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Rookie Report: NSW Cup side aiming to return to the winner's circle

The nib Newcastle Knights Knock-On-Effect NSW Cup side will view their away trip to Wagga Wagga as a chance to earn a valuable two points in the grand scheme of the season.

After back-to-back defeats, including a 34-18 loss to the North Sydney Bears last round, the side will be eager to return to winning ways.

Coach Andrew Ryan reflected on the Round 8 performance against the Bears.

"It was a bizarre game and we had a few defensive lapses early," Ryan said.

"We got ourselves back into the game and we created a lot of opportunities, but we couldn't nail them.

"On the flip side, (the Bears) took their opportunities, half-breaks turned into tries which hurt us.

"I was however pleased with the effort."

Round 9 NSW Cup Team List

Heading into the midway point of the season, the NSW Cup side has shown their potential and will target a finals finish.

The team has three wins and four losses to sit in eighth, just inside the finals spots.

With only four points separating fourth and the bottom placed 11th, it's all to play for in the competition.

"I think we have a fair bit of growth in our team," Ryan said.

"The pleasing thing for the majority of the games has been that effort and spirit.

"If we can build on combinations and keep that, I think we can win a lot of games."

Recovery Report // Round 9

Knights fans can be excited by the emergence of a number of young players pushing their claims in the team.

Coach Andrew Ryan has a very talented football side and highlighted a few individuals who have stood out so far.

"There has been heaps of quality performances from our guys," Ryan said.

"Simi Sasagi has come in and done a great job, but suffered an injury.

"Dylan Lucas was playing outstanding footy week in, week out and picked up an injury as well, but could be back in a few weeks.

"Mat Croker has been consistent every week, he is one of our leaders.

"McKenzie Baker has been great, some of the plays and effort he has come up with from fullback and halfback has been huge."

Ryan and his team are preparing to face a strong Canberra Raiders side in Wagga Wagga this Saturday.

The Raiders sit in fifth with three wins and three losses and have achieved big wins over the Western Suburbs Magpies, Newtown Jets and Parramatta Eels.

Coach Ryan says the team will welcome the challenge.

"We're looking forward to the trip out there together." Ryan said.

"They're (the Raiders) a good footy side and had a few NRL players playing for them at stages.

"We're under no allusions it will be a tough game."