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

Round Nine of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup kicks off on Saturday with the Raiders v Rabbitohs live on Fox League. There will be four more games to follow on Saturday with the Jets v Bears live on NSWRL TV. The round will be closed out on Sunday with two more games including the Warriors v Roosters on Fox League.

Dragons v Bulldogs

Warriors v Roosters 

Raiders v Rabbitohs

Eels v Knights

Jets v Bears 

Panthers v Magpies


Canberra Raiders v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Game summary

Tahlie Gavin

A fresh Canberra Raiders continued their winning streak coming off a bye to beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 22–16 in a hard-fought contest at McDonalds Park Wagga Wagga.

South Sydney started strongly to take an early lead, but the Raiders fought back to level the scores at half-time, while the second half saw the Raiders work hard in the cold conditions to claim victory.

Rabbitohs winger Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson was quick to make an impact on the game as he scored on the wing off a kick from fullback Blake Taaffe within the 6th minute. Taaffe converted from the sideline giving the Rabbitohs an early six-point lead.

Twelve minutes later, the Raiders put points on the board through their winger Semi Valemei who was the receiver of quick passing from Xavier Savage and Brad Morkos.

Valemei was also working hard in defence where he was able to stop a try and regain possession of the ball for the Raiders the set before.

Ethan O’Neill was next to go over the try line. A 30m run from the second row forward the play before put the Rabbitohs in good attacking position. A pass from captain Dean Hawkins back to O’Neill saw him score in the 25th minute to put his side back in front.

With under 5 minutes left in the first half, Brad Morkos made a break, leaning and fending away from the Rabbitohs defence. Running down the wing, he faced a defender, but a quick pass inside to Xavier Savage saw the Raiders level the score, 12-all, heading into the break.

Harley Smith-Sheilds managed to take the Raiders into the lead just a minute into the second half. A line break from Smith-Shields saw him pass to his winger Utuloa Asomua who then put a kick in as the ball was picked back up by Smith-Shields and taken over the try line.

Taaffe showed off his speed in the 48th minute of the game. A big right step saw him flash over the line for the Rabbitohs, but he failed to convert his own try.

Toby Thorburn was the next Raider to make a line break as he ran out from dummy half and through a defensive gap. After Thorburn was tackled, Raiders skipper Trey Mooney received the ball and showed his leadership, taking the defence away from Ethan Strange who he then passed the ball to, to score.

Both sides battled it out until the end, and some close calls saw the Rabbitohs staging a comeback, but the Raiders held them out to secure the win.

Talking points

Peter Hola was taken off the field for a HIA just minutes from the end of the first half. He was cleared and back on the field in the second half.

Trey Mooney continues his great leadership steering the Raiders with his 17 runs and 127 run metres.

In just his second game back after a broken jaw, Xavier Savage’s performance reminds everyone why he is a constant threat at the back of the Raiders line.

Key moment

With three minutes left in the game, the South Sydney Rabbitohs looked to be in a position to come back and score. Tallis Duncan reached out under the cross bar to get over the line but then lost possession of the ball and was unable to ground it successfully. This error saw the Raiders regain possession and take the win in Wagga Wagga.

What’s next?

The South Sydney Rabbitohs will take on the Sydney Roosters at North Sydney Oval on Saturday 6 May, while the Canberra Raiders head to HE Laybutt Field in Sydney to play the Bulldogs the following day.


Parramatta Eels v Newcastle Knights

Experience helps Eels to big win over Knights

Game summary 

The Eels started fast, with tries to edge forward Matt Doorey and hooker Meni Luke within the first 12 minutes.

However, as the half wore on the Knights were able to wrestle back some control and break the Eels resolve, with the experienced halfback Adam Clune placing a well-weighted kick for centre Simi Sasagi to put his side on the board.

With a mostly tightly contested half drawing to a close, the Eels responded with centre Zac Cini crossing in the corner in the 34th minute to extend their lead to 16-4.

The second half started poorly for the Knights with an uncharacteristic error from their fullback Bailey Hodgson, allowing the Eels to orchestrate a well-executed scrum play. 

As the rain tumbled down so did the tries for the Eels, with both Luke and Doorey obtaining unlikely doubles for the match.

With the half wearing on, the Knights received a brief period of respite, with multiple Eels errors granting them lengthy possession of the ball. This was eventually capitalised on with interchange forward Ben Talty crossing for a much-needed four-pointer in the 64th minute.

However, any consolation gained was eliminated with Cini crossing for his second four-pointer.

Halfback Jake Arthur ensured that the Eels ended their dominant performance on a high note, finishing off a length-of-the-field try set up by back-rower Jack Murchie and captain Jordan Rankin.

Talking points

Today’s match was another reminder of the importance of having NRL experience in your NSW Cup side. The Eels were blessed to have Daejarn Asi, Isaac Lumelume, Zac Cini, Jake Arthur, Matt Doorey, debutant Andrew Davey, and Jack Murchie who have all notched up a number of NRL games. It was this experience that allowed them to beat the Knights so convincingly.

In a match played in dreadfully wet conditions, the kicking game from the entire Eels spine was elite today, constantly forcing the Knights to start their sets on the back foot. 

This was the Knights sixth straight loss this season and firmly embeds them to the bottom of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup ladder. 

Key moment

Zac Cini’s first of his two tries proved pivotal in the match and broke the spirit of the Knights, who at the time, were mounting a brief resurgence following the Eels strong start.

What’s next?

With all teams heading to North Sydney Oval next weekend, the Eels will be playing the Magpies on Saturday afternoon, while the Knights will have the week off and will look to break their losing streak against the Dragons in Round 11.


Newtown Jets v North Sydney Bears


Western Suburbs Magpies v Penrith Panthers

NSW Cup Panthers suffer defeat to Magpies

Panthers Media

Penrith Panthers have fallen 28-8 to the Western Suburbs Magpies at Carrington Park in Bathurst on Saturday night.

The Magpies have handed the Panthers their second consecutive loss which has resulted in the Panthers dropping out of the top four.

The visitors were the first to open the scoring, with second rower Jack Boyling crashing over the line.

The conversion from halfback Kade Hill was successful taking the score out to 6-0.

The Magpies went back-to-back in the 11 minute with Boyling scoring his second four pointer of the day directly under the posts. Hill adds the two points to extend his teams lead out to 12 points.

In the 11th minute the Magpies extended their lead through centre Semisi Kioa who strolled over the line to take the score out to 16-0.

Kade Hill’s conversion was successful bringing the score to 18-0.

The Magpies continued to pile the points through winger Livai Saukuru sliding over the line.

The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score at 22-0.

Penrith opened their scoring just before half time through winger Daeon Amituanai who dived over the in corner. The conversion from five eighth Jack Cole was unsuccessful.

The Panthers battled throughout the first half making a handful of errors which saw them struggle to create any pressure on the Magpies.

The Panthers were the first to score first in the second half, with a set play from the home side saw the ball shifted out to winger Tom Jenkins who crossed over in the corner. Cole failed to add the two points leaving the score at 22-8.

Heavy rainfall saw the field become quite slippery, with both teams adapting to the weather as best as they could.

Each team played set for set football, testing each other in both attack and defensive as best as they could with constant rainfall.

The Magpies scored in the 78th minute, through fullback Daine Laurie who crossed for a four pointer. The conversion was successful taking the score to 28-8.


Warriors v Sydney Roosters

Volkman steers Warriors to victory in tough conditions

Richard Becht, via Warriors Media

Ronald Volkman produced a masterful halfback’s display in atrocious conditions to guide the One New Zealand Warriors to an impressive 34-22 win over the Sydney Roosters in today’s ninth-round New South Wales Cup encounter at Mount Smart Stadium.

The home side fell 18-6 behind after 28 minutes but trimmed the deficit to 18-16 at halftime, then took control with a strong second-half performance.

Throughout the contest Volkman was the key with a pinpoint kicking game. He had a hand in almost everything the Warriors did on attack, finishing with three try assists and six goals from seven attempts, taking him beyond 100 points for the season.

After opening the scoring early with the first of two tries to winger Moala Graham-Taufa, the Warriors were under the pump as the Roosters dominated field position with the wind behind them. In quick order the Roosters produced three tries through Sam Walker, winger Allan Fitzgibbon and No.9 Tyler Moriarty to lead 18-6.

The home side quickly seized momentum back with tries to Nick Halalilo and Taufa-Graham to bite right back into the battle before at halftime.

At two points behind the Warriors worked tries to centre Ali Leiataua and back-rower Leka Halasima to take a 28-18 lead after 54 minutes.

The Roosters closed in to 28-22 before Eiden Ackland put his side 34-22 ahead.

Their seventh win from nine starts enabled the Warriors to move back to the top of the ladder on 14 points and 132 points difference, with the most points scored (302).


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v St George Illawarra Dragons

Dogs returns to winning ways against Dragons

Russ Haylock

Game summary

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs returned to their winning ways in Round Nine of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, defeating St George Illawarra Dragons 22-12 at WIN Stadium.

The Bulldogs trailed 6-4 at halftime but fought back to score three tries to the Dragons' one in the second half. Kyle Flanagan was a late inclusion at hooker, combining well with halves Khaled Rajab and Bailey Hayward to help the Dogs earn their seventh win of the season.

The first points of the game didn’t come until the 29th minute, when Dragons centre Savelio Tamale burrowed over from a quick tap close to the line. Halfback Jayden Sullivan added the extras from out wide to put his team ahead by six with halftime approaching.

The Bulldogs were able to hit back with second-rower Kitione Kautoga getting on the outside of the Dragons' right-edge defenders. He offloaded to a flying Reece Hoffman on the inside, who then found winger Blake Wilson, holding off the efforts of Dragons fullback Treigh Stewart to score in the corner.

Flanagan got more involved in the second half by putting back-rower Josh Kalati over from close range in the 47th minute, then combining with halfback Hayward to get centre Eli Clarke across only seven minutes later.

The game was slipping away from the Dragons when Rajab stepped back on the inside to score in the 65th minute, with Flanagan’s conversion putting the visitors up 20-6.

However, a Bulldogs charge-down saw the ball end up in the hands of Dragons winger Alexander Lobb, who found Jayden Sullivan on his inside to break away downfield.

Sullivan was stopped by Bulldogs fullback Joash Papalii, but moments later his cross-field kick was batted into the hands of Zach Herring, who offloaded to Savelio Tamale. The centre found winger Sione Finau unmarked to score the Dragons' second.

Sullivan’s conversion then bought the score to 20-12 inside the final ten minutes. The Dragons gave their home crowd hope of a late revival, but some heavy defence from the Bulldogs kept them from scoring again.

An attempted short drop-out then landed out on the full, with Flanagan taking the two points to help the Bulldogs prevail 22-12.

Talking points

Dragons second-rower Jackson Shereb was ruled out due to a concussion in the first set of the match, getting in an awkward position in a tackle on Fa’amanu Brown. Subsitute Jacob Webster came into the 17 and had an on-field stint towards the end of the match.

Alec Tuitavake made his NSW Cup debut for the Dragons, providing some extra spark through the middle for the home side.

Bulldogs backs Eli Clark and Blake Wilson looked dangerous out wide, with fullback Papalii performing well under the high ball and challenging the Dragons defence.

The win moves the Bulldogs into second behind the Warriors on points differential, while the Dragons slip back from eighth to ninth.

Key moment

Khaled Rajab’s 65th-minute try to help the Bulldogs to a 14-point lead was a crucial moment at the back end of the match. Rajab dummied and stepped back on the inside to score and put his team up by 12, with Flanagan converting to give the Dogs what became a winning lead.

What’s next?

The Bulldogs take on sixth-placed Canberra Raiders at HE Laybutt Field in Round 10, while the Dragons will take on 10th-placed Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at the same venue.

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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