Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
31 hours ago
The Newcastle Knights have produced an outstanding come from behind victory against a poor Wests Tigers in front of 18,637 at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle tonight. It was a brilliant night for football and Wayne Bennett's charges finally realized their potential winning 38-20.
It was all the Wests Tigers in the opening 20 minutes, as they raced out to a 14-0 lead. The Knights had next to no go forward, but the Tigers had the wind behind their sails with Chris Lawrence scoring the opening try.
Robbie Farah drifted across field to eventually slip through the Knights defence before passing out to Lawrence in the seventh minute. It didn't stop there, with Lote Tuqiri pouncing on a Benji Marshall grubber in behind the line to score in the 12th minute.
It seemed as though the Tigers had the game in their control, opting to take a penalty goal in the 22nd minute, extending their lead to 14.
The Knights began to work their way back into the match and suddenly found themselves on the board through Akuila Uate in the 30th minute. Jarrod Mullen linked up with Darius Boyd who tapped the ball on to Timana Tahu, who ran his angles perfectly to score the Knights' second try in the 34th minute.
It was the Mullen-Boyd-Tahu combination again, as Tahu gave the Knights their third try in the 38th minute.
Timana Tahu quickly scored his third try in the second half in the 46th minute, after Boyd once again taking a brilliant pass from Mullen, as he was able to put his big centre over in the corner.
From there, the Knights took a commanding lead with tries to Chris Houston, who took one of the passes of the year in the 58th minute. Tyrone Roberts kicked two penalty goals and the Tigers were out of the match.
In the 63rd minute, Beau Ryan was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul on Jarrod Mullen who had done well to get the Knights inside the Tigers 20 metre zone.
The Knights eventually cracked the Tigers in the 75th minute, with Tahu picking up his first try assist to go along with his three tries. But it was Boyd who stole the show, picking up four try assists, each from Jarrod Mullen passes.
The Tigers scored a consolation try in the 78th minute through Masada Iosefa, but it was not to be as they went down to the Newcastle Knights.
The Wests Tigers will have the bye next weekend, while the Knights will travel to Parramatta as they look to defeat the struggling Eels.
Newcastle Knights 38 defeated Wests Tigers 20
National Rugby League - Round 16 - Monday June 25, 2012 7:00pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Referee: Gerard Sutton and Phil Haines
Video Referee: Rod Lawrence
Touch Judges: Ricky MacFarlane and Brenden Wood
Halftime: Newcastle Knights 16 Wests Tigers 14
Newcastle Knights (38)
Tries: Timana Tahu (3), James McManus, Chris Houston, Akuila Uate
Conversions: Tyrone Roberts (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Tyrone Roberts (2/2)
Wests Tigers (20)
Tries: Chris Lawrence, Lote Tuqiri, Masada Iosefa
Conversions: Benji Marshall (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Benji Marshall (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary We are just 12 minutes from kick off! One change for the match, the Knights add Zane Tetevano as Chris Adams pulls out injured.
The Tigers are making their way onto the field.
Knights are onto the field. The Tigers will kick down to the Knights. Crowd looking strong.
1 min: The game is underway as Mason charges back 15 metres out.
1 min: Knights use their forwards well, Roberts kicks down by Moltzen brings it back to his 20
1 min: Marshall kicks over halfway down to dropped Origin Winger Uate as he brings it back to his 10
2 min: Mullen makes a half break but is pulled down
2 min: After a 43 metre gain the Knights kick down but the Tigers have the ball
3 min: Marshall puts a massive bomb up, but Boyd defuses it well. Knights ball
3 min: Great defence from the Tigers, trapping the Knights
4 min: Commentators curse as the Knights tear down the field but the Tigers are let off with a 20 tap
4 min: Tigers have the go forward and are almost into the Knights half
5 min: Farah kicks the ball, but Boyd has the ball and will play it 10 metres out
5 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Holding down. Newcastle 1-1 Tigers
6 min: Let off for the Knights as the Tigers are using their defence well, with the Knights playing side to side football
6 min: Knights are 30 from the try line.
7 min: Mullen puts an attacking bomb up but Beau Ryan defuses it and the Tigers have the 20 metre tap
7 min: Tigers into the Knights half
7 min: TRY
Robbie Farah slowly drifts across field 40 from the try line, but the Knights fall for a simple dummy as Farah goes straight through, he passes to Chris Lawrence who scores the try. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 6-0
9 min: Tim Moltzen off field with an injury.
9 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Tigers. Offside. Newcastle 1-1 Tigers.
10 min: Tigers will start their set 40 out from the try line.
12 min: TRY
Benji Marshall puts a smart grubber behind the Knights' line, Lote Tuqiri uses his speed to score the try in the corner. Marshall converts.
Wests Tigers 12-0
12 min: Knights kick down the field, they meet the Tigers attack strongly
13 min: Tim Moltzen has an expected Hamstring strain.
13 min: Tigers kick to Uate on the full, he brings it 35 metres out.
13 min: Knights are into the Tigers half.
14 min: Boyd puts an awkward kick in and Beau Ryan cleans up 7 from his line
14 min: Marshall puts a huge kick in from his 30, down to the Knights 20 as McManus brings it back to the 30 metre line.
15 min: Knights into the Tigers half
15 min: After some great work by the Knights, an offload goes astray as Tuqiri intercepts the ball 30 from his line.
16 min: Marshall kicks to Boyd on the full who has a great return, taking it 27 metres out.
16 min: Knights into the Tigers half
17 min: Beau Ryan easily takes a Knights attacking kick. Third tackle, 10 out for the Tigers.
17 min: Marshall clears from inside his 40, but Uate is able to bring it back to the 10
18 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Holding down. Newcastle 2-1 Tigers
18 min: Knights into the Tigers half
19 min: Adam Cuthbertson simply drops the offload from Kade Snowden. Scrum Tigers 10 out from their line.
19 min: Momentum is beginning to change as they are becoming a force in defence, Tigers have lost all go forward.
20 min: Tigers go wide and Blair makes some great metres down the sideline
20 min: Side to side football as Reddy is tackled 10 out.
21 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Tigers. Offside. Newcastle 2-2 Tigers.
21 min: Benji Marshall will take the penalty goal.
22 min: PENALTY GOAL
Marshall is successful.
Wests Tigers 14-0
22 min: Knights kick down field and Woods returns to his 10.
23 min: Marshall goes to kick down field but it is charged down by the Knights. The tackle count is restarted as they have the ball 20 metres out from their line.
24 min: Marshall puts it low and it will go into touch, 10 metres from the Knights' line.
25 min: Off the scrum the Knights knock it on because one of the referees gets in the way. Scrum Tigers 10 from the of the Knights
26 min: Bit of biff here as Snowden and Ray Cashmere decide to say hello.
26 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Throwing punches. Newcastle 3-2 Tigers.
26 min: Knights have the ball 30 from their own line.
26 min: Knights are into the Tigers half
27 min: Mullen puts the bomb up, Lote Tuqiri will knock on and the Knights will have the ball 10 metres from the Tigers try line.
28 min: Knights are going very close. attacking raid inside the 10 of the Tigers
29 min: VIDEO REF: Looking at grounding and if he is in touch. Uate.
30 min: TRY
The green light is lit up as Akuila Uate scores in the corner. Boyd takes advantage of some broken field play as he throws a big cut out ball. Uate is strong enough to run and hold a tackle off from Marshall but he grounds the ball before going out. Roberts misses the kick.
Wests Tigers 14-4
30 min: The Tigers have kicked to just the 20 metre line as Houston brings it back
30 min: Mullen puts a great long kick in, but it goes dead. Tigers 20 tap.
31 min: Tigers into the Knights half.
31 min: Marshall shows the ball to an attacker before placing in a kick as the Knights are desperate to work the ball out of their own half.
32 min: New set to Newcastle as the Tigers knock it out of Uate's hands. The Knights are inside the Tigers 40
34 min: TRY
Mullen takes the ball to the line before passing to Boyd who taps onto Tahu under immense pressure, but Tahu on the angle tears apart the Tigers' defence. Roberts converts from in front.
Wests Tigers 14-10
35 min: On the last Mullen kicks down field but Beau Ryan stops any Knights players from taking from him
35 min: A big shot by Edwards on Tuqiri sees the Knights gain possession just 10 from the Tigers line.
38 min: TRY
Timana Tahu will score his second. Mullen passes to Darius Boyd who holds up the ball before passing to Tahu who goes through easily after sloppy defence. Roberts converts from the sideline.
Newcastle Knights 16-14
38 min: The game has changed. Knights working it away from their line
39 min: Mullen kicks to Ryan who is stopped on his 20
40 min: Beau Ryan is tackled with the ball and it is now half time.
40 min: Both sides are back onto the field
40 min: Knights kick off to the Tigers as the second half begins through Keith Gallloway
40 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Tigers. Offside. Newcastle 3-3 Tigers
40 min: Tigers are into the Knights half
41 min: Marshall tries a kick behind the line once again but Boyd is smarter to it.
42 min: Mullen is put under pressure and they run the ball. It comes wide to Dane Gagai who kicks down field and the ball goes out, 15 metres from the Tigers line. Scrum Tigers.
43 min: A forward pass from Marshall as the Knights will have the scrum 40 from the try line
46 min: TRY
Once again Mullen skips across field but a sweeping Darius Boyd takes the pass as he delivers the final pass to Tahu who scores his third. Boyd with 4 try assists. And Tyrone Roberts converts.
Newcastle Knights 22-14
46 min: Knights forwards working very hard out of their end now.
47 min: A kick from the Knights is collected by Beau Ryan who offloads to Utai but the Knights defence has kept Wests nside their 20 from 3 tackles.
48 min: Under pressure Marshall puts a big kick down but who other but Boyd takes the kick and then returns to the 40 metre line.
49 min: Mullen kicks but it is way too big. Tap for the Tigers at the 20
50 min: Tigers into the Knights half
50 min: Marshall puts a bomb up but Darius Boyd, under all sorts of pressure takes the catch
51 min: Yet another Knights kick will go dead. the Tigers will take the tap from their 20
52 min: Lote Tuqiri tries to turn the ball back inside to Farah but it is terrible and the ball goes to ground. Knights scrum on the halfway.
52 min: Knights make a clean line break but they are pulled down 10 out
53 min: Mullens kick goes dead. 20 tap once more for the Tigers.
54 min: Tigers into the Knights half
54 min: Marshall puts the ball down and Boyd is tackled on zero at his 30 metre line
55 min: Roberts will kick the ball and Tyrone gets it right as the Tigers are trapped in goal and the Knights will receive a drop out.
56 min: Uate brings the ball back like a raging bull as he is tackled on the 20
58 min: TRY
A brilliant, BRILLIANT pass from Jarrod Mullen at the line sends Chris Houston screaming through the gap to score. Roberts adds the extras
Newcastle Knights 28-14
60 min: Mullen kicks down field, it goes past Utai and the Tigers will get a 20 tap
61 min: Tigers are in the Knights half
61 min: Farah bombs the ball but Joel Reddy puts it down
62 min: Knights are working it from their 10 metre line
62 min: Knights are into the Tigers half
63 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Professional foul, Beau Ryan in the sin bin. Newcastle 4-3 Tigers
64 min: PENALTY GOAL
Roberts will convert the penalty goal.
Newcastle Knights 30-14
64 min: The Tigers try a short kick but Joel Reddy once again knocks it down. Scrum Knights 30 from their line
65 min: Knights are into the Tigers half
65 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights. Holding down. Newcastle 5-3 Tigers
66 min: Knights are inside the Tigers 10 metre zone. 4th tackle.
67 min: Roberts grubbers through but Marshall cleans up.
67 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Tigers. Newcastle 5-4 Tigers.
67 min: Tigers are into the Knights' half
68 min: Knock on Galloway, scrum Knights, 20 out from their line.
69 min: The Knights kick down and Uate tackles Reddy just one metre from his line
70 min: Roberts recovers a short Marshall chip. Knights have the ball inside the Tigers half
71 min: Video Ref: An attacking kick across field from Mullen has the outside backs scramble to score the try. Checking a knock on from McManus.
71 min: NO TRY! Knock on from McManus and the Tigers will have the 20 tap.
71 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Knights, offside from an optional 20 metre tap kick. Newcastle 6-4 Tigers
72 min: PENALTY GOAL
Knights building up their points differential with another penalty goal
Newcastle Knights 32-14
73 min: Knights go into the Tigers half
75 min: TRY
Another long pass from Jarrod Mullen to Timana Tahu who completes a 360, drawing and passing to McManus who is unmarked and scores. Roberts converts
Newcastle Knights 38-14
75 min: The Knights will now work away from their own try line.
76 min: Mullen kicks down but Ryan takes the ball. He believes he was in goal but the referees call play on.
77 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Tigers. Newcastle 6-5 Tigers
78 min: INFRINGEMENT: Penalty Tigers. Beau Ryan debates a sin bin but the referees disagree. Newcastle 6-6 Tigers
78 min: TRY
Iosefa will score the final try of the match through some soft Knights defence. Marshall converts.
Newcastle Knights 38-20
80 min: Fulltime. Knights return to the winners circle.