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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have extended their winning streak to 10 with a powerful 26-10 win over the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle. A massive crowd of 29,482 arrived at the stadium with confidence but the first half was too strong for the home side as they now find themselves vulnerable in the race for September.
The Bulldogs claimed the first try early on with a brilliant kick from Sam Perrett after a smart last tackle option from Greg Eastwood who ran out wide to take on the outside backs before passing to Krisnan Inu, who then drew and passed the ball to Perrett who ran down the sideline. He ran out of room as he kicked across field to Joel Romelo who scored next to the posts. Inu converted as the score read 6-0 after just four minutes.
Ben Barba and Jonathan Wright worked well together after the Bulldogs put together a well rehearsed passing play. They took the ball to the left offloading out the back before Barba used his speed to drift across field, place a grubber kick into the in-goal, as Wright beat all defenders to score in the fifth minute. Inu converted 10 metres from the sideline to take the away side to a commanding lead.
A well worked scrum play in the 11th minute saw Jonathan Wright grab his second four pointer, after a simple mistake from Newcastle, as Bulldogs five eighth Joel Romelo took the line on before passing out wide to fullback Ben Barba who easily drew in two defenders to send Wright over in the corner. The Bulldogs' lead was extended to 18 after a brilliant sideline conversion from Inu.
After Inu, who was heavily involved in the Bulldogs' attack for much of the first half, busted down the sideline, he was able to force a drop out. Adam Reynolds then pushed away from Willie Mason, drift across field and dummy to go straight through the defensive line to score. The conversion made sure they led by 24, after just 18 minutes.
After three consecutive penalties in the 30th minute, the Newcastle Knights had a chance to get back into the game with three sets of attack on the Bulldogs' line. Going side to side, the Knights eventually straightened up but were unable to convert as Darius Boyd knocked on after some poor execution.
The Knights finally got on the board on the stroke of half time with a shift out wide. The Knights runners took on the line and the Bulldogs defensive line help strong, but Akuila Uate was just too strong; scoring out wide. Tyrone Roberts missed the conversion and the Bulldogs took a 20 point advantage into the break.
The second half was a game of tennis for the first 10 minutes, but Akuila Uate got the Knights right back into the game with some great football. Jarred Mullen kicked across to his winger who easily caught the ball, and the Fijian flyer used his brute strength to belittle Barba to score his second try. Roberts brought respect back into the scoreline with a sideline conversion; 24-10.
The Newcastle Knights nearly scored a further try in the 53rd minute after Ben Barba knocked on through the contest with Willie Mason seemingly diving on the football to claim four points. After an inconclusive camera angle, the decision was referees call and they announced it was a knock on by both sides with the Bulldogs giving the ball back to the Knights through a drop out. After two further sets, the Knights received two more drop outs including a penalty, but the Bulldogs' defensive line held on and the Knights gave the ball back.
After Kevin Naiqama forced yet another drop out, the Bulldogs seemed to be cracking under the pressure slowly. The Knights tried to find a way through in the 65th minute but Naiqama was put into touch by Barba ending the Knights run as the Canterbury side held strong.
The Knights could not break the Bulldogs as they held on after every attacking assault. The game ended in the 79th minute with Krisnan Inu converting a penalty goal from 40 metres out to confirm the victory.
The Bulldogs will go on to play the Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium, while the Knights will need a victory over Cronulla at Hunter Stadium next weekend to stay in contention for the 2012 finals series.
Newcastle Knights 10 were defeated by Canterbury Bulldogs 26
National Rugby League - Round 22 - Saturday August 4, 2012 5:30pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referee: Ashley Klein and Adam Devcich
Video Referee: Pat Reynolds
Touch Judges: Jason Walsh and Brenden Wood
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 4 Canterbury Bulldogs 24
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Joel Romelo (1 Try)
2 Points - Krisnan Inu (4 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)
1 Point - Kevin Naiqama
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (10)
Tries: Akuila Uate (2)
Conversions: Tyrone Roberts (1/2)
CANTERBURY BULLDOGS (26)
Tries: Jonathan Wright (2), Joel Romelo, Josh Reynolds
Conversions: Krisnan Inu (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Krisnan Inu (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary We are coming close to kick off in this vital match for the Newcastle Knights! Can they bring the Bulldogs back down to earth? Let us know by tweeting us @leagueunlimited #NRLnewcby and #LUpickthescore
Team changes: Tolman drops to the bench and Taupau comes into the starting side for the Bulldogs; McKinnon comes into the pack and Costigan drops to the bench for the Knights
1 min: The Bulldogs will kick off to the Knights! We are under way!
1 min: Mullen puts it high from his 40 but Barba takes it at his goal line and is tackled on his 6 metre line
4 min: TRY
Bulldogs will stun the Knights! Eastwood brings the ball across the field on the last, passes to Inu who gives it out to Sam Perrett who manages to kick across field for Joel Romelo as he puts it down. Krisnan Inu converts
Canterbury Bulldogs 6-0
4 min: Bulldogs with strong defence on the Knights at their 10 metre line.
5 min: A kick from the Knights is deflected by the Bulldogs and Canterbury have the ball at half way
5 min: VIDEO REF: Bulldogs claim a try! Referees to check it.
7 min: TRY
Jonathan Wright beats everyone to the try line after a brilliant kick through! Inu converts.
Canterbury Bulldogs 12-0
8 min: Knights have the ball on their 20 after catching the kick
8 min: Boyd puts a great kick down field but Barba takes it in goal. 20 tap.
9 min: Inu makes a great line break and is tackled a metre from halfway
9 min: Reynolds puts a bomb up that goes across field but Uate drops it trying to take the catch. Scrum Bulldogs 10 from the Knights line.
10 min: VIDEO REF: Wright may have a double as they celebrate. Checking an obstruction.
13 min: TRY
Wright scores as Romelo goes to the line, before passing to Barba who finds some space and sends Wright over in the corner. Inu converts.
Canterbury Bulldogs 18-0
13 min: A kick from the Bulldogs has Boyd tackled on the 20
14 min: After a cross field kick to Uate from Mullen, there was some exciting play but the Dogs hold out and end up with the ball. 10 metres from their line
15 min: A great solo effort from Inu will send the Knights to a drop out.
16 min: Knights under the pump as the Bulldogs attack hard
16 min: VIDEO REF: A great solo effort by Josh Reynolds sees him crash over. Obstruction check.
19 min: TRY
Reynolds plays some touch footy as he pushes away from Mason before dummying to score. Inu continues the kicking duties and is succesful
Canterbury Bulldogs 24-0
19 min: Romelo kicks to Boyd who is easily brought down.
19 min: Knights over halfway
19 min: Mullen kicks along ground and Perret takes it and is tackled 15 from his line.
20 min: Knights tackled on the 20 metre line after a great kick from Reynolds.
21 min: A massive bomb from Mullen is comfortably taken by Barba who is smashed by defenders.
22 min: Bulldogs into the Knights half as they attack hard
22 min: A massive kick from Reynolds is knocked on in goal by the Knights, before being grounded. drop out Knights.
24 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Bulldogs. Not releasing tackled player. Newcastle 0-1 Canterbury.
24 min: Bulldogs attacking inside Knights 10
25 min: Forward pass from the Bulldogs. Scrum Knights 10 from their line.
26 min: Roberts bombs the ball and Barba takes it, but is unable to split the defence and is tackled 30 from his line.
27 min: Reynolds bombs on the last, Boyd takes it and is tackled.
28 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Inside the 10. Newcastle 1-1 Canterbury
28 min: Knights on the attack inside the Bulldogs half
28 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Interference in the play the ball. Newcastle 2-1 Canterbury.
29 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Newcastle. Interfering in the play the ball. Newcastle 3-1 Canterbury.
29 min: Knights right on the Bulldogs line
30 min: A disappointing end to some great pressure from the Knights.
31 min: Romelo kicks and tackles boyd on his 10. Uate takes a massive break down the sideline on the second tackle.
31 min: Knights into Bulldogs half
32 min: Another mistake. Scrum Bulldogs, 40 from their line.
33 min: Bulldogs into Knights half
33 min: Going side to side, the Bulldogs put it down this time. Scrum Knights 35 metres from their line.
34 min: Dane Gagai makes a line break. Has the Knights well on the attack
35 min: A Boyd kick into the corner is batted dead by Barba as the Knights force a drop out.
36 min: Mullen kicks across field but the Dogs will hold on.
37 min: Yet another mistake by the Bulldogs will give the Knights a scrum 35 metres from the bulldogs line
38 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. 2 on 1 strip. Newcastle 4-1 Canterbury
40 min: TRY
A shift by the Newcastle Knights inside the Bulldogs' 10 metre line, see's Uate score with no room outwide. Roberts misses.
Canterbury Bulldogs 24-4
40 min: Halftime! What do you think of the match? Tweet us @leagueunlimited
40 min: 'Dogs have first use of the football! Game back on!
41 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Chicken wing. Newcastle 5-1 Canterbury
41 min: Knights inside the 10 metre zone.
42 min: Knights will force a drop out and keep the pressure on the Bulldogs.
44 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Bulldogs. Offside. Newcastle 5-2 Canterbury
44 min: Bulldogs into Knights half
45 min: Bulldogs dive over the try line but the final pass is forward and the Knights have the ball back
46 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Holding down in tackle. Newcastle 6-2 Canterbury.
46 min: Knights into the Bulldogs half
47 min: Some fast play nearly has the Knights scoring but Stagg for the Bulldogs just managed to save his side.
48 min: Naiqama started the Knights set with a great kick return and now the Knights into the Bulldogs half
48 min: Mullen puts a grubber in for the in goal but Barba takes the ball easily and is tackled on his 10 metre line.
49 min: Reynolds' kick is sloppy and Naiqama brings it back to the 40.
49 min: Knights over halfway on the third.
52 min: TRY
A kick from Jarred Mullen to Akuila Uate has Newcastle back into the game. Roberts converts
Canterbury Bulldogs 24-10
53 min: Naiqama tries to split the Bulldogs again but he is stopped on the 40
53 min: Knights into the Bulldogs half on tackle 2.
53 min: VIDEO REF: Checking contest and Willie Mason claims a try
54 min: It comes back video referee and it is ruled Knock on both ways. Drop out Bulldogs.
55 min: Naiqama will force another drop out!
57 min: Once again the Knights force a drop out. three in a row.
57 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Newcastle 7-2 Canterbury.
58 min: The Bulldogs hang on and the Knights cannot break the defensive wall of the bulldogs.
60 min: A big kick and Naiqama is tackled on his 20 for the Knights.
60 min: Mullen clears the ball, Barba takes it on the full before passing to Wright who is tackled on the 20.
62 min: Boyd collects the kick but he is easily tackled 15 from his line.
62 min: Mullen under immense pressure gets a bad kick away, Naiqama collects but puts it into touch on the full.
63 min: Bulldogs into the Knights half!
63 min: Romelo kicks on the fourth but it goes out in goal. 20 tap Knights.
64 min: Knights over halfway. fourth tackle.
64 min: Naiqama is on fire in the second half and forces ANOTHER drop out for the Knights.
65 min: Knights on the attack, 30 from the line.
66 min: Naiqama is put into touch by Ben Barba and the Bulldogs just hang on.
68 min: Knights driving, still trying to score.
68 min: Barba snuffs out a kick heading for the sideline and the Bulldogs are tackled on the 10 metre line.
69 min: Romelo puts a kick down to Boyd who looks for options as he is smashed in a tackle by Joel Romelo.
70 min: Tahu goes down the sideline on the last, kicks for himself and goes out into touch on the full.
70 min: Time slipping away as the Bulldogs go into the Knights half.
71 min: Getting up to play the ball, Pritchard puts the ball down.
72 min: Tahu nearly creates something from nothing but Tahu knocks on and the ball will be handed over 10 out.
73 min: Boyd takes a Bulldogs kick on the full, going side to side looking for options before being tackled.
74 min: Scrum Bulldogs 30 metres from the Knights line after a forward pass
74 min: Scrum Bulldogs 30 metres from the Knights line after a forward pass
75 min: The Bulldogs lack execution and the ball goes into touch. Scrum for the Knights 10 out.
76 min: Barba plays it 5 away from his line.
77 min: Scrum Bulldogs on the halfway line. Knock on Tahu
78 min: Knights get the ball but then are penalised for playing the ball when not tackled.
79 min: PENALTY GOAL
A 40 metre penalty goal is converted.
Canterbury Bulldogs 26-10
80 min: That is full time. No more football played. Bulldogs win and have won 10 in a row.