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

Round Three of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup kicked off on Friday with Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles hosting Parramatta Eels. The St George Illawarra Dragons will take on the Newcastle Knights tomorrow followed by a Super Sunday with four matches. 

Raiders v Jets

Roosters v Rabbitohs

Warriors v Bears

Bulldogs v Magpies

Sea Eagles v Eels


NSW Cup Highlights | Sea Eagles v Eels - Round Three

Eels storm home over hapless Sea Eagles

Stewart Moses

Match summary

A gutsy Parramatta Eels tonight kick-started their 2023 The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup campaign with a thrilling come-from-behind 30-22 win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at H.E. Laybutt Stadium

The Eels, still feeling the effects of a mounting early season injury toll to several key NRL players, were up against a Sea Eagles side boosted by late inclusions Morgan Harper, Cooper Johns, Karl Lawton, Ben Condon and Toafofoa Sipley.

And with Johns on song for 60 minutes, the game was going to script with the home side jumping out to a commanding 22-6 lead. They dominated their opponents with a strong defensive effort which frustrated the visitors into constant errors, both with and without the ball.

But the home side failed to close out the game, with the Eels scoring an unanswered 24 points in the final 18 minutes of the game to steal an unlikely yet important win.

On the back of Eels winger Isaac Lumelume conceding a relieving penalty before being sent to the sin bin for an illegal tackle on the Sea Eagles’ fullback, Clayton Faulalo, the home side was able to capitalise and score twice in his absence.

The first try was the result of quick hands to the left, where the Sea Eagles were able to create an overlap for winger Raymond Tuaimolo Vaega to score in the corner, with Johns successfully converting from the touchline.

Repeat sets from Blacktown proved telling six minutes later when Johns combined with his outside backs before Faulalo scored in the opposite corner to give the home side a ten-point advantage.

A loose carry from the home side enabled the Eels to open their account from the ensuing set, with centre Zac Cini on the receiving end of two long passes from hooker Brendan Hands and halfback Jake Arthur to score out wide. Rankin converted to reduce the deficit to 10-6.

Ill-discipline again proved costly for the Eels when a relieving penalty led to more points when Brad Abbey dived over from dummy-half to score and restore the Sea Eagles’ ten-point advantage going into half-time.

Another Lumelume error enabled Blacktown to score first in the second half with interchange hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong scoring from close range and Johns converting to give the home side their biggest lead of the game at 22-6.

The Eels started their comeback when back-rower Dan Keir took advantage of some quick hands to crash over out wide. Rankin landed the conversion to reduce the gap again to 10 points.

The Eels’ unlikely comeback continued five minutes later when former Cowboys and Warriors centre, Daejern Asi regathered a spilt ball from Faulalo to score in the corner. Rankin landed the conversion from out wide to have the Eels trailing 22-18 with 12 minutes remaining.

An error from Harper deep inside his own territory, invited the Eels to attack once again and they were able to capitalise with a Haze Dunster try in the corner after a long floating cut-out pass from Arthur put the winger into space. Once again Rankin nailed the difficult conversion to put the Eels ahead for the first time in the 76th minute.

Lumelume finished a tough night on a bright note, swooping on another poor carry from the Sea Eagles to streak away 45m to score underneath the posts on the siren to complete the Eels’ miraculous 30-22 win.

Match Snapshot

- The Eels came into the game off a heavy 42-12 loss to Newtown but were able to score 24 unanswered points in 17 minutes to register their first win for 2023.

- The 30-22 loss continues a tough run for Blacktown, winless since they beat the North Sydney Bears in Round 13 last year.

- The Eels have now won three of their last four clashes with Blacktown, including the last three in a row.

- Both teams have judiciary concerns with Issac Lumelume (Eels), and Toafofoa Sipley and Morgan Boyle (both Sea Eagles) all placed on report.

Play of the Game

Lumelume overcame a tough night which included a stint in the sin bin to score the try that seasled the result after swooping on a loose ball and showing devastating speed to score unopposed from 45m out.

What's Next

The Eels can now look forward to hosting the undefeated Penrith Panthers next Thursday night at CommBank Stadium; while the Sea Eagles will have to travel to Accor Stadium next Saturday to take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

NSW Cup Highlights | Dragons v Knights - Round Three

New Zealand Warriors v North Sydney Bears

Richard Becht via

North Sydney ended the One New Zealand Warriors’ unbeaten start to the season with a 20-12 victory in today’s third-round The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup contest at the Trusts Arena in Waitakere.

The home side was bolstered by the inclusion of experienced NRL forward Josh Curran but it was the Bears who provided the only scoring in a tough first half.

A try to Ben Thomas in the 12th minute was followed by one to Auckland-born second rower Dane Aukafolau close to halftime to give North Sydney a 12-0 lead.

The One New Zealand Warriors bit back with an Eiden Ackland try straight after the break only for Aukafolau to cross in the 47th minute and again four minutes later to give the Bears a healthy 20-6 advantage.

When prop Zyon Maiuu scored in the 65th minute there was some hope for the One New Zealand Warriors but they couldn’t narrow the gap as North Sydney closed it out.

The Bears had a number of familiar faces in centres Junior Pauga and William Fakatoumafi plus prop Phillip Makatoa, who were all in the Warriors’ system at some stage. Pauga provided NRL experience as did loose forward Zach Dockar-Clay; a former Junior Kiwi he played for the Māori All Stars against the Indigenous All Stars in Rotorua in February.

Despite the loss the One New Zealand Warriors are third on the points table.

They’re at home again in the fourth round when they face table-topping Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in the curtain raiser to the One New Zealand Warriors’ first NRL match of the season at Mount Smart Stadium.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Western Suburbs Magpies

Bulldogs make a statement at Belmore

Alex Hrissis

Match Summary

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs hosted Western Suburbs Magpies in round three of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup at their spiritual home of Belmore Sports Ground, defeating the Magpies 44-12.

It did not take long for the hosts to get things going with Jeral Skelton blitzing down the wing to score in the corner to put them ahead 4-0 early in the contest.

The Bulldogs doubled their lead with a bit of individual brilliance from five-eighth Khaled Rajab as he found a gap in the Magpies defence and a nice little step left the opposition in no mans land before he dived over to bag himself a try. Joash Papalii added the extras to give his team a double digit lead.

It was one way traffic here at Belmore as rising talent Karl Oloapu threw a tidy pass to captain Jackson Topine who comfortably rolled over the Magpies defence to score.

The home side piled on the misery as late addition to the side, Declan Casey, used his strength to roll straight through and score himself a try and make the score 20-0.

It was all Canterbury from here as winger Eli Clark channeled his inner Josh Addo-Carr after he intercepted a pass from the opposition and took full flight to go the length of the field to score his first try of the game.

The home side added one more before the break as the Magpies failed to clear the ball from behind the try-line and Lipoi Hopoi saw his opportunity and placed his hands on the loose ball to claim a try. Papalii converted the try to send his side into halftime with a comfortable 32-0 lead.

The Bulldogs picked up where they left off in the second half as winger Jeral Skelton dived into the corner to score his second try of the afternoon to further extend the lead.

The visitors found their first try of the afternoon in the 53rd minute as halfback Kade Hill found a gap and stormed through just to the right of the posts to get his side going.

The hosts bounced back quickly as the ball found itself in the hands of Declan Casey who grounded it in the corner quite comfortably to score his second of the day.

Rising second-rower Brandon Tumeth managed to get his side into double digits with a late consolation try followed by Triston Reilly scoring the extras.

The hosts finished the game the way they started with a superb diving effort from Eli Clark to score his second try of the afternoon in the last 10 seconds of the match to make the final score 44-12.

Match Snapshot

Canterbury backed up their impressive 34-4 win over the Dragons with another thumping to further establish themselves as one of the heavyweights of the competition.

The budding halves combination of Karl Oloapu and Khaled Rajab is continuing to bear fruit as both players had a hand in several tries this afternoon and played to each other’s strengths nicely.

The promotion of several Magpies players to the first grade team this week such as Brandon Wakeham and Junior Tupou proved costly for the visitors as they managed just two tries at Belmore whilst leaking 40 points.

Key Moment

The tone for this match was set early when the Belmore faithful were treated with a tidy solo try from five-eighth Khaled Rajab where he beat several players with a sublime step to score himself a try.

What’s Next

The Bulldogs will travel across the ditch to Auckland to face off against the Warriors on Sunday morning while the Western Suburbs Magpies will host the North Sydney Bears at Lidcombe Oval on Saturday afternoon.


Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Fitzgibbon stars as Roosters out-muscle the Rabbitohs

Hugo Lumb

Game Summary

Sydney Roosters picked up their first win of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup season, dominating the Rabbitohs 38-16 at Wentworth Park.

Despite the unbearably warm conditions, both teams started with the aggression that often comes with a Roosters v Rabbitohs match-up.

After receiving a free-ride out of their own end with a penalty late in the tackle count, the Roosters would cross first through winger Allan Fitzgibbon in the fourth minute.

It was then the Rabbitohs that would respond, utilising the field position handed to them after a Roosters error, with hooker Peter Mamouzelos backing up well to dive over under the posts to level the scores in the 13th minute.

Following the drinks break, it was the Roosters that found their feet first, with Fitzgibbon crossing for his second try of the half and giving the Roosters a six-point lead.

However, a loose carry from the Roosters coming out of their own end gave the Rabbitohs the platform to respond immediately, with Peter Mamouzelos burrowing his way over for his second try just three minutes later.

With the first half entering the last 10 minutes, the Roosters started to gain ascendency, putting a fatigued Rabbitohs side under pressure and scoring twice through Tayson Fakaosi and again Allan Fitzgibbon, who was able to grab a first half hat-trick.

Finally, on the final play of the half, the Roosters halves pair combined beautifully with Five-eight Joseph Taipari finishing off a well-worked chip-and-chase play to move the scores out to 28-12 at half-time.  

After a rather uneventful start to the second half, the Rabbitohs were able to peg the Roosters back with winger Cody Hodge diving over in the 55th minute.

This try was eventually rubbed out with Fitzgibbon finishing the game how he started it, crossing the stripe two more times to finish with an insane five four pointers.

Talking points

The Roosters finally picked up their first victory of the season today, flexing their attacking muscles in the process.

The Rabbitohs suffered their third straight defeat today and suffered defensively with some poor reads and failed to attack in a cohesive nature.

One of the main factors in today’s game was the heat, with sweltering conditions easily soaring above 30 degrees. It was clearly a game of who was able to hold onto the ball for the longest and make the other team defend for extended periods of time.

Key Moment

With the Roosters beginning to gain a firm grasp on the game and taking a six-point advantage, the Rabbitohs kicked off to the Roosters.

This kick-off went out on the full and allowed the Roosters a free ride into attacking territory where they would immediately cross through Fitzgibbon in the 34th minute. This moved the margin out to double figures and would mark the start of the Roosters obtaining complete control of the game. 

What’s Next

The Roosters will be able to savour their victory today and enjoy a week off, as they prepare for their match against the North Sydney Bears in two weeks time.

While the Rabbitohs will be looking to get their first win of the season when they face the winless Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at Accor Stadium on Saturday evening.


Canberra Raiders v Newtown Jets

Raiders end Jets unbeaten streak

Tahlie Gavin

Game Summary

The Canberra Raiders have rebounded from a round two loss to score a hard-fought 28-20 win over the Newtown Jets at GIO Stadium.

The first half saw the Jets playing very dominant football, while the second half saw the Raiders swing momentum in their favour by turning defence into attack.

It didn’t take long for the Jets to get things moving in the first half with two athletic tries rewarded to Mawene Hiroti and Samuel Stonestreet within the first 10 minutes.

A lost ball from Josh Mansour gifted the Raiders a scrum 15 metres out from their try line and the boys in green didn’t hesitate to pass left to playmaker Jed Stuart who slid over the try line within 12 minutes.

Croker converted leaving the Raiders trailing by two.

The Jets scored their next through Daniel Atkinson but it was the Raiders who closed out the second half when Clay Webb crashed over. Croker added the extras and a penalty goal on the stroke of half-time to bring scores level at 14-all.

Hiroti scored his second try early in the second half and the Raiders hit right back with a hungry attacking solo effort from half-back Brad Schneider who bumped off two defenders to score.

Entering the final 10 minutes, the Raiders ran away with the game when Brad Morkos crashed over with Croker again adding the extras bringing the final score to 28-20.

Talking Points

Jacob Gagan was placed on report giving Raiders a penalty which resulted in Clay Webb scoring at the end of the first half.

Joshua James’ eyes up play saw him kick a rare 20/40 putting the Raiders in a great attacking position and giving his side much needed momentum.

Key Moment

Leading by two with 10 minutes remaining, Raiders centre Brad Markos made a huge run through Raiders defenders to bag himself a try. After the successful conversion from Croker, the Raiders were able to defend their eight point lead and get the win.

What’s Next?

The Raiders will take a road trip up to Newcastle to face the Knights on Sunday 26 of March, while the Jets take on the St George Illawarra Dragons at Jubilee Stadium on the same day.

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.

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