The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Wet weather football at Toyota Park today saw the Knights scrape in to win over the spirited Sharks by 32 - 24.
Newcastle with the wind at their backs in the first half, failed to get away from the Sharks. Both teams found it tough in the deteriorating conditions, but still managed to string together some exciting plays that had the crowd going.
A game that could've gone either way right until the final whistle. The Sharks certainly stepped up a gear against the visitors, but with some unlucky calls, and some patient plays by the Knights, the Sharks defence finally faltered in the last 5 minutes.
League Unlimied players of the match:
3 D Abraham (Knights) 2 S Rudder (Knights) 1 D Peachey (Sharks)
Scorers: Sharks 24 Tries: Gibson, Peachey, Bailey, Franze Goals: Kimmorley (4/4) defeated by Knights 32 Tries: Buderus, Hall x2, Abraham, Tahu, Parsons Goals: Johns (4/6)
By the clock: Wet conditions at Shark Park. The Knights have the wind at their back in the first half
7th min: TRY - Gibson for Sharks. Very slippery conditions had Newcastle make a mistake 20 metres out from their line. Next set of six and Gibson dives under the defence to score. Kimmorley gets the kick to come round. Sharks 6-0
12th min: TRY - Buderus for Knights. A penalty to Newcastle close to the line after a little scuffle. The Knights patiently waiting, then Buderus ducks under the defence to score. Johns, from 21 metres in from touch, misses the conversion. Sharks 6-4
15th min: NEWS: Back to back penalties for the Knights. Instead of taking two almost certain points, they opted for the six points and failed to get them
25th min: NEWS - A lot of unforced errors in the wet conditions,leading to fustration by the players. Newcastle very close to scoring but once again a slippery ball just stops Perry from scoring
27th min: TRY - Hall for Knights. Beautiful pass by Abraham to Hall to put him in the gap, and there was no stopping the speedster. Johns has no trouble converting the try. Knights 10-6
30th min: TRY - Abraham for Knights. Controversial play on call by the ref, the Sharks had stopped. O'Davis runs across the line, flicks a pass out to Abraham, into a gap and he scores unopposed. Johns gets the tricky conversion. Knights 16-6
34th min: TRY - Peachey for Sharks. Knights defence soft near their line. Stevens busts through, passes on to Peachey, always in support. Kimmorley from out in front, gets the conversion. Knights 16-12
HALF TIME: Close game in wet condition. Mander not popular with the locals. The Sharks will now have the wind behind them
44th min: TRY - Bailey for Sharks. A mistake by Newcastle give the Sharks the ball in their own half. On the fifth tackle, Peachey runs across the line, sets Bailey up into a gap, very soft defence couldn't stop him. Kimmorley gets the kick over. Sharks 18-16
50th min: NEWS - Both sides bombing chances, and very unlucky not to score. The Sharks over the line, knocked on. Tahu (Knights) involved in the play from one end to the other, finally forced into touch close to his line
57th min: TRY - Tahu for Knights. Following a line dropout, Newcastle patiently go through the motions. Johns with a vintage pass, sets up Tahu out wide, who runs round closer to the posts. Johns curves the kick around to get the conversion. Knights 22-18
68th min: TRY - Franze for Sharks. Beautiful chip over the heads of the opposition by Kimmorley, who regathers into open space. Realising he can't get past the defence, Kimmorley kicks ahead for a flying Franze to gather in the wet, and score. Kimmorley, from the sideline, gets a beauty. Sharks 24-22
75th min: TRY - Hall for Knights. From a huge line dropout, the Knights bring it forward steadily, Rudder finally floats a ball out wide for Hall to score. Johns misses the tough conversion from the sideline. Knights 26-24
80th min: TRY - Parsons for Knights. Right on fulltime from a line dropout, Parsons manages to stretch out over the line with a couple of defenders in tow. An easy kick finally for Johns. Knights 32-24
FULL TIME: Hard fought win to the Knights, the Sharks can certainly hold their heads high