The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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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.
Three minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs comeback appeared to be well on track when Ngawini finished off a promising 50-metre movement. After Ben Roberts? successful conversion attempt, the Knights lead had been cut to just six. The Knights appeared to have lost concentration and the Dogs were surging home. This was until Knights halfback Jarrod Mullen gave his side some breathing space when he raced 40 metres to cross under the posts. Tighe?s conversion put the Knights in front by twelve and the Dogs appeared to have the wind taken out of their sails. The home side ran away with the victory in the final 12 minutes as they piled on four tries, two of which were barnstorming efforts from young forward Kade Snowden who gave the Bulldog?s forwards headaches all afternoon. Mitchell Steel and Matthew Thurston also got on the scoresheet with tries as the Knights cruised home 46-12. Brad Tighe kicked 7 goals from 8 attempts in another solid display.
For the Knights, Kade Snowden was back to his blockbusting best ? requiring 3 and 4 Bulldog?s to drag him down and also scoring two tries while having 3 Bulldogs hanging on.
The Knights will be looking to take advantage of a solid start to 2006 when they travel to Campbelltown this weekend to take on the Tigers.