Newcastle defeated Canterbury-Bankstown 20-12 in heavy conditions at Morry Breen Oval, Wyong.
The game was moved to Wyong with Newcastle Number Two Sports Ground ruled unfit for play due to weather.
The loss of the home-ground advantage did not affect the Knights, as they scored four tries to two in the eight-point win.
As the game got underway the rained eased but tempers flared with players sharing blows.
Eventually the teams settled down and the Knights went on the attack. Paterika Vaivai charged towards the line and looked certain to score, only to be stopped by the goal post and Vince Rennie.
The Bulldogs weathered the Knights’ early raids and opened the scoring through Jacob Loko. From a hard angle, Levi Dodd added the extras to give the Bulldogs a 6-nil lead.
Although the Bulldogs had the lead, Newcastle had the better of field position and it was not long before the Knights rectified the score line. Two quick tries in five minutes from Pat Mata’utia and a penalty goal right in front by Danny Kerr gave the Knights a 12-6 lead at half time.
Knights back rower James Taylor was a casualty late in the half, with a suspected broken wrist.
Not to be outdone by his brother, Chanel Mata’utia extended the Knights lead with a nice try on the right.
The game looked all but over when Jake Mamo put Honeti Tuha down the sideline. The winger still had plenty work to do, beating three cover defenders on his way to the try line.
The soggy conditions were not helping Danny Kerr, with the goal kicker only landing two from five.
With ten to go on the clock, the Bulldogs needed something inspiring, and when Vince Rennie galloped across the line and Dan Chisholm converted, the margin was just eight.
The few spectators that braved the conditions began to find their voice and the Bulldogs found themselves in good field position once again but couldn’t execute.
Newcastle carried the ball back up field and out of danger, to win a hard contest in heavy conditions 20-12.
Considering the amount of rain that has fallen in the Hunter and Central Coast region in the past week, a massive congratulations must go to the ground staff at Morry Breen Oval and all involved for ensuring safe conditions for the match.
Newcastle Knights 20 (Pat Mata’utia 2, Chanel Mata’utia & Honeti Tuha tries; Danny Kerr 2 goals) defeated Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12 (Jacob Loko, Vince Rennie tries; Levi Dodd, Dane Chisholm goals)