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Knights cruise to dominant NRLW trial victory

The nib Newcastle Knights have completed their first and only hit out of the 2024 NRLW pre-season, defeating the Canberra Raiders 28-8 in Wagga Wagga.

Played in front of a healthy crowd at McDonalds Park in the Riverina, the Knights flew out of the blocks in a performance which will leave new boss Ben Jeffries impressed ahead of the new season.

Fielding a near-full strength side in the opening half, the Knights endured a physical opening 20 minutes, with neither side backing down in the early exchanges.

The Knights eventually broke through, with Abigail Roache grabbing the first try of the contest by charging over close to the line in the shadows of quarter time.

After a quick break, the second quarter saw the Knights assert themselves and take full control of the contest, looking much closer to the side which won back-to-back titles in the last two years.

Jesse Southwell was at her scheming best, sending Shanice Parker over with a lethal short-side raid.

The Knights then scored again through Tamika Upton, before Jess Gentle crossed after completing a slick backline movement just before the half time break.

With several stars reverting to the bench in the second half, the Raiders worked their way back into the contest, crossing for two tries in the third quarter to reduce the scoreline to 16-8.

Despite this, the fourth and final quarter was once again all-Newcastle, with Georgia Roche, Evah McEwen and Tayla Predabon all crossing to see the Knights race out to an unassailable 28-8 lead.

The side will now turn their attention to the NRLW season, with the Knights set to kick off the season at home against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday, July 25. Tickets are on sale now.