Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Newcastle has scored three straight wins for just the second time since the start of 2015, finishing 22-10 victors against a Bulldogs side that refused to yield in the Saturday opener of Magic Round Brisbane.
Both teams were conservative to start the game, with kicking games not quite on song, but in the seventh minute, the Knights opened the scoring when Kalyn Ponga held up a short ball for Hymel Hunt, who strolled through a big gap and scored under the posts. Ponga then converted.
Both sides kicking games improved from this point, with Kieran Foran and Mitch Pearce respectively having the ball on a string, especially with short kicks creating repeat sets. And it was off the back of one of these kicks that the Knights scored again.
In the 22nd minute Pearce grubbered and the ball ricocheted off the Dogs defence, he then soccered it along again, where Canterbury fullback Nick Meaney failed to clean up. Pearce followed through and grounded the ball for a try. Ponga again converted.
Both sides created scoring opportunities for themselves, only for the last play to breakdown. Then right on the stroke of halftime, the Knights crossed once more.
Lachaln Fitzgibbon on the left side, bumped out of the tackle by Jack Cogger, fell over and then scrambled over the line to score. Ponga was unable to convert from out wide.
9 minutes into the second half the Bulldogs luck changed when Reimis Smith took an intercept and run 92 metres to score a scintillating try against the run of play. Meaney was unable to convert from out wide.
The Bulldogs started playing with plenty of momentum and started to get the upper hand in the clash.
In the 56th minute Jeremy Marshall-King at dummy half got a late pass back on the right to Foran, who took on the line, got out of a tackle and planted the ball down for a try, but the play is called back as a Knights player was offside.
From the penalty tap, the Dogs sent the ball right and Foran got a nice pass to Will Hopoate who scored in the corner. Meaney converted to reduce the margin to just 6.
As the match entered the final 10 minutes, Pearce came to the fore, controlling the pace, flow and field position. In the final minute it came to fruition when Ponga stood up Foran, and run 30 metres to score under the dot. He converted his own try to seal a good win for the Knights.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10 - Newcastle Knights 22
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Halftime Score: Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0 Newcastle Knights 16
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Mitchell Pearce
2 points - David Klemmer
1 points - Kalyn Ponga
CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS (10)
Tries: Reimis Smith, Will Hopoate
Conversions: Nick Meaney (1/2)
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS (22)
Tries: Hymel Hunt, Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Pearce, Lachlan Fitzgibbon
Conversions: Kalyn Ponga (3/4)