Knights golden as Eels stumble on finals charge

In a game they needed to win, to continue their charge, Parramatta got off to the perfect start. A failed short kick-off gave them the position and William Hopoate, gave them the try when Sandow persisted down the short side, finding the centre who found the line.

Sione Mata'utia has made a early reputaton for himself, as a finisher in the National Rugby League. The winger was on the end of two great backline movements from the Knights, who were playing against the win in the first half. The first, was a scrum play, swept from Gidley across to Mata'utia who put it down.

The second was a mirror move, of the first. Quick hands found the Eels short on the right side, as the sideline movement from the Knights was stretching the Eels on their line. Mata'utia finished with ease, making it his fifth try in his last two games, at Hunter Stadium.

Eels were quite erroneous in the first half but it was a Knights error that provided their second four-pointer. Tepai Moeroa took the short pass from Chris Sandow, bursting through and leaving the Knights defenders laying, like his shoe, that fell off on the way to the try-line right before the break.

There may be some lobbying soon, for this weekend to be renamed the Mata'utia weekend, Sione in the first half, Chanel in the second with a hat-trick. The Knights were just offloading at will and the Eels weren't able to go with them. First was a Jarrod Mullen effort that saw the playmaker slip through the Eels defense and set for the line. 

The rest of the second half, was dominated by one name, Chanel Mata'utia. The winger, watching one brother score a brace in the first half and Peter score last night in Brisbane. He one-upped the other two, as his hat-trick registered in the final twenty five minutes, put the Eels to the sword. 

It will be his third try, to round out the hat-trick, that will be on highlight reels for years to come. Jarrod Mullen chipped a kick, that took a devilish bounce for a fellow try-scoring phenom, Semi Radradra, allowing Mata'utia to jump and plant the ball down, just inside the dead-ball line, rounding out a thrashing in the end. 

His other two tries, were the result of offloads, one from Beau Scott, who would later score himself from an surgical ball that dissected the two defenders, offloaded for the winger who went over in the corner. His second in the 60th minute, was more strength, with some space, he held off Ryan Morgan to guide it down with his right hand. 

It wasn't only the number two and five, who were on the scoresheet for the suddenly attacking Knights, as Joseph Leilua was on the end of a move that, was simple with it's execution players in motion, an offload from Robbie Rochow found Leilua, who produced a trademark step to turn it from party time to carving time. 

A 30 point loss, wasn't how the Eels were expecting on their finals run despite their poor record in the Hunter (eight losses in eight now) and the top eight fate, has been taken out of their hands. It lies now in Brisbane's hands, as the Hayne train was derailed by an energetic Knights side, who were playing for pride.


Match Details
Newcastle Knights 42 Parramatta Eels 12
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Crowd: 18558
Halftime Score: Newcastle Knights 8 Parramatta Eels 12

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Chanel Mata'utia
2 points - Sione Mata'utia
1 point - Dane Gagai

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (42)
Tries: Sione Mata'utia (2), Jarrod Mullen, Chanel Mata'utia (3), Beau Scott, Joseph Leilua
Field Goals:
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (5/8)
Penalty Goals:

PARRAMATTA EELS (12)
Tries: William Hopoate, Tepai Moeroa
Field Goals:
Conversions: Chris Sandow (2/2)
Penalty Goals:


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

TEAM CHANGES:

It's a change-a-piece, for both teams here in the Hunter. Newcastle make their customary switch with Travis Waddell starting, in place of Adam Clydsdale who goes to his warm bench spot. For the Eels, they welcome back, Ken Sio, who comes in for match winner Vai Toutai. KICK-OFF is at 3:05pm AEST for this crucial clash.

Welcome to the Hunter, as Newcastle, looking towards their off-season take on the finals chasing Parramatta side. It's all about pride for the home side this afternoon, after the flogging they received in Brisbane.. they will be keen to avoid a second straight one from an Eels line-up that is clicking into form, at the right time. For Parramatta, it's simple, destiny is in their hands - win twice and you're finals bound, so they will want to put away a Newcastle line-up after that epic second half victory over the Sea Eagles.

LATE LATE CHANGE: Tyler Randell is IN for the sick Travis Wadell, as the Eels run out to Hunter Stadium.

1: KICK-OFF! Eels with first use, running right to left.

1: PENALTY! Newcastle with a shock short kick-off, doesn't go the ten, so Eels PENALTY.

4: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Willie Mason makes an unforced error.

Newcastle starting off with the anti-flurry, as Mason drops it.

5: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by William Hopoate. Kick to come.

Too easy there for the Eels! They targetted down the right side trying to put Sio away, who was tackled. They persist down that side with Willam Hopoate, who steps, runs and scores.

5: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PARRAMATTA EELS
Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful.

Sandow slams it through.

6: The breeze is devilish this afternoon. It held up again from the kick-off but this time, Newcastle recover.

9: Sione was forced to play at a cheeky Sandow grubber, that took one last bounce up. Dropout incoming.

10: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Joseph Paulo makes an unforced error.

Sandow was zipping around, looking for a willing runner, he found Joseph Paulo who couldn't handle the inside ball.

12: PENALTY Eels, high shot.

12: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Junior Paulo makes an unforced error.

Two inside balls, two drops from Paulo's, this time it was Junior.

15: PENALTY Knights, Tim Mannah with the third man in tackle.

17: That was a wonderfully bombed try there from the Knights, found Leilua in some space who was trying to round Hayne, who caught him before he could offload, as it was touched.

18: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Sione Mata'utia. Kick to come.

Scrum play. Gidley swept from the right side of the scrum, to the left, caught the Eels short and the hands play got Sione Mata'utia across the stripe.

19: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful.

Gidley wasn't able to bend it like Beckham, in the wind and misses.

22: Semi trying his hand at some ball playing but his pass was too strong for Ryan Morgan.

23: PENALTY Knights - an easy piggyback there.

25: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Ken Edwards makes an unforced error.

After a promising start, it has been a error strewn game from the Eels.

25: VIDEO REFEREE: Sione Mata'utia might have been on the back of another sweet move. Checking grounding.

26: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Sione Mata'utia. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! There was no problem at all! Mata'utia found himself on the back of a good backline movement matched by his putdown.

26: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful.

Another hard kick for Kurt, can he make despite the wind? The bend took it wide.

34: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Kurt Gidley makes an unforced error.

Gidley was caught looking at the defensive line, before dropping it.

36: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Tepai Moeroa. Kick to come.

Moeroa, looking like a backrower straight from the 1980s, took a short ball from Sandow and did the rest, leaving a bunch of Knights laying on the ground.. plus lost a shoe!

36: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PARRAMATTA EELS
Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful.

Sandow converts.

39: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Ken Edwards makes an unforced error.

Edwards with another error in his own half, this could be vital.

39: INTERCEPT from Sandow and the Eels are away. PENALTY as well, as it was stripped.

40: HALFTIME :: Parramatta erroneous but two pieces of class have them up 12-8 over a committed Knights team.

40: We're back for the second half here, at the Hunter.. Eels ready to kick-off from the halfway.. Newcastle are looking to claim another huge scalp while the Eels crave finals footy after two lean years.

41: KICK-OFF!

42: PENALTY Eels, an easy out for them after a lovely kick in the corner from the Knights trapped them.

42: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Tepai Moeroa makes an unforced error.

Moeroa wanted the quick play-the-ball but got jumbled, knocking it on.

44: Corey Norman with a great return, setting the Eels away linking Radradra and Hayne. PENALTY and here come the away side.

45: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
William Hopoate makes an unforced error.

Hayne, Sandow try to link with Hopoate but the centre couldn't drag it in.

50: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Jarrod Mullen. Kick to come.

The error proves costly for the Eels! Jarrod Mullen just snuck through the defensive line and had clear air, to the try-line.

52: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

An easier kick for Gidley, albeit only slightly, fades it over.

54: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Chanel Mata'utia. Kick to come.

The Eels just couldn't kill the offload. The Knights just popping them like lollies atm, Beau Scott looking to be tackled, offloads to Gagai who sends the final pass to Chanel.

55: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful.

A big kick for Gidley here, can he make it eight the difference? He got some reverse swing but no goal.

57: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Tepai Moeroa makes an unforced error.

Norman trying to send Moeroa through the hole, passed it slightly low and it was fumbled.

59: UNFORCED ERROR PARRAMATTA EELS
Jarryd Hayne makes an unforced error.

Beware the second kick, Mullen toed it through after the first attempt forcing Hayne to attack and spill the ball.

60: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Chanel Mata'utia. Kick to come.

Double for the doubles! Sione scored twice in the first half, now Chanel has. He showed some strength to hold off the defender and plant it down.

61: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

Tough kick, Gidley, you know the drill, can he swing it in, yes he can.

64: The Eels were always going sideline and the Knights were only too happy to introduce them to it.

64: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Beau Scott. Kick to come.

It's party time now. Beau Scott takes the ball, going between two air-swinging defenders, to cross.

66: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

Kurt taking his time, with this kick as the rest of the team, get a huge roar, as they go back their own end. Gidley walks in and raises the flags.

68: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Joseph Leilua. Kick to come.

It's gone from party time, to turkey carving time. A simple move, getting people in motion got Rochow in space, popping a ball to Leilua who did the rest, with a right foot step.

69: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

It's goal-kicking practice for Gidley, who pilots it over.

75: Hayne forced to bat it dead. Incoming dropout.

76: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Dane Gagai makes an unforced error.

Pass was too low for an oncoming Gagai, who spilled it.

77: PENALTY Newcastle, crusher tackle, it looks like.

77: Yep it is, Ben Smith is ON REPORT. PENALTY Knights.

78: VIDEO REFEREE: Chanel Mata'utia might have a hat-trick, checking onside, contest and grounding.. REF HAD TRY!

78: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Chanel Mata'utia. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! Nothing wrong and it was great work, to put it down just before the dead-ball. The ball took a devilish bounce for the retreating Radradra.

79: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.

One final kick for Gidley and one more conversion.

79: UNFORCED ERROR NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Adam Cuthbertson makes an unforced error.

Knocked on from the kick-off, by Cuthbertson. One last chance for a consolation from the Eels.

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