Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
Not to be outdone, Jarryd Hayne scored only minutes later, after easily stepping Uate to sprint 90 metres down field to score, with Sandow adding the extras.
The Knights took the lead back in the 31st minute, when a lovely Jarrod Mullen kick founds its way into BJ Leilua's waiting hands. Darius Boyd extended the lead with a try in the 36th minute, and the Knights led 16-6 at the break.
In the second half, Parramatta threw everything they had at the Knights, but the Newcastle defense held strong. It wasn't until the 70th minute that points were posted in the second half. Semi Radradra crossed in the corner, but the Newcastle players were far from happy, believing that Dane Gagai was not given an opportunity to make a tackle.
The referees didn't agree, and the video referee awarded the try, but it was too little too late for the Eels - the Knights going out victorious, 16-10.
Venue: Pirtek Stadium
Welcome to Pirtek Stadium this afternoon. The Parramatta Eels play host to the Newcastle Knights, and despite the Knights position on the ladder, this should be a good game. For the Eels, Darcy Lussick and David Gower come into the starting side, with Pauli Pauli and Joseph Paulo dropping back to the bench. For the Knights, Travis Waddell will replace the injured Adam Clydesdale at hooker.
The teams are taking the field now - not long until kick off.
We're underway - the Knights kick off to the Eels, and we're on.
2: The Knights looking to spread the ball early. On the last, they kick long but it's right down Hayne's throat.
3: Semi Radradra with a half break down the right hand side of the field.
5: Beau Scott runs the ball forward and pops an offload to Waddell, who gets tackled by the same blokes who tackled Scott...
6: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Akuila Uate. Kick to come.
Some slick long passing from Darius Boyd sends Akuila Uate (not Utai, Rabs) over on the left hand side of the field. The Knights take an early lead.
6: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful.
Gidley lines up the conversion from the sideline, to a chorus of boos from the crowd. He pushes it wide.
6: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Jarryd Hayne. Kick to come.
On their very next set after the Knights try, a piece of Jarryd Hayne brilliance sees him run 90 metres to score. The Knights run through with a great kick chase, but Akuila Uate came too far in field and Hayne easily stepped him. Willie Mason put in a valiant chase, but Hayne was obviously too quick.
9: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PARRAMATTA EELS
Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow successful.
Sandow lines up the kick from 15 metres in from touch, and converts his captain's try.
11: The Eels making solid metres in that set, before Sandow chases his own kick and pins Boyd in the corner. Brilliant set from the Eels.
11: Tackle 4 for the Knights and they've only made 30 metres.
12: The Eels get a penalty, as the Knights loiter on the ball for too long in the tackle.
13: Hayne runs for the line but is dragged down only a couple of metres short. Sandow put a kick in early looking for the post, but he misses and sends it dead.
14: The Knights pass out to the left of the field, but Leilua throws a wayward pass behind Uate and the ball goes out over the sideline.
15: The Eels make a half break down the lef tof the field now. Tonga tries to get a pass away but is dragged down.
15: On the last, David Gower is pulled down short, and the Knights breathe a sigh of relief.
18: Vai Toutai has come to the sideline now with a hand injury, looks like a dislocated finger.
19: Toutai's finger has been put back in and he's good to go. Darcy Lussick has come from the field with concussion though.
19: Isaac De Gois runs from dummy half and kicks over the defence, but it's too deep and runs over the dead ball line.
22: End to end stuff at the moment. Both teams making big metres off their sets, but nothing particularly entertaining.
23: Gidley attempts a cross field kick off the outside of his boot, but it's terrible - no chasers, no pressure, no depth.
24: Hayne makes a massive break down field, but is dragged back for a forward pass. Corey Norman ran to the right and then attempted to turn it back to Hayne, but it's gone slightly forward. Let off for the Knights.
25: The Eels get penalised - the referee said release three times, but the defenders still clung on.
25: And now another penalty goes to Newcastle for the same thing. The Knights are only ten metres out on attack now.
26: Roberts puts a grubber in, and Gower blocks it with his foot and kicks it forward. The Knights get another set.
26: The Knights spread it out to the right from the scrum, but the pass isn't a good one, and it goes to ground.
26: Little bit of training from the referee there for the Eels on how to pack a scrum. Pretty funny stuff.
28: The Eels kick down field on the last, but it goes sailing into Row 3. The Knights will start their set from their own 40 metres line, and both teams look a bit tired.
29: Mullen turns the ball inside for Beau Scott, and he almost gets to the line but is brought down just short.
30: On the last, Mullen kicks high, and the ball comes down to Morgan, before he loses it and BJ Leilua cleans up. We're going to the video referee for a possible try to BJ - just checking the contest.
30: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Joseph Leilua. Kick to come.
And it's a try! Pretty simple stuff for Leilua in the end, but a great kick from Mullen to set it up. It came down right on the tryline.
30: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful
Gidley lines up the kick from just left of the post, and converts the try. 10-6, the Knights lead the Eels.
31: A good set for the Knights after that try, Mullen kicks for the sideline, and the Eels will feed a scrum from their own 10 metre line.
32: Tyrone Roberts is down in backplay. He looks to have copped a hit while attempting a tackle.
32: He's back on his feet now though, as Boyd is tackled, and then gets up blowing up about Sandow's Kamikaze style tackle.
33: Jarryd Hayne gets a penalty for his team now. BJ Leilua is the man penalised, and there's a tiny bit of push and shove after the whistle blows.
36: TRY NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Scored by Darius Boyd. Kick to come.
Boyd sees a big gap up the middle of the field now, and decides "if Hayne can do it, so can I". He takes the kick return, and sprints 75 metres to score. Semi Radradra put in a big effort to catch him, running from the opposite wing to almost catch him.
36: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful.
Gidley makes no mistake with the conversion.
38: Under two minutes left in the half, and the Knights have a strong lead.
38: Mullen grubbers through on the last, and the Knights force a line drop out.
40: From the drop out, the ball travels to Mullen, who attempts a very long range field goal. Hayne catches it, and the half is over. The Knights go to the break leading 16-6.
40: We're back in the second half.
43: The Knights send the ball out the blind, before switching it open to Korbin Sims. This opens up the blind side for Mullen to kick down, but the kick is well taken by the Eels.
44: The Eels with a long run down the right of the field, but they're eventually dragged down. Leilua is penalised for laying on the tackled player though, so the Eels will get a new set.
44: Corey Norman almost scores, but he's dragged down desperately by the Knights.
45: On the last, Sandow chips towards the posts, but the ball goes dead.
45: Rochow gets up a bit gingerly after that tackle.
46: Wayward pass, and McManus is forced to run back and tidy up. Strong defense from the Eels is really putting pressure on.
46: Hayne makes another line break, but Tapine pulls hm down.
49: On the last, Hayne passes out to the right, and there's a bit of an in-and-out play down the right sideline. The Eels look likely to score, but Uate knocks down the last pass and it travels over the sideline. Lucky touch for Uate. The referee rules that Uate was the last touch, but reverses his decision to give Newcastle the scrum feed.
Leilua is also down receiving attention for an injury.
49: The Knights get a penalty now, and will be helped out of their own danger zone.
51: Boyd makes another half break, before getting the ball off to McManus, who is just grabbed. On the last, Mullen sends the ball dead.
52: And the Eels are helped by a penalty, as the Knights are within the ten.
52: Poor finish to the set there from Sandow, attempting to kick through about a thousand legs.
53: On the Eels' next set, Hayne hoists the ball very high, but Boyd is more than up to the task. Gagai takes the ball on the next tackle, and makes a nice break down field.
53: Uate heads for the tryline in the corner, but is pulled down just short. On the last, Mullen kicks for the posts, and the Knights have claimed a try. We're going to the video referee to check the contest, but it looks like no try.
53: It's NO TRY - Gidley has knocked the ball on contesting for the kick. Parramatta will play the ball from inside their own ten.
60: And now Parramatta get a penalty, as the Knights mess around with the tackled player. The Eels spread the ball out to the right, but Ryan Morgan has knocked the ball on, on only the second play.
60: The Eels get penalised now, and that will not help their cause at all. Mullen kicks downfield, and the Knights take the tap on their own 30.
60: On the last, Mullen kicks high, and Hayne is underneath. It looked to me like a knock on, bouncing of McManus, but the referee rules it was OK. Eels start their set.
61: Morgan combines with Hayne to run down the right of the field. The Eels throw the ball around for a while, but eventually Vai Toutai is tackled on the last.
62: The Knights kick into the in goal on the last, but it's slightly too big. He had the right idea though.
64: Sandow runs straight at Willie Mason, who wraps him up and hammers him. But it's Mason who comes off second best, huffing and puffing like a big bad wolf.
66: Hayne kicks high on the last, and Beau Scott is underneath it. Scott stays down after Paulo comes over the top and catches Scott's head in an awkward position. Scott's neck is twisted a bit, but it was just an accident. Paulo has been placed on report for the contact, but I don't think he'll have much of a problem.
67: Mullen kicks for the sideline from the resulting penalty, and the Knights will gladly accept the piggy back down field.
68: Waddell attempts to work a rushed blind side, but there was never anything on. McManus accepts the hospital ball, and wisely gets rid of it back to the open side.
69: The Eels spread the ball out to the left on the last, choosing to run the ball. Radradra looks to have scored, but we're going to the video referee. The Knights are all protesting that Dane Gagai was held off the ball.
70: Looks like no try to me - Gagai was definitely held back by Kenny Edwards, and had no opportunity to make the tackle.
70: TRY PARRAMATTA EELS
Scored by Semi Radradra. Kick to come.
Well, I was wrong. They've given Radradra the try. The video referee rules that both players were holding onto each other. Gidley is claiming it's a blatant professional foul, but it's a bit late for that now.
70: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION PARRAMATTA EELS
Conversion attempt by Chris Sandow unsuccessful.
Sandow is unsuccessful with the attempted conversion.
70: Boyd restarts the game, and kicks it down to Corey Norman, who sends Terepo hurtling into the defense.
72: Pauli Pauli makes a massive break down field, but Boyd just manages to tangle his legs up. The Knights in all sorts here.
72: Luckily for the Knights, Hayne knocks on and the ball winds up in Houston's arms.
72: Mullen kicks for the sideline, and just looks to wind the clock down a little bit.
73: The Eels will work out from their own 20 metre line.
73: Sandow passes to Terepo who bumps off Jeremy Smith and centres the play. On the last, Hayne flicks the ball out the back, before Morgan kicks, and Gagai cleans up for the Knights. Exciting stuff.
74: UNSUCCESSFUL FIELD GOAL NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Field goal attempt by Jarrod Mullen unsuccessful.
On the last, Mullen lines up a field goal attempt, but it's waved away.
78: The Knights really just looking to wind the clock down now. Less than two minutes to hold on. Beau Scott is looking very dusty out to the right of the field.
79: On the last, Mullen drills the ball into touch. The Eels run to the scrum, but there's only 20 seconds left in the game.
79: The Eels kick over the top of the Knights on the last, and Darius Boyd picks it up and runs down towards his own tryline to run down the clock. The Knights have gone back to back for the first time in 2014.