Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
10 hours ago
The season of the Newcastle Knights is now in grave doubt after they were defeated 22-10 by the New Zealand Warriors at Mt. Smart Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It will take a long look at the calculator to view the Knights chances, but they let themselves down in the match, conceeding plenty of penalties.
The match began with the Warriors making several early errors, while the Knights were conceeding some cheap penalties. The Warriors hit the scoreboard first in the 17th minute when a floating pass found winger Manu Vatuvei. James Maloney came close with the sideline conversion, but missed, leaving the score at 4-0. It didn't take long for the Knights to hit back, a similar try saw winger Cooper Vuna take a big pass to score and level up the two sides. Minutes later, the Knights were denied a try, leaving them with momentum coming into the break. However, it was the Warriors who hit the scoreboard, the continuous penalties against the Knights gave way as Manu Vatuvei scored his second, giving the game the half-time scoreline of Warriors 10 Knights 4.
The Knights came out firing in the second half however, Daniel Tolar scoring early to level the scores once more. But the penalties continued to hurt the Knights, conceeding one mid-way through the half to give James Maloney the chance to put the Warriors up by two. Safe to say, he took that chance. Not long after the goal, Manu Vatuvei scored his third try of the afternoon to give the Warriors a 16-10 advantage. The other winger for the Warriors, Bill Tupou, sealed the match with a late try.
Meanwhile the Warriors were victorious in the Toyota Cup match, beating the Knights 28-26. The Knights shot out to a 20-0 lead after sixty minutes, but a six-minute Warriors revival saw the score close up to 20-18. The Knights went ahead with nine minutes left, but two late Warriors tries sealed the comeback victory.
New Zealand Warriors 22 defeated Newcastle Knights 10
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 23 - Sunday August 15, 2010 12:00pm
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Chris Ward
Touch Judges: David Munro and Russell Turner
Halftime: New Zealand Warriors 10 Newcastle Knights 4
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (22)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei (3), Bill Tupou
Conversions: James Maloney (2/4)
Penalty Goals: James Maloney (1/1)
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (10)
Tries: Daniel Tolar, Cooper Vuna
Conversions: Kurt Gidley (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome one and all! You could argue that this will be a match between two teams with their seasons on the line. Both could still make it, but the two competition points available will be worth more then diamonds to the winner here today between the New Zealand Warriors and the Newcastle Knights.
The Toyota Cup match this afternoon saw an interesting game. The Knights shot out to a 20-0 lead after sixty minutes, but the Warriors were able to cut it right back to 20-18 six minutes later. Despite the Knights scoring with nine minutes to go, the Warriors scored two late tries to seal a 28-26 victory.
Newcastle have suffered a massive blow with Jarrod Mullen being ruled out for this game. He will be replaced by Scott Dureau, a new signing for Catalans Dragons. Cameron Ciraldo and Matt Hilder swap places in the back row. The Warriors enter this match with the same 1-17.
The teams beginning to enter the field as we speak.
We're underway here at Mt. Smart!
2 min: An early mistake from Manu Vatuvei there.
5 min: The Warriors having some trouble holding onto the ball, both sides also have already conceeded early penalties.
6 min: So, the Knights ready to attack the Warriors line.
7 min: Kurt Gidley's kick in that set goes wayward, a disappointing moment.
10 min: The Warriors completion rate must be under 50% still, but the Knights are doing well holding on to the ball.
15 min: Warriors catch a break there, catching the Knights defenders offside.
17 min: TRY
It's no surprise to see who has scored the first try here. Manu Vatuvei receives a cut-out pass, going over the line despite being held by Akuila Uate. Then again, it looked like a truck moving forward with a trailer behind it. The difficult conversion attempt in front of James Maloney proves too difficult as he swings it away.
New Zealand Warriors 4-0
20 min: Kurt Gidley sends a bomb and two Warriors collided trying to grab it! Lucky one of them kept it safe.
24 min: Newcastle get a set close to the line. They'll be on the attack.
25 min: TRY
Both of the number fives have scored now, with Cooper Vuna opening up the scoring for the Newcastle Knights. Very similar to the last, a neat cut-out ball from Catalan bound Scott Dureau. Speaking of "similar to the last", Kurt Gidley also misses the conversion attempt.
30 min: Possible try here to Knights centre Junior Sa'u. Up to the video referee!
30 min: No try! A Zeb Taia knock-on was found! Pretty confident that could be the first handling error against the Knights. Bad timing, eh?
31 min: Another penalty to the Warriors for the Knights being offside. They're going on the attack here.
34 min: A few minutes to go this first half. Never know where a try could come from.
36 min: The penalty count starting to absolutely hammer the Knights!
37 min: TRY
Manu Vatuvei grabs his second try of the afternoon, taking a Seymour kick to perfection. James Maloney is once again faced with a difficult conversion attempt, but this time he nails it.
New Zealand Warriors 10-4
40 min: That is half-time, the late try giving the Warriors a 10-4 advantage. The Knights pretty much leading in every statistical area, except the hammering penalty count against them.
40 min: Second half is underway, the next forty minutes could give us the fate of Newcastle this season!
45 min: The Knights have begun the second half well, coming close to scoring. They've also earned a rare penalty here.
48 min: TRY
The Knights continue their great start to the second half, scoring a try through Daniel Tolar (first try of the day not scored by the right side winger). Some great lead-up work by Richard Fa'aoso. Kurt Gidley nails the easiest conversion of the day to level the scores.
53 min: Warriors starting to lose their grip on the game.
55 min: Looks like old habits remain. Newcastle once again penalised for being offside, the Warriors will take a shot at goal.
56 min: PENALTY GOAL
The lazy work from the Knights has put the Warriors back in front.
New Zealand Warriors 12-10
62 min: Brett Seymour nails a 40/20! Here come the Warriors!
63 min: TRY
The Beast does it again! A hat-trick for Vatuvei as the Warriors extend their lead! James Maloney with an average attempt at conversion.
New Zealand Warriors 16-10
70 min: An error from the Knights! The Warriors well on top right now!
72 min: Knights receive a bit of an iffy penalty, they will get a chance here.
73 min: The Knights are over!!! But the last pass is called forward!
76 min: TRY
Finally! The other winger gets a try! The Warriors seal it up, leaving the Knights in major doubt of making the finals this year. This came right after a field goal attempt.
New Zealand Warriors 22-10
80 min: That will do! Warriors win 22-10!