report Stats
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GCT 28vs CBY 14 Stats
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MEL 22vs PAR 26 Report Stats
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Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN 30vs WST 20 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs NQL 21 Report Stats
GCT 14vs NZW 36 Report Stats
CBY 24vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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NEW 28vs CRO 30 Report Stats
MEL 12vs BRI 14 Report Stats
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG 14vs SYD 19 Report Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI 44vs NEW 22 Stats
SOU 20vs MAN 8 Report Stats
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NZW 30vs CBR 8 Stats
NQL 18vs CRO 24 Report Stats
PAR 16vs STG 12 Report Stats
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SYD 20vs GCT 10 Stats
WST 12vs PEN 35 Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN 20vs SOU 6 Report Stats
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STG 12vs NQL 18 Report Stats
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MAN 28vs CRO 16 Report Stats
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WST 16vs PAR 28 Stats
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Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR 36vs NEW 22 Stats
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PEN 4vs SYD 24 Stats
CBY 8vs BRI 16 Stats
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NZW 28vs MEL 14 Report Stats
CRO 28vs STG 8 Report Stats
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GCT 6vs MAN 38 Stats
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Round 19
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PAR 4vs CBY 28 Report Stats
MEL 52vs PEN 10 Report Stats
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CBR 20vs CRO 21 Report Stats
NEW 30vs GCT 2 Report Stats
STG 8vs SOU 24 Report Stats
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SYD 24vs NZW 0 Report Stats
BRI 42vs WST 16 Stats
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Round 20
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BRI 34vs GCT 0 Report Stats
WST 8vs SYD 33 Stats
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NZW 12vs MAN 32 Stats
MEL 22vs STG 4 Stats
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CBY 16vs CRO 18 Report Stats
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Round 21
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SYD 38vs CBY 28 Report Stats
WST 34vs MEL 16 Report Stats
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NQL 32vs CBR 24 Stats
MAN 44vs BRI 14 Stats
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 46vs NEW 24 Stats
SOU 20vs PEN 16 Report Stats
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GCT 24vs PAR 14 Stats
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Round 22
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 16vs CBY 18 Report Stats
MAN 28vs SOU 8 Stats
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NZW 0vs STG 36 Stats
CRO 30vs NQL 18 Stats
PAR 10vs PEN 4 Stats
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MEL 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
NEW 22vs SYD 38 Report Stats
Mon, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 18vs WST 20 Stats
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
NQL 18vs SOU 31 Stats
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 32vs STG 6 Report Stats
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WST 18vs NEW 24 Stats
PEN 24vs NZW 10 Stats
SYD 28vs PAR 18 Stats
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 24vs MAN 26 Stats
CBY 36vs GCT 14 Report Stats
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CRO 2vs MEL 30 Stats
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Round 24
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG 19vs PEN 12 Report Stats
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 18vs CBY 32 Report Stats
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
CRO 40vs WST 18 Report Stats
NZW 16vs NQL 50 Report Stats
SYD 12vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
GCT 28vs CBR 12 Stats
MAN 16vs PAR 20 Report Stats
Mon, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 6vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
SOU 12vs BRI 47 Report Stats
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
MAN 10vs SYD 46 Report Stats
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PAR 28vs CRO 35 Stats
NEW 18vs CBY 20 Stats
MEL 14vs NQL 6 Report Stats
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WST 50vs NZW 16 Report Stats
GCT 28vs STG 26 Stats
Mon, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
CBR 34vs PEN 18 Stats
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI 8vs MEL 15 Report Stats
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SYD 30vs SOU 0 Report Stats
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PEN 30vs NEW 12 Stats
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NQL 42vs GCT 12 Stats
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CRO 12vs MAN 14 Stats
CBY 26vs NZW 22 Stats
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