Raiders wary of coach McFadden's knowledge

JON TUXWORTH
Last updated 05:00 13/04/2013
Terry Campese
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BACK IN ACTION: Terry Campese.

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Terry Campese's return bolsters Canberra's arsenal, but the Raiders are wary former assistant coach Andrew McFadden could prove the New Zealand Warriors secret weapon tonight.

After three years as a Raiders assistant, McFadden hooked up with the Warriors this season under former Raiders coach Matt Elliott.

McFadden was a popular and highly respected figure with the Canberra players, most of whom were shattered when the Raiders reluctantly released him from the final year of his contract.

His intricate inside knowledge of the Raiders is a massive advantage as his new club searches for its first win at Canberra Stadium since 1997.

''I'm sure he has a fair bit of information about us he's handed over to the Warriors,'' Canberra prop David Shillington said.

''I am actually interested to see what type of shape they play against us, it might give us an indication of where he thinks our weaknesses are.

''He's worked with us closely for many years and knows us inside out.

''It makes it an extra tough game for us that he knows us so well, we'll have to be ready for that.''

Asked if there was more at stake personally against the Raiders, McFadden said he will treat the match as ''business as usual''. 

''You always want to get one-up there but for the players it's just another game, I've got to treat it like that as well,'' McFadden said. 

''We prepare to win every game and this one's no different, myself having some sort of personal grudge match is not going to help the team.

''It's pretty much business as usual.''

Campese will replace Anthony Milford in the 17 and come off the bench, most likely midway through the first half when the sting is taken out of the game.

When he comes on five-eighth Josh McCrone will shift to hooker, a move which proved a rousing success in last week's win over the Roosters.

Shillington is expected to retain the captaincy for this week at least, Canberra keen to do everything possible to limit the pressure on club captain Campese's shoulders.

''The plan will still be he will come off the bench,'' Raiders assistant coach Brett Kimmorley said.

''We'll ease him into the game, and that way it's not putting too much pressure on him as well. 

''It was really good to see Josh McCrone go great at nine, we haven't been able to have a consistent nine here with injuries.

''It allows Campo to come on the field when the first 15 minutes [are played] and the pace drops a bit.''

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Raiders halfback Sam Williams has played just eight minutes beside Campese - when the 28-year-old injured his groin early in his comeback from the first of two knee reconstructions, against the Cowboys in 2011. 

Williams helped kickstart the Raiders second half comeback against the Roosters, and wants to retain that dominance to take more pressure off Campese.

''It's important we ease him back in, but he's too good a player just to sit back and watch,'' Williams said. 

''I have to make sure I do control the game, and not be quiet in patches.''

- Canberra Times

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