ON Saturday afternoon down in Wollongong, the Newcastle Pepsi Knights took on the St George Illawarra Dragons in Round 5 action of the Jersey Flegg competition. Both teams went into the match undefeated and only one could come away from the match with their perfect record intact. That team was the Newcastle Knights after a comfortable 34-18 victory.The Knights started the match with a softening up period, where 4 fights broke out in the opening 15 minutes. This was to be expected as both teams had turned up to play and weren't willing to give an inch. Knights forward Tim Natusch left 3 Dragons players reeling out of tackles as he went on a one-man rampage. He was replaced after 15 minutes, much to the delight of the Dragons players.In the fifth minute, Knights second rower Cory Patterson steamed onto a flat Luke Walsh pass to crash over beside the posts and give the Knights an early 6-0 advantage. The Dragons opened their account in the 20th minute when Lewis McPhail crossed out wide. He failed to add the conversion from the sideline and 3 minutes later Rota Setu crossed to put the Dragons in front after the Knights invited the home side back into the contest with some dropped ball early in their tackle counts. Knights five-eight Scott Dureau put his side back in front in the 27th minute for good as he buried his way through some lazy Dragons defence from dummy half. Five minutes from halftime Knights centre Matt Cooper scored the first of his hat-trick and after the Luke Walsh conversion, followed by a penalty goal on the stroke of half-time the Knights led 18-8.Early in the second half, Dragons centre Keith Lulia threatened to get the home crowd going when he gave his side a sniff of victory as they trailed 18-12. Cooper crossed in the 50th minute to give the Knights some more breathing space and when the Dragons replied again through Jason Nightingale just 60 seconds later, it was back to game on. With the Knights struggling to get out of their own half, it was going to take something special for them to get down the Dragons end of the field. Luke Walsh provided that with a booming 40-20 with 7 minutes remaining and when Sam Wooden crossed from the ensuing scrum, the Knights ensured they would remain undefeated after five rounds. Cooper completed the scoring with just four minutes remaining and Walsh's conversion from near touch gave the final scoreline of Knights 34 Dragons 18.For the Knights, second rower Cory Patterson was outstanding, making metres up the middle every time he touched the ball. Tim Natusch was also brutal and halves Scott Dureau and Luke Walsh steered the Knights well.Next week the Knights take on the Balmain Tigers.
THE Newcastle Knights travelled to the south coast on Saturday night as they took on the St George Illawarra Dragons. The Knights were looking to bounce back from their 48-18 shellacking by the Tigers last week, where they trailed 38-0 at halftime.Returning to the Knights side were halfback Jarrod Mullen and centre David Seage, who were both in First Grade last week, while the Dragons welcomed back halfback Matthew Head from injury.Both sides started promisingly before the Knights scored the first points of the match courtesy of Brad Tighe as he crossed out wide to give the Knights an early 4-0 advantage. Dragons five-eight Chris Sheppard, formerly from the Cowboys scored his sides first try of the night in the 14th minute and Head's conversion put the Dragons in front 6-4. As the half wore on, it looked like going down to the wire. Both sides tested each other out for the next twenty minutes but it all came to no points. In the 33rd minute the Dragons extended their lead to 10-4 through winger Tom Hewitt and the Dragons appeared destined to go to the break leading 10-4. With just 60 seconds remaining, Mullen launched a towering bomb which was allowed to bounce by the Dragons fullback and winger and Brad Tighe was only too willing to oblige and score the Knights second try on the stroke of halftime. After the conversion, both sides went to the break at 10-10.The second half was much the same as the first, with both sides completing their sets of six and getting to their kicks. In the 48th minute the Knights went back in front when Kade Snowden delivered a perfect around-the-corner pass as he was falling to put Nathan Hinton in under the posts. Tighe converted and the Knights appeared to be looking good at 16-10. Unfortunately the Knights were to remain on 16 as Matthew Head took control of the match. He scored an individual try in the 58th minute to level the scores before firing two perfect cut-out passes to Brett Morris in the 65th minute to extend his sides lead to 8, before putting the final nail in the coffin with a repeat of the dose, this time putting Beau Ryan over with 11 minutes remaining. This gave the final scoreline of Dragons 30 Knights 16 and left the Knights languishing towards the bottom of the table.
THE Newcastle Pepsi Knights continued their perfect start to the season on Sunday afternoon when they comprehensively beat Western Suburbs 42 points to 8. After just four rounds, the Knights differential stands at a massive +154.The Knights started the game strongly and young winger Aku Uate scored in the corner off a clever kick from Luke Walsh. In blustery conditions, Walsh failed with his conversion attempt from the sideline. The game to'd and fro'd for the next fifteen minutes with neither side able to convert possession into points. The Magpies looked quite pedestrian in attack and were easy for the Knights to defend against. In the 20th minute, Knights hooker Terence Seu Seu who had a sensational game crossed for the home sides second try of the afternoon and Walsh added the extras to send the Knights out to 10-0. This try was the first of three in a seven minute period leading up to halftime as the Knights started to get into gear. Centre Jonathon Wright crossed out wide in the 22nd minute, followed by winger Stephen Gordon who also crossed before halftime. Walsh again converted both tries and the Knights were well in control, going to the break leading by 22 points to 0.It was this game last year which had its controversy as the Knights squandered an early lead to lose on fulltime, but that was put to rest early in the second half when Uate crossed for his second try of the afternoon, putting the Knights up 26-0. Wests winger Nick Taylor dived over, centimetres in from the western touchline to open his sides account for the afternoon, adding some respectability to the scoreline. Knights interchange forward Warren Schillings continued the Knights scoring spree when he crashed over with twenty minutes remaining and Matt Cooper plucked an intercept and raced 65 metres to score in the far eastern corner with 13 to go. Halfback Walsh was then replaced after his conversion attempt waved away, with what looked like a lower back problem, hopefully not ruling him out of this weekends top of the table clash with the Dragons. With just a few minutes remaining, the Magpies crossed again, this time through centre Teason Fa'Avae-eli and the Knights rounded off the scoring right on the stroke of fulltime when second rower Cory Patterson, who had a strong game taking the ball up consistently, crashed over beside the posts. Gordon added the extras to continue the Knights sensational start to season 2006.For the Knights, the standout was undoubtedly hooker Terence Seu Seu, who made regular metres out of dummy half and tackled everything that moved.
THE Newcastle Knights Premier League team recorded their second straight win on the weekend with a comfortable 46-12 victory over the previously undefeated Bulldogs. The first half was a tight contest with the Knights kicking clear towards the end of the half. Tries in the first half to Knights winger James McManus (9th minute) who was called up to replace Trent Salkeld opened the scoring before halfback Dane Campbell extended the lead to 12 when he pounced on a grubber kick from promising young halfback Jarrod Mullen. Chris Bailey, who joined the Knights from the Newcastle local competition this year scored his first try in Knights colours when he crashed over beside the posts in the 23rd minute to extend the Knights lead to 18 after 3 successful conversions from Brad Tighe. The Dogs hit back through hooker Billy Ngawini in the 27th minute as the Dogs closed to 18-6 at halftime.
THE Newcastle Knights opened their season in style on Saturday afternoon with a comprehensive 34-6 victory over the Parramatta Eels. The opening twenty minutes was spent in the Newcastle half of the field, with Parramatta having plenty of ball. It seemed it was only a matter of time before the Eels opened the scoring, however, a mixture of poor ball control and some impressive Knights goal-line defence held them out. In the 22nd minute, Knights five-eight Scott Dureau, re-signed by the club, after having interest from the Dragons, opened the Knights account with a superb individual effort, leaving Parramatta players grasping at thin air. Promising halfback Luke Walsh converted to give the Knights a 6-0 lead. Four minutes later, the Knights were in again, this time through man-mountain Larry Taufua who ran onto a Luke Walsh pass like a freight train and was never going to be stopped. Again Walsh added the extras to put the Knights up 12-0. That remained the score until the halftime break, with the Knights going close a few times from hungry kick-chase efforts, in particular by Fijian winger Akuila Uate, who showed plenty of speed. The Eels hung on to the break trailing by 12 points.The Knights pushed their lead out further just three minutes into the second half when Jonathon Wright ran a perfect angled run into a space, courtesy of a superb ball from five-eight Dureau. Walsh continued with his perfect goal-kicking record for the day when he converted from wide out. Wright crossed for his second try of the afternoon just four minutes later, finishing off out wide from a perfect cut-out pass from halfback Walsh. Walsh missed his first attempt of the afternoon, but the Knights were well in control at 22-0. Parramatta second rower Trent Waicokacola scored his teams first and only try of the afternoon when he finished off a backline move, which started in their own half. Ben Farrar added the conversion to close the gap to 22-6, but that was as close as the Eels got. 16 minutes from fulltime, Simon Allen, coming off the bench for the Knights scored an opportunistic try for the home side after the ball went around like a pin-ball machine before landing in the Eels in-goal, requiring Allen to just touch down. Walsh added the conversion to extend the Knights lead. Young winger Uate finished the scoring for the Knights, and topped off a good game by crossing with just four minutes left. Again Walsh added the extras to give the Knights their first win of the year, 34-6 over Parramatta.For the Knights, halves Dureau and Walsh were outstanding. They were given the time and space by a dominant forward display. Larry Taufua and Cory Patterson were impressive for the Knights in the forwards, as was Terrence Seu Seu out of dummy half.
ENERGYAUSTRALIA Stadium was the venue for the Round 25 clash between the Newcastle Knights and the Cronulla Sharks. It was the final home game of the regular season for the Knights in what has been a rather successful year in the Jersey Flegg competition. The Knights were also out to exact revenge and turn around a 56-6 humiliation by the Sharks at Toyota Park just six weeks ago.
The first try of the game was scored by the home side through centre Alex McCosker who continued his recent good form. Luke Walsh failed with his conversion attempt from out wide. The next ten minute passage was one where both sides began to throw the ball around and successfully complete their sets. The next try of the match was through some superb vision by halfback Walsh. He took the ball on the fifth tackle after making himself available down the blindside, noticing that the Sharks were struggling. As the defence converged on him, he hooked a kick back towards the posts, where his halves partner in crime and captain Scotty Dureau was chasing through the kick, got a fantastic bounce before diving over beside the posts. Walsh added the extras and the Knights led 10-0. This was instantly an improvement from the last time the sides met. The Knights were starting to look sharp and enthusiastic. The Sharks appeared to be sluggish and were half a step behind the Knights at this particular point in the match. The Sharks finally appeared to be getting into their groove in the match and halfback Ben Green got his side on the board when he finished off a 50 metre movement by the Sharks after some terrific lead up work. Bryson Goodwin, who six weeks ago finished with a handy personal amount of points, added his first conversion of the match to close the gap to four. Knights 10 Sharks 6 remained the score until just a minute before halftime, when Knights interchange hooker Nathan Berry ran out of dummy half and planted the ball on the line, constituting a try to the home side on the stroke of halftime. Walsh added the conversion from a wide angle just a few seconds before halftime. Knights 16 - 6 Sharks was the halftime score.
THE Newcastle Knights continued their push for a top four birth after a thrilling 22-20 win against the Manly Sea Eagles on the weekend. After results went their way during the weekend, the Knights now find themselves in fourth position on the Jersey Flegg table.
THE Newcastle Knights continued their push for a top four birth on the weekend after a comprehensive 57-28 victory over the North Sydney Bears. The win puts the Knights in 5th position on the Jersey Flegg ladder.
WHAT a difference a week makes.
THE Cronulla Sharks were just too good for the Newcastle Knights in Jersey Flegg's round 19. A second half scoring spree set up the 50 point drubbing along with giving the Sharks a handy boost to their points differential. It gave the Knights differential a bit of a caning.