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Presser Points: AOB and Brailey react to Raiders loss

The nib Newcastle Knights NRL side went down 28-22 to the Canberra Raiders at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The players wore their hi-vis jerseys for Voice for Mining Family Day and in front of a 16,768 crowd at McDonald Jones Stadium, Krystian Mapapalangi and Oryn Keeley made their NRL and Club debuts.

Following a positive first half, the Raiders scored 20 unanswered points including a late Jack Wighton try to sink Newcastle hearts.

The Head Coach Adam O'Brien and Club Captain Jayden Brailey spoke after the game on the Raiders loss, late changes, debutants and positives moving forward.


"There were some moments in the first half that was enjoyable but I thought the ten minutes after halftime was where we lost the game," O'Brien said.

"I think the way we started after halftime, we didn't start with the same intent in the first half and kicking, our last plays and field position probably hurt us in that first ten minutes. We started on the back foot and were a little bit complacent."

"The first half was enjoyable, we started really strongly which we wanted to do, it was just that second half in the first ten minutes...we just couldn't wrestle it back," Brailey said. 

Brailey breaks the line

"It was a good start to the game considering the week we had."

We just wanted to get our defence back on and force them to get their kicks... that was the message and it's a shame we couldn't wrestle it back." 


"The experience of the two teams probably showed in the second half. I think it's a young team with two debutants, only young blokes. To lose two rep players, one yesterday in the captain's run and one in the warm-up probably hurt a little bit," O'Brien said.

"We were fighting to rescue the game back with 30 seconds to go, I'm pretty proud.

I'm gutted, probably more gutted with the season that these guys have had, that we've had. I would've loved to have seen them win today but we'll look back on this as a game where we showed a bit of backbone. We had to overcome a lot, not just with personnel, a lot for the past month."

"It's a dressing room where I can look at all of them in the eye and be proud of them." 


"Krystian in particular didn't look out of place at all. He was a little bit buggered there toward the end, he had a cramp going on. He had some really good touches...both of their best footy is clearly in front of them, they're only young men at the start of their journey," O'Brien said.

"For Oryn... he got told after the two-minute bell, that's when he found out he was actually playing in the team. He's had a really good year with the junior Origin and his training ethic, it was a reward for him to experience a game day as an 18th man and the next minute I'm shaking his hand saying his playing."


"Crokes is a middle forward so he had to play on the edge for 'Friz' when he was out, so we were down. Crokes put his hand up to play out there as a middle forward."

"There's a good group of kids down there, I know everyone wants to comment about all the ones we've let go but there's a good group there that we've kept."

NRL Match Highlights: Knights v Raiders

"I was proud of the boys, the adversity right up until the two-minute bell. We had a lot to play for tonight, we can't make finals but we wanted to make the night special for those two. You can always find things to play for in the NRL," Brailey said.


"It was a hamstring injury at training during the week so he [Bradman] was due to play NSW Cup and then did it on the Wednesday session, he just tweaked a hamstring. He might not play next week," O'Brien said. 

"He [Frizell] jarred up an old rib injury that he's been carrying all year. He banged it up in the warm-up and couldn't twist."