The Newcastle Knights have defeated the Cronulla Sharks 20-16 at Energy Australia Stadium this evening.
In a tight opening forty minutes, the Knights scored on the stroke of half time to take an 8-4 lead into the break.
The Sharks looked gone for all money but to their credit they came back with two late tries and almost stole the match out from under Newcastle and there were some very nervous moments for Knights fans in the final five minutes with former Knight Andrew Johns watching from the stands and riding the fortunes of the Knights all the way to victory.
For the Sharks, their back row trio of Greg Bird, Paul Gallen and Lance Thompson all played well while David Simmons and Ben Pomeroy both chimed in with late tries to give the Sharks hope of an upset.
All in all, a very good, fast game of football with a lot of open play from both sides with the Knights prevailing in a tough, entertaining contest.
Round 7 - Full Time :: April 30th, 2007 07:00 PM Venue: Energy Australia Stadium Referee: Jared Maxwell
1 min: We are underway with Cronulla kicking off to Newcastle.
3 min: Fast start from both teams with some open footy in the opening exchanges.
6 min: Newcastle have the Sharks pinned inside their own 30 with some good defence.
9 min: First penalty of the match goes to Newcastle through a Sharks high tackle.
12 min: Newcastle warming to the task and the Sharks have given away a penalty right in front of their own posts.
13 min: PENALTY GOAL Newcastle Knights Newcastle take the lead in what looks to be a tight contest. Newcastle Knights 2-0
16 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks The Sharks score in the corner through David Simmons and the Sharks are on the board. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell unsuccessful. Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 4-2
21 min: Sharks take the pressure off the Knights with a poor last tackle option.
26 min: Newcastle scramble on their own line and hold out another Sharks raid.
29 min: Fraser Anderson bombs a certain try after David Simmons cleans up a Knights loose ball, passes the ball inside to Fraser Anderson who knocks on with the line wide open.
31 min: Cronulla knock on ten metres out from their own line. Can the Knights make them pay?
32 min: Six more tackles to the Knights!
34 min: The Knights knock inside thier own 40 and leading into half time, the Sharks can go a long way to winning this match if they manage to score before half time.
38 min: Riley Brown tries to get away the miracle ball but Kurt Gidley knocks on and the sharks are back in possession.
40 min: TRY Newcastle Knights The Knights score right on the stroke of half time with Kirk Reynoldson crossing after some great lead up work from Mullen and Buderus. A real heartbreaker for the Sharks, who had dominated most of the first half. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. Newcastle Knights 8-4
41 min: We are underway in the second half with the Knights kicking off to the Sharks.
46 min: Very even start to the second half with the Knights coming up with some strong defence.
50 min: A very tight match unfolding with neither side giving up an inch at the moment. The Sharks force a lin drop out with Mullen caught in goal.
54 min: Newcastle force an error out of the Sharks and are moving the ball upfield nicely.
56 min: TRY Newcastle Knights Newcastle score through Kurt Gidley as he supported the sweeping backline play he started and scores adjacent to the posts to give the Knights a big lead in a tight match. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. Newcastle Knights 14-4
58 min: TRY Newcastle Knights The Knights have blown this matchg apart with another quick fire try to Kirk Reynoldson with Jarrod Mullen again providing some excellent leadup work to make the Sharks much vaunted defence look a shambles. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. Newcastle Knights 20-4
66 min: Newcastle doing enough to keep the Sharks at bay but another try would be nice for the home team.
67 min: The Sharks bomb a try and basically blow any slim chance they had of getting back into the match.
71 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks The Sharks cross out wide through David Simmons and have left the door slightly ajar in their attempt to make a comeback in this match. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Newcastle Knights 20-10
72 min: The Knights kick out on the full from the restart and invite the Sharks back into the match.
75 min: Possible try to the Sharks...
75 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks The Sharks are in again through Ben Pomeroy and with just under five minutes remaining, there is still time for the Sharks to pull this one from the fire. Touchline conversion a ripper from Covell. Conversion attempt by Luke Covell successful. Newcastle Knights 20-16
79 min: The Knights get six more tackles through a charge down by the Sharks.
80 min: The Knights hold on but it was a nervous few moments and the Sharks did well to come back and make a game of it when they looked down and out for all money. LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Jarrod Mullen 2 Points: Kurt Gidley 1 Point: Paul Gallen