Knights V Bulldogs - VB NSW Cup Rd 15
By Jamie Anderson at Newcastle No.2 Sports Ground
After a sluggish start, the Newcastle Knights hit their straps in the second forty to post a comprehensive 38-12 win over the Bulldogs at Newcastle No.2 Sports Ground last Sunday.
A double to the Knights Nathan Ross as well as great performances by Matt Minto and Tyler Randell was enough to see the Knights post back to back wins for the first time in some two and a half months.
The Dogs looked the more likely of the two sides early doors, however despite quality possession and field position, a combination of poor fifth tackle options and poor execution let the Knights off the hook.
After some 20 minutes of scoreless play, the Knights finally broke the stalemate when halfback Michael Dobson got the ball ten metres out, ran to his left, spotted a half gap in the Dogs defence and put the foot down and won the race to the line.
Five minutes later the Knights were in again, this time through Tyler Randell who scored in a similar vain to Dobson when he attacked the right hand side and singled out a Dogs defender and was too strong in the run to the line.
Now leading 12-0, the home team were showing signs that they were perhaps ready to blow the opposition away, however the Bulldogs, somewhat deservedly finally got on the board when a miraculous ball by Graham found a flying Ed Murphy who drew his defender and put Tyrone Phillips over in the corner.
Perhaps 12-6 would have been a true indication of the closeness of the first forty minutes, however a late first half try to Pat Mata’utia saw the home side head to the sheds with a 10 point advantage.
The second half belonged to the home side as they ran in four tries to one.
Tries to Brayden Wiliame and Chanel Mata’utia were complimented by two scintillating tries to Nathan Ross, who displayed great supportive play to back up an elusive Matt Minto on two separate occasions.
Danny Fualalo scored a late consolation try for the Bulldogs, however it was the Knights who took the honours on the day as they moved back inside the top eight and also boosted their for and against back into positive territory.
This weekend the Knights will once again be at the No.2 Sports Ground when they tackle Wenty while the Bulldogs will be looking to bounce back against the Sharks at Henson Park on Saturday.
Newcastle Knights 38 (N Ross 2, M Dobson, T Randell, P Mata'utia, B Wiliame, C Mata'utia tries; J Mantellato 5 goals) def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12 (T Phillips, D Fualalo tries; P Templeman 2 goals) at Newcastle No.2 Sports Ground.