Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
5 days ago
It was a vibrant start by the Cowboys who were camped on the Knights line in the opening ten minutes. They were repelled three times before Johnathan Thurston sent Gavin Cooper in off a short ball to open the scoring tonight. Thurston curled the conversion inside the posts and it was 6-0 Cowboys.
After the opening fifteen, Newcastle worked their way into the game and started dominating with quick darts and rolling the forwards down the field.Replacement five-eighth Tyrone Roberts showed a sharp sidestep to bewilder Cowboys defenders and score the Knights first.
The home side went the traditional route for the second using the classic second man play to find Alex McKinnon who sent Akuila Uate in for the try. Roberts had inital troubles with the boot, leaving it at 8-6.
Newcastle went to the same play for their second try after finding their rhythm, Alex McKinnon the receipent instead of Uate after Darius Boyd used the short pass as he swept around to send the second-rower turned centre in for his sides third try and complete the momentum shift by the Knights.
Going into the second half, Newcastle continued to impose themselves on the Cowboys attack forcing uncharacteristic errors from the Cowboys leading to a strip penalty right in front. Roberts opted for the penalty goal and made it a ten point gap.
Following the penalty, it wasn't long before the Knights put the Cowboys away with two precise kicks from the halves pairings allowing both wingers to adding further enormity to the task of the Cowboys who just weren't at the races tonight including star half Johnathan Thurston.
Akuila Uate thrilled once more latching onto a chipped kick from Man of the Match, Jarrod Mullen and throwing it behind for Darius Boyd to put the emphasis on the victory, washing away the scars of their defeat against Manly last week. A final Roberts conversion made it 34-6 and a convincing win for the Knights.
Newcastle Knights 34 (Akuila Uate 2, Tyrone Roberts, Alex McKinnon, James McManus, Darius Boyd tries; Tyrone Roberts 4/6, Jarrod Mullen 1/1 goals) defeated North Queensland Cowboys 6 (Gavin Cooper try; Johnathan Thurston 1/1 goals) at Hunter Stadium, New Lambton. Halftime: Knights 14-6. Crowd: 15,758.