Full Time
2:00pm Sun April 28, 2024
Round 8 - Suncorp Stadium, Milton / Yuggera-Turrbal - Crowd: 18033

Match Overview

The battle of two young fullbacks took command at Suncorp Stadium as the Knights proved too strong for the fast finishing Dolphins in an exciting Sunday footy clash.

Newcastle started the match with a big point to prove after a poor start to the season. Repeatedly forcing the Dolphins back deep to start each set, their persistence was rewarded with David Armstrong crossing in his maiden NRL match. Jackson Hastings delivered a magical pass on the inside to Armstrong and the man from Mungindi beat the cover defence for the opener.

The possession was dominant for the visitors in this first half, as their forward pack finally were able to outmuscle their opposition. Nine minutes later, Tyson Gamble went deep into the line and found Dane Gagai who was able to carry Jack Bostock over the try-line and cross for the Knights' second of the afternoon. Gagai converted this one to give Newcastle a surprising 10-0 lead after 19 minutes. Things got bad to worse for the home side when Kenny Bromwich was collected trying to tackle Leo Thompson and left the game to undergo a HIA and wouldn't return.

That stoppage might've been what the Dolphins needed to just reset and click themselves back into gear. After a big kick return from Trai Fuller, the Dolphins were able to set themselves down the right edge which sent Jake Averillo away into open space. He was then able to link up with Oryn Keeley who channeled his inner Steve Mavin, diving spectacularly to cross for his maiden NRL try to reduce the gap to just four points.

The Dolphins would dominate the remainder of the rest of the first half but some determined defensive efforts from Newcastle held the Phins out. Fuller again went close three minutes from time but Adam Elliott saved the day for the visitors as the scoreboard read 10-6 at the break.

Off a mistake from Isaiya Katoa. Newcastle started how they did in the opening 40. Hastings went flat to Phoenix Crossland who got between some ineffective tackles by Keeley and Kodi Nikorima before linking up with Gamble for the first try of the second stanza. The Dolphins weren't without their own chances with a last tackle play coming up short then Kurt Donoghoe missing a certain four pointer missing Kodi Nikorima.

Newcastle capitalised on the rushed play from the Dolphins chasing the game and had a portion of possession with 15 to go. A hand in the play the ball saw the Phins penalised and Gagai added a penalty goal for an 18-6 lead.

What will concern Adam O'Brien is Jacob Saifiti's exit coming off with an ankle injury, meanwhile Wayne Bennett could have both Bromwich's missing after Jesse left with a calf injury. With time winding down. Katoa and Nikorima combined to deliver a wonderful cutout ball to Jamayne Isaako who was able to beat Marzhew's cover tackle to give the Dolphins life. Isaako's miss kept the gap at two possessions.

On the next set, some enterprising play from capitalised on Bradman Best jamming in to send Isaako away down the right edge, he beat the cover before linking up with Averillo to score again for the home side. Isaako hooked the kick to the right to reduce the gap to 4. 

3. Tyson Gamble

A man under siege in Newcastle, delivered in style having a hand in everything Newcastle did well this afternoon.

2. David Armstrong

Well everyone was quick to write off the Knights without KP. But, David Armstrong delivered with a great display, playing without fear on debut running for over 180 metres.

1. Trai Fuller

He ran over 230m and tried to give the Dolphins victory any way he could. Some will be quick to knock him for the error at the end of the game, but his energy and the way he's adapted to the NRL has been extraordinary.