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Newcastle Knights have fought long and hard to come away with the points in front of a vocal home crowd tonight at Energy Australia Stadium to defeat the Warriors by 24-18.
After being down 12-6 at break, and conceding the first try in the second half, the Knights managed to pile on 18 unanswered points on the Warriors, including a double to fullback Kurt Gidley.
A tough battle up the middle as expected, both teams were determined not to give an inch with some very good defence.
The NZ Warriors will rue their 5th tackle options, letting them down on numerous occasions and in doing so, allowing the Knights to be well and truly in the match.
Stand out performances for the Knights by Gidley, Buderus and halfback Mullen have certainly done their chances of wearing a blue jersey in a couple of weeks no harm at all. All 3 playing their part in the Newcastle victory along with some great defence.
The Knights now have next weekend off whereas the Warriors will head back home for some much needed soul searching following their back to back losses. Their next game is in Auckland in Round 10 against the Wests Tigers.
Round 9 - Full Time :: May 12th, 2007 05:30 PM Venue: Energy Australia Stadium Referee: Tony Archer
Live commentary Hohaia and Ropati return from injury for the Warriors. The Knights are per programme. An anticipated battle of the forwards at Energy Australia Stadium.
1 min: Kick off in Newcastle, with the Warriors to receive the ball first.
4 min: A sign of nerves by the two sides needing to settle into the game.
6 min: The completions by the Warriors at 100% however the kicking game letting them down. The Knights struggling to complete a full set of six.
10 min: The game is set at a fast pace with ground conditions a little slippery. No team yet breaking through the defensive line. Score remains nil all.
13 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors Back to back penalties to the Warriors sets up the tap 20 metres from their line. Two tackles and Wiki busts through to score. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia successful. New Zealand Warriors 6-0
20 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The Knights close to their line looked dangerous however the kick by Brown was intercepted by Ropati's leg who regathers the ball and runs the length of the field to score under the posts. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia successful. New Zealand Warriors 12-0
21 min: The Knights obviously in front of the kicker as play resumes following the try. However not picked up by any official.
26 min: Newcastle starting to throw around the attacking options and they're coming close to getting them right. Only the scrambling defence of the Warriors saving the scoreline.
31 min: TRY Newcastle Knights The Knights after a relieving penalty built up the momentum for Simpson to burst onto a great ball by Brown. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. New Zealand Warriors 12-6
35 min: A tough battle ensuing as we countdown to the break. Tackles by both sides mean business.
39 min: Newcastle have a good chance to attack following a 5th tackle kick by Gatis going out on the full. Once again close to the Newcastle line, only the solid defence by the Warriors out wide saves the day.
HALFTIME: As anticipated, a tough game up the middle. The defence of both sides committed. Looking forward to more of the same in the second half.
41 min: Second half underway
44 min: The Warriors looking good on attack but their fifth tackle options are bordering on pathetic and letting them down.
50 min: Back to back sets by the Warriors on attack smoulders into nothing yet again. The fifth tackle option once again frustratingly bad. The Knights trying very hard to help the visitors by making mistakes early in their tackle count. Score remains 12-6.New Zealand Warriors 12-6
52 min: TRY New Zealand Warriors The video ref is used to rule the try following a goal line drop out to the Warriors. Fein grubbers on the fifth tackle then clambers over Newton to touch the ball down in goal. Conversion attempt by Lance Hohaia successful. New Zealand Warriors 18-6
55 min: The Knights pinged twice for obstruction so far in the match. Buderus the guilty party close to their line, and not impressed with the call.
60 min: The Knights once again hot on attack. Simpson grabs the ball on the line and knocks on, however Ah Van at fullback for the Warriors showing great courage to attack the ball at the same time. Score remains 18-6.
65 min: The Knights trying everything and close to scoring on numerous ocassions.
68 min: TRY Newcastle Knights A bad call by the ref saying a ball had been played at, allows the Knight 6 more tackles 20 metres out from their line. Needing only one tackle, the seas parted so to speak to allow Gidley in for an easy try. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. New Zealand Warriors 18-12
73 min: Newcastle have stepped up a gear, looking hungrier. So far the Warriors defence is equal to the task.
75 min: TRY Newcastle Knights The Warriors forced to tackle continuously, finally have their line broken by Gidley who manages to spin out of two tackles to dive over the line. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. 18 all
80 min: TRY Newcastle Knights A handling mistake by Byrne gifts the Knights excellent field position. A beautiful cut out pass close to the line allows an unmarked MacDougall over for the match winner. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. Newcastle Knights 24-18
FULLTIME: The Warriors fell to pieces in the second half on attack and will rue those options all week. Well done to the Knights, they held in there and deserved the 2 points.