Full Time
80:00
4:05pm Sun August 23, 2020
Round 15 - McDonald Jones Stadium - Crowd: 5304

Match Overview

The Newcastle Knights have all but secured a place in the finals after downing the North Queensland Cowboys 12-0 in front of 5,304 supporters at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Holding a side to nil for the second time this season, the win came at a cost for the home side with off-contract half Blake Green suffering a suspected ACL injury in a further blow to the side's playmaking stocks.

Dominating the opening exchanges with David Klemmer and Jacob Saifiti laying an effective platform, the Knights struggled to post points despite a 40/20 from Mitchell Pearce.

Getting on the board after some nice passing from Pearce and Kalyn Ponga, winger Hymel Hunt (14th minute) touched down for his sixth try of the season.

Losing Green (ACL) and winger Starford To'a (concussion) shortly before the break, a penalty goal from Ponga saw the home side extend their lead to 6-0.

With the Cowboys unable to capitalise on limited attacking opportunities, Kyle Feldt missed an opportunity to get the visitors on the board after Pearce was sent to the sin bin on halftime after being offside from a quick tap.

Forced to play the second half with 15 men, the Knights were unable to take advantage of Mitchell Dunn being sent to the sin bin after Ponga made a length-of-the-field break.

Denied further tries to Herman Ese'ese (obstruction), Lachlan Fitzgibbon (lost ball), Aidan Guerra (tackled short of the line) and Mitchell Barnett (lost ball), a 63rd minute penalty goal to Ponga put the Knights up 8-0.

Icing the result courtesy of a beautiful pass from Ponga to send Enari Tuala (78th minute) over against his former club, the Knights did enough to secure the 12-0 result.

Sitting seven points clear of the four teams on the precipice of the top eight, the Knights look set to feature in the finals for the first time since 2013.

Held scoreless for the first time since Round 1, 2012, the Cowboys were dealt a further blow with Jason Taumalolo suffering a calf injury in the side's eighth consecutive loss.

Next week, the Knights travel to Tamworth to take on the Warriors on Saturday afternoon, while the Cowboys face the Sharks at Kogarah on Saturday evening.

3. Mitchell Barnett

Running for over 200 metres and producing 39 tackles, the Newcastle lock was a stand-out across the 80 minutes.

2. David Klemmer

Running for close to 250 metres, making 32 tackles and having a kick for good measure, the Knights' enforcer was strong up front.

1. Kalyn Ponga

Setting up both tries, the Newcastle fullback produced the polish to get the Knights home.