Knights V Mounties - VB NSW Cup Rd 2
By Andrew Stark
Mounties delivered a second emphatic away win in as many weeks, crushing the Newcastle Knights 46-10 at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
Fresh from racking up a round one half century at Brookvale, Mounties proved way too powerful and skilled for the Novocastrians with winger Sami Sauiluma notching four tries in an afternoon to remember.
The Knights had not been beaten at home since 2012 but had no answer to the Mounties left side attack which was orchestrated by talented young half Mitch Cornish and included the fine supporting cast of Jake Foster, Mosese Pangai, Sauiluma, along with timely interjections from the dancing feet of diminutive fullback Joey Bond.
The men in yellow posted two early tries - Sauiluma finished off crisp inside work from Cornish and Pangai in the 6th minute and then Bill Tupou (9th minute) strolled over after a fearsome Kyle O’Donnell hit dislodged the ball from Chanel Mata’utia’s grasp.
The Knight’s pulled the score line back to 8-6 in the 15th minute when Josh Mantellato knocked an angled, attacking kick back into the arms of Pat Mata’utia who in turn flicked a ‘no look’ miracle ball for Tyler Randell to scurry over.
Sami Sauiluma crossed for his second in the 23rd minute, performing an athletic back flip to propel himself onto the in goal grass. This was followed by a wonderful team try (34th minute) which saw the Mounties razzle dazzle their way 85 metres in a single set - Sauiluma diving into his well-worn corner to complete the raid. The first half scoring was concluded three minutes before the break when Reece Goldsmith dummied and darted from close range to leave the mid game ledger reading 24-6 to the visitors.
The second period began much as the first had finished. Jake Foster turned the ball back inside to a fast moving Joey Bond on half way, the fullback tore up field before drawing his opposite number and the trailing Reece Goldsmith scampered away for his second.
At 30-6 the game entered something of a holding pattern as fortunes ebbed and flowed for a quarter of an hour or so before the Mounties found their second wind and the flurry recommenced in earnest.
Mitch Cornish combined with his second rower Foster in both the 59th and 67th minutes, the Goulburn playmaker delivering beautifully timed flat balls that enabled the former Bulldog to effortlessly sear through the red and blue line.
Sami Sauiluma nabbed his fourth try nine minutes from time when he finished off yet another left side foray for the Mounties, before Korbin Sims was rewarded with a consolation touch down for Newcastle, the fiery back rower charging onto the ball like a train as the fulltime hooter wailed from above.
The Knights will be at home at St John Oval, Charlestown on Saturday when they host the Bears while Mounties play their first home fixture of 2014 when they host the Jets at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
Mounties 46 (S Sauiluma 4, R Goldsmith 2, J Foster 2, B Tupou tries; M Cornish 5 goals) def. Newcastle Knights 10 (T Randell, K Sims tries; J Mantellato goal) at Hunter Stadium.