Full Time
5:30pm Sat August 8, 2020
Round 13 - McDonald Jones Stadium - Crowd: 2952

Match Overview

The Knights have taken a giant step in the right direction with a dominant 44-4 win over the Tigers.

Saturday night's clash shaped as a key one for both side's finals aspirations as form slumps threatened to derail their seasons.

A 48-0 thumping of Brisbane was the only highlight in an otherwise dismal month for the Tigers who went down to the Warriors last weekend.

Newcastle, on the other hand, were still reeling from injuries to Andrew McCullough and Connor Watson and then lost teenage sensation Bradman Best. Back-to-back losses to the Bulldogs and Storm, along with their developing injury crisis had most ruling them out of doing anything in the post-season if they even made it. But the signing of Blake Green gave Knights fans some optimism.

The Tigers weren't without their own boost of confidence, looking to celebrate milestone games for Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence. The response from Michael Maguire's men was anything but what was expected though. The Tigers looked far from a team fighting for a finals spot and looking to pay tribute to two of its greatest servants. Their season and any hopes of breaking their finals drought were falling apart in front of our very eyes.

This is not to take anything away from the Knights, who constantly heaped pressure on the Tigers in a relentless performance. Mitchell Pearce combined well with Green, with the latter taking some pressure off the Newcastle halfback. Kalyn Ponga terrorised the Tigers on the edge, finishing with two tries, two try assists, three linebreaks and two linebreak assists on top of 194 run metres.

The trio couldn't weave their magic if it wasn't for a dominant display from their big men. Their starting props - David Klemmer and Jacob Saifiti - were particularly impressive as they finished with 335 running metres between them.

The Tigers play the Bulldogs next week but it doesn't get any easier from there. The nightmare run home for Maguire's men sees them face the Roosters, Panthers, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs, Storm and Eels. They have next to no chance of finishing in the finals based off Saturday night's effort.

Newcastle have a relatively favourable run home but take on the desperate Sea Eagles next week.

3. Kalyn Ponga

Just under 200 running metres, two tries, two try assists, two linebreak assists, three linebreaks - tore Tigers to shreds.

2. David Klemmer

175 running metres and four offloads with great second-phase play to spark Newcastle's attack.

1. Kurt Mann

Two linebreak assists, one try assist and great service to ease Newcastle's headaches in the number nine jumper.