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The Newcastle Knights have finally shown that they can win without their captain and main playmaker, Andrew Johns. The Knights having previously lost eight games in a row without Johns.
Tonight at Aussie Stadium (SFS), the South Sydney Rabbitohs went down by 26-8 and in reality were no match for the depleted Knights.
Souths opened the scoring in the 20th minute when McKinnon scored near the uprights. In what appeared to something of an omen, Owen Craigie missed the simplest of conversions.
The Knights replied immediately with a try under the uprights to Kurt Gidley and then Buderus, who had a tremendous match, scored 15 minutes later. In all, Newcastle scored six tries and although unimpressive at times, they never looked like losing.
Young Souths winger, Nathan Merritt scored a late try in only his second first grade match but by then, it was too little too late.
Sat 7:30 PM, 29 June 2002 Aussie Stadium (SFS) Referee: S Lyons
Rabbitohs 8 - Knights 26 South Sydney Rabbitohs (Tries: McKinnon, Merritt. Goals: Craigie 0/2) Newcastle Knights (Tries: K Gidley, Buderus, M Hughes, Bailey, Quinn. Goals: Peden 2/4, Abraham 1/1)