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Recap | The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup - Round 2

Round 2 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup kicks off on Saturday featuring three games, including Mounties taking on the Rabbitohs which will be streamed live on NSWRL TV at 3pm. The Bulldogs and Raiders will face off on Sunday afternoon and the round will be closed out by the Knights and Magpies on Monday night.

Dragons v Panthers

Eels v Jets

Mounties v Rabbitohs

Bulldogs v Raiders

 

St George Illawarra Dragons v Penrith Panthers

Dragons v Panthers NSW Cup Highlights Round 2

Ruthless Panthers put Dragons to the sword

Stewart Moses

Game summary

The Panthers continue their unbeaten start to the 2022 season with a dominant performance over the St George Illawarra Dragons, winning 52-6 at BlueBet Stadium.

The Panthers might be down on troops in the NRL following injuries last night, but the likes of Lindsay Smith, Eddie Blacker and Taylan May showed they are more than capable replacements with strong individual games today.

The Dragons playing 'at home' at BlueBet Stadium following the decision to relocate the game from Collegians, came into this game with plenty of NRL experience, but they were no match for the youthful enthusiasm displayed by their away opponents.

The Dragons had all the early running as they enjoyed field position deep inside Panthers territory. Having weathered that early pressure, the Panthers opened their account in the 11th minute when Chris Smith ran a perfect line to score out wide.

A barnstorming try to ex-Dragons prop Eddie Blacker in the 20th minute saw the floodgates open with further tries to Niwahi Peru (24th minute), Taylan May (29th minute) and Thomas Jenkins (35th minute), enabling the Panthers to take control of the game leading 24-0, before club debutant Preston Riki scored the try of the game and in fact an early contender for try of the season with the last play of the half to enable the 'visitors' to enter the sheds 30 points to the good.

The Panthers continued where they left off early in the second half to extend that lead to 40, after tries to back rower John Faiumu and a second to winger Thomas Jenkins. Dean Blore gave the home side a brief reprieve, breaking the line to score next to the posts in the 56th minute.

Further tries to Robert Jennings and Matt Stimson completed the 52-6 rout for the competition favourites, the Stimson try again resulting from some brilliant off the cuff play involving two kicks in the lead-up.

The only downside for the victorious Panthers came in the 63rd minute with Chris Smith placed on report for a late tackle. 

Talking points

Penrith, despite coming up against a side with plenty of NRL experience in the Dragons, didn't skip a beat with this performance and outside of the opening 10 minutes of this game, never looked threatened.

The Panthers could be missing James Fisher-Harris and Brian To'o but possible replacements Eddie Blacker, Lindsay Smith and Taylan May all showed they would be capable replacements.

Blacker was arguably best on field with his opening 28 minute stint capped with a strong try midway through the first half, while Lindsay Smith played the opening 62 minutes straight until coach Peter Wallace finally opted to rest the young prop.

Not to be outdone May scored one and provided a spectacular other for Preston Riki.

Worrying signs for Dragons NRL coach Anthony Griffin, who was on hand to see a side that contained NRL experience with the likes of Matt Feagai, Tautau Moga, Bradley Deitz, Daniel Alvaro, Poasa Faamausili and Jack Gosiewski now concede 86 points and score just 12 points in their opening two games of the season.

For the second week in succession, Panthers half Kurt Falls had a relatively off day with the boot kicking just six from 10 to go with his two goals from 5 attempts in their opening round win over the Sea Eagles.

Key moment

Penrith scored 10 tries in their convincing win over the Dragons but none more spectacular than the Preston Riki try on the stroke of half time.

A quick 20m restart from Turuva to Falls saw the halfback show the presence of mind to kick cross field to his winger Jenkins, who found open space before turning inside to Robert Jennings.

It looked like play would die with the veteran Panther, but he found support before Taylan May kicked back to the far left, where an unmarked Riki latched onto the ball to streak away to complete the 80m try in the corner.

To rub salt into the wound, Falls converted from the sideline after the siren to give Penrith an unassailable lead.

What's next?

The Panthers enjoy their third game at BlueBet Stadium in as many weeks when they host Newcastle Knights next Sunday at 2:45pm.

The 0-2 Dragons having suffered two heavy losses against the competition front-runners Parramatta and Penrith, will be hoping to turn their season around quickly when they host the Newtown Jets next Saturday at Collegians Sporting Complex, Wollongong at 1pm.

 

Parramatta Eels v Newtown Jets

Eels v Jets NSW Cup Highlights Round 2

High flying Jets keep the Eels at bay to make it two from two

Mitchell Farrugia

Game summary

Newtown have picked up a second consecutive victory in a high octane clash out at a scorching Kellyville Park. 

Despite the visitors holding the early ball, Parramatta struck first courtesy of  second rower Dan Keir who hit a hole close to the line. 

Whilst the Jets continued to struggle in attack close to the Eels line, Newtown were able to hit the board after a quick tap from their own 20 saw Luke Metcalf dash through to score. 

The Eels were then ripped open again from long range, with former Parramatta halfback Rhys Davies slicing through the line and able to score. 

A try saving tackle from late inclusion Bryce Cartwright kept the Eels in the match, with a try on the stroke of halftime leveling the score at 12 all.

Newtown flew out of the blocks after the break, scoring in their first set of the half as Jonaiah Lualua strolled over in the corner. A missed conversion from Metcalf putting the Jets 4 points ahead. 

Parramatta were next to score in the sea sawing affair, the Jets replying with two tries of their own to extend the lead out to eight. Bryce Cartwright managed to find his name on the score sheet late in the match before a penalty goal from the Jets saw Newtown record a 28-24 victory.

Talking points

Slick individuals were able to stand out in the contest, none more so than Jets half Luke Metcalf. The young half steered his side around the park and was able to come up with big defensive efforts. Metcalf stopped a dangerous Eels attacking play in the second half, able to complete a one on one strip on Parramatta winger Solomone Naiduki.

Also a standout was NRL regular Bryce Cartwright. The second rower was immense in defence, pulling of solo tackle on his goal line, able to free the ball and prevent what looked like a certain Newtown try. Cartwight also picked up a try, as he pushed to regain his spot in the Parramatta first grade side.

Key moment

With the match on the line, a kick return from Lachlan Miller helped the Jets flip the momentum. The game breaking run saw the speedster break into the backfield before he calmly handed the ball off to teammate Kayal Iro who scored under the sticks. The play helping Newtown take the lead in the later stages of a gruelling second half.

What’s next?

For Newtown, they’ll look to continue their unbeaten start to the season in Round Three where they face the Dragons next Saturday at 1pm in Wollongong.

Meanwhile the Eels will be eager to bounce back on the road in a Sunday afternoon clash against Mounties. 

 

Mounties v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Rabbitohs secure road win with strong showing against Mounties

Blake Edwards

Game summary

The South Sydney Rabbitohs recorded their first win of their Knock-On Effect NSW Cup campaign, recording a 32-18 victory over the Mounties at Aubrey Keech Reserve on Sunday.

Rabbitohs’ Izaac Thompson continued his fantastic Round 1 form crossing for his second double in as many games, while wing partner, Josh Mansour had a near identical day out, crossing for his own double, whilst  heaping pressure on South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL head coach Jason Demetrio to recall him into the first grade side. 

Souths were quick to lay on their first points of the afternoon through winger Josh Mansour, who scored in the corner, after receiving a beautiful cut-out pass from half Dean Hawkins. Ill-discipline from the Mounties meant they didn’t see any possession for the opening six minutes of play. However, it was only a minute later that the Mounties were able to strike, with rake Josh Daley scooting out of dummy-half to slice through Souths defenders and dive over the stripe.

Being starved of the ball early, Mounties’ fortunes quickly turned, with the hosts receiving a hefty chunk of possession and made easy work of the Rabbitohs defence, rolling up the field into a good ball area. Their good work was all in vain, with errors not allowing them to convert the chances into points.

Mansour would again cross the stripe off a backline shift by the Bunnies, grabbing his double inside just 15 minutes and extending his side’s lead to 8-4. The first stanza never saw any flow, with both sides conceding multiple penalties for ruck infringements, with both skippers given a warning by Referee Wyatt Raymond to tidy up the ruck, or further action would occur. A further warning was handed down by the referee to Mounties just minutes later.

A further try to Souths came in the 30th minute when five-eighth Jack Campagnolo showed great awareness, taking advantage of a rushing Mounties defensive outfit to throw a long-ball to centre Isaiah Tass who linked with flanker Izaac Thompson, who showed great athleticism to score the try in the corner. Hawkins finally nailed his first of three sideline conversions of the afternoon, to extend the visitors lead to 14-4.

Mounties would go on to score a try on the half-time buzzer, when a cross field kick from playmaker James Ralph bounced favourably bamboozling the South's defenders, with Mounties fullback James Tuitahi winning the race to to ground the ball in-goal. The conversion was missed by Jarret Subloo, with the Bunnies heading into the sheds 14-4 leaders.

The blow by Mounties on the stroke of half-time didn’t seem to rattle the Bunnies, who again struck an early blow shortly after the resumption, when  a wayward pass from Mounties was scooped up by Thompson who raced away 40m downfield before being tackled. The momentum from the Thompson line-break proved to be too much for the Mounties defence, with Souths taking full advantage, scoring a few plays later through Richard Kennar.

Mounties responded in the 54th minute through Ben Petauuaine Seufale who proved too strong from close range, off a neat short ball from Daley. The hosts blew a chance moments later to notch another four-pointer with a dropped ball over the line.

The momentum seemed to quickly shift into Souths' favour as the visitors ran in a further two tries in quick succession, with Thompson bagging his second and fullback Jacob Gagai crossing for his first of the afternoon.

A lapse in concentration from the Bunnies saw Mounties' Watson Heleta sneak over in the 75th minute to give his side a slim chance of a grandstand finish. It wasn’t to be, however, Daley rounded out his strong individual performance with a double in the 79th minute to narrow South's victory to 32-18.

Talking points

Rabbitohs winger Josh Mansour impressed with high involvement throughout the match, and picked up a first-half double. The performance may see him recalled into Souths NRL side to replace winger Jason Pulou who had a night to forget for the Bunnies in their Round 2  golden-point loss to the Melbourne Storm.

Josh Daley was the standout for Mounties, proving to be a constant threat out of dummy-half. Daley got his side rolling up the field with his strong running game, as well as quick service to his playmakers.

Key moment

Mounties' disallowed try in the 65th minute seemed to be the killer blow for the hosts, turning the tide into the visitors' favour. South’s went on to score back-to-back tries through Izaac Thompson in the 68th minute and Jacob Gagai in the 71st to put the game out of reach, despite a final ditch effort by Mounties with two tries of their own via Watson Heleta and Josh Daley.

What’s next?

South Sydney will be looking to keep their momentum going when they face North Sydney Bears as the NRL curtain raiser at Accor Stadium on Friday 25 March from 5:30pm.

Mounties will be looking to bounce back next Sunday 27 March when they host the Eels at Aubrey Keech Reserve.

 

Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs v Canberra Raiders

Bulldogs' attacking flare too much to handle for the Raiders

Hugo Lumb

Game summary

After two early tries to the Canberra Raiders, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs changed gears to run away with the game, scoring nine unanswered tries to win 48-12 on a picturesque Sunday afternoon at Accor Stadium in Round 2.

The Bulldogs were their own worst enemies in the first 10 minutes with multiple ball-handling issues, allowing the Raiders to score two tries through second-rower Trey Mooney and fullback Xavier Savage, holding a 10-point lead after eight minutes.

However, at the 15-minute mark the Bulldogs began to gain ascendency, eventually scoring 10 minutes later through Isaac Lumelume after great leadup play from halfback Kyle Flanagan and centre Declan Casey. After Flanagan’s failure to convert, keeping the score at 10-4, the Raiders were gifted great field position off the back of some ill-disciplined play from the Canterbury side.

The Raiders were eventually awarded a penalty right underneath the posts. Captain Sam Williams didn’t hesitate and slotted a penalty goal, moving the score to 12-4 in the 30th minute.

This would unfortunately be the last points that the Raiders would score all game as the Bulldogs began to play with some precision and cohesion, leading to tries from Brandon Wakeham in the 33rd minute and Jacob Kiraz right before halftime. After going zero from three kicking for goal in the first half, Flanagan prevented the Bulldogs from building a lead with the two teams locked at 12-all heading into the sheds.

Straight after halftime, it was clear who had come out firing with the Canterbury side capitalising off poor defence and ball-handling from the Raiders. The Bulldogs would run in a further six tries throughout the half, scored by Zach Docker-Clay, bagging an unsuspected double, Kurtis Morrin, Reece Hoffman, Joshua Cook and Creedence Toia.

The Bulldogs finished the game on a high, preventing the Canberra side from scoring for 50 minutes, showing true character in defence and maturity in attack. The Raiders lacked fluidity in attack and defence, rubbing out the positive inroads they had made early in the game.

Talking points

Arguably the man of the match, five-eighth Brandon Wakeham was everywhere against Canberra, providing multiple try assists through his running, passing, and kicking game. Wakeham constantly challenged the Raiders’ defence, digging right into the line and putting tired defenders on alert every time he had the ball in hand. Today he showed why many pundits believe he is a first grade NRL player.

Canterbury’s explosive outside backs were another reason for the Bulldogs’ resurgence in Round 2. Their ability to gain vital metres coming out of trouble and relieve pressure off the forwards was significant in allowing them to remain on the front foot for most of the game. Particularly, winger Jacob Kiraz was exceptional in beating defenders, gaining post-contact metres, and diffusing the high ball with ease. He also scored a well-deserved try late in the first half and provided a try assist for the final try of the game.

In a day where the Raiders attack looked clunky at best, live-wire fullback Xavier Savage provided some spark for the Canberra side. By far their best player, Savage’s turn of speed and acceleration was superb, often beating one or two defenders each time he ran the ball. He also displayed some much-improved ball playing skills and grabbed a great individual try, further staking his claim to be in the Raiders’ first grade side next week.

Key moment

While the game was already won, the moment of the match came from the last try of the day. Starting off deep in their own half, the Bulldogs weren’t afraid to chance their arm, with Wakeham throwing a long cutout ball to Reece Hoffman. Hoffman then flicked an offload out to Kiraz, who did well to hold onto the ball and out sprint some inside defenders. The winger then passed the ball back into Toia, who finished in the corner to complete an 80-metre team try.

What’s next?

The victorious Bulldogs, who have started their season 2-0, head to 4 Pines Park to face the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at 4pm on Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders will be hoping to move past their two losses in the opening rounds when they play Western Suburbs Magpies at GIO stadium on Saturday evening.

 

Newcastle Knights v Western Suburbs Magpies

 

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.