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Recap | The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Round 21

Round 21 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup begins with the Canberra Raiders travelling to Auckland to face the Warriors at 3:30pm Friday. Meanwhile, Sunday’s 11:30am fixture between the Penrith Panthers and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs can be streamed live and free on NSWRL TV.

Warriors v Raiders

Jets v Sea Eagles

Bears v Dragons

Panthers v Bulldogs

Rabbitohs v Knights

Roosters v Eels


Warriors v Canberra Raiders

NSW Cup Highlights | Warriors v Raiders - Round 21

Via Richard Becht on

Ronald Volkman’s clutch field goal in literally the final seconds of the match sealed a remarkable 21-20 win for the One New Zealand Warriors in their Round 21 New South Wales Cup encounter with the Canberra Raiders as Go Media Stadium Mt Smart on Friday night.

With the score locked at 20-20, Volkman’s perfectly struck one pointer got his team home in extraordinary circumstances to give them a stronger hold on fourth spot on the ladder.

Just 13 minutes earlier it was a ricochet from his own kick that had given his side a sniff, when he collected and speared through a gap for a try he converted to leave the Warriors just 18-20 behind.

With seven minutes to play he slotted a penalty from in front to square the ledger at 20-20 to set up the desperate finish.

After the Raiders spilled the ball as they searched for a winning one pointer, standoff Ben Farr swooped and made a telling break up the middle of the field which would ultimately set up Volkman’s late heroics.

The team’s 11th win of the season had looked anything but possible in the opening quarter.

Lacking intensity and energy, the One New Zealand Warriors invited the Raiders to come through the front door and they did, winger Nick Cotric with the opening try in the fourth minute followed by centre Brad Morkos in the 11th and fullback Chevy Stewart in the 14th. With Stewart converting all three, Canberra had a daunting 18-0 lead.

The Warriors needed to stop the bleeding and find a way into the contest.

That they did, grinding their way back and eventually earning a telling reward just two minutes out from the break when hooker Michael Sio sneaked over.

In the 51st minute they had the margin down to 12-18 with young prop Tanner Stowers-Smith scoring before a Stewart penalty gave Canberra an eight-point advantage.

There it stayed for 13 minutes, the Warriors remaining patient, defending their errors and then coming through with Volkman’s try, conversion, penalty and that field goal.


Newtown Jets v Blacktown-Workers Sea Eagles

NSW Cup Highlights | Jets v Sea Eagles - Round 21

Sea Eagles down Jets in front of packed-out crowd

Hugo Lumb

Game summary

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles have spoiled the Beer, Food, and Footy Festival at Henson Park, dominating Newtown Newtown Jets to win 28-12.

In a match with huge ramifications for the end of the season, the Jets started poorly with an error off of the first kick return. allowing the Sea Eagles great field position for halfback Jake Arthur to dive over in just the second minute.

The Sea Eagles continued this dominance as winger Raymond Vaega barged over in the corner, moving the score to 10-0 before the Jets had even touched the ball.

However, the Jets eventually got themselves into the game with a four-pointer to winger Tom Rodwell, capping off a high scoring first 10 minutes of the match.

With the score locked at 10-6, the match descended into a back-and-forth arm wrestle. The Blacktown side would break this deadlock, with Morgan Harper brushing off two defenders to plant the ball in the corner in the 34th minute.

Five-eighth Cooper Johns missed the sideline conversion, ensuring that it was 14-6 at half-time.

After a tense opening to the second half, the Sea Eagles orchestrated a lovely short side move for the powerful Vaega to grab his second four-pointer of the day.

A try to back-rower Kyle Pickering moved the deficit to only six points, setting up an exciting final 15 minutes.

With all the momentum with Newtown, a one-on-one strip by front-rower Toafofoa Sipley flipped the game on its head. Providing the platform for a string of offloads that set up a flying Kaeo Weekes to cross under the posts, moving the margin back out to 12 with 10 minutes to play.

This was backed up by a four-pointer to try-scoring machine Clayton Faulalo putting the game well and truly to bed. Capping off an emphatic 28-12 win for the Blacktown side, keeping them very much in contention with the race for finals.

Talking points

Mid-season recruit Jake Arthur orchestrated the Sea Eagles hulking forward pack around the park and played a big role in the Round 21 victory.

Raymond Vaega was on fire today, breaking tackles at will and grabbing two excellent four-pointers from difficult positions.

Today's defeat marks Newtown’s third loss in the last four matches. A run of form that they will be looking to get out of to ensure a finals position.

Key moment

Vaega’s second try for the day and the first points for the second half proved pivotal for the Sea Eagles victory.

A well-worked short-side move started by back-rower CABE NSW U19s Captain Samuela Fainu was wonderfully finished off by Vaega, beating multiple defenders to get to the line. It was this momentum that discouraged a strong start from the Jets in the second half.

What’s next?

The Jets head out West to face the Panthers on Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles will be looking for their third straight victory when they face a resurgent Dragons side on Saturday afternoon.


North Sydney Bears v St George Illawarra Dragons

NSW Cup Highlights | Bears v Dragons - Round 21

Bears stage incredible comeback at North Sydney Oval

Bethany Conlon

Game summary

North Sydney Bears overcame a competitive St George Illawarra Dragons outfit, making a stunning 20-point comeback at home to cement first place on the ladder. 

A bomb from five-eighth, Paul Turner proved too big for Bears centre, Toa Mata’afa who knocked it on in the seventh minute.

His opposite number, Ryan Couchman was quick to respond, picking up the ball and slamming it over the line. Dragons winger Alexander Lobb failed to convert.

After absorbing sustained pressure from the Dragons, the Bears hit back with a try for their halfback, Ben Stevanovic who snatched his own kick to score in open space.

Centre Kieran Hayman kicked the conversion to put the Bears in the lead.

Another knock on from the Bears right edge saw Dragons centre, Savelio Tamale sprint down the line and score under the posts in the 17th minute. Lobb was successful in his second conversion attempt extending their lead to 10-6.

After gaining consecutive sets of six, the Bears sent it through the hands welcoming Junior Pauga back to the side with a four-pointer in the corner. Hayman’s kick was waved away, keeping the scores level 25 minutes in.

The Dragons capitalised on another dropped ball from the Bears when interchange, Haele Finau burrowed under some sluggish Bears markers in the 31st minute. Lobb added the extras to take the lead to a converted try.

Repeated sets of ill-disciplined defence from the Bears gave the Dragons a shot in front, slotted by Lobb in the 37th minute. 

Trouble under the high ball seemed to be the story of the Bears night, prompting the Dragons to take an extra two, putting them 10 in front on the stroke of half time.

The Dragons sustained their first-half pressure with ball in hand, sending it out to second-rower Nicholas Tsougranis who wrestled his way over the line eight minutes into the second half. Lobb blocked out a frustrated Bears crowd putting his team 16 in front.

Whilst his side appeared deflated, Bears winger, Tuipulotu Katoa charged into space, stepping around the dragons defence to score in the 54th minute. Hayman converted his second to give his side hope.

Bears five-eighth, Jesse Marschke cleared the defence with a huge step, offloading it to his edge partner, Elie El-Zakhem who ran over in the 63rd minute. Hayman converted to bring the Bears within four.

With 10 minutes to go, Jesse Marschke took to the line, sending a floater out to winger, Junior Pauga to score his second for the evening. Hayman missed his conversion that could’ve seen Bears take the lead.

It would be the Dragons who coughed up the ball this time, gifting the Bears a chance 10 metres out. After spreading the ball wide, the Bears found their points through winger, Tuipulotu Katoa who dove over the corner in the final minute. An unsuccessful conversion from Hayman left the Bears with a four-point win.

Key moment

It would be the Dragons fullback, Treigh Stewart who dropped the ball when it mattered most. In the games dying seconds, winger Tuipulotu Katoa dove over the line to secure the win for his side.

Talking points

Despite sitting ninth on the ladder, the Dragons attack proved a challenge for the first placed Bears for the first fifty minutes. The Bears managed to wrestle their way back into the game to cement their spot on top.  Junior Pauga secured a double in his return to the Bears after a stint in first grade with the Roosters.

What’s next?

The Dragons head home to Shellharbour to take on the recently revived Sea Eagles while the Bears are back at North Sydney Oval seeking a win over the Eels who beat them convincingly in Round 13.  


Penrith Panthers v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

NSWRL TV Highlights | NSW Cup Panthers v Bulldogs - Round 21

Panthers keep premiership defence alive with dominant win over Bulldogs

Stewart Moses

Game summary

The Penrith Panthers have put a four-game losing streak behind them with an emphatic 40-16 win over second-placed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at BlueBet Stadium.

Penrith’s first victory since Round 15, puts the Panthers into fifth position on The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup ladder with just five rounds remaining before the finals, denying the Bulldogs an opportunity to reclaim top spot.

Penrith’s halves were instrumental in the win, with five-eighth Jack Cole scoring two tries and halfback Trent Toelau having a hand in two others.

Both teams had plenty of opportunities to score the opening points, but it wasn’t until the 17th minute that Matt Stimson strolled through a gap from Toelau’s pass to break the deadlock and lead 6-0.

A penalty from the kick-off saw the Panthers go back-to-back when Cole stepped through the line and reached out and score out wide, pushing the lead to 12 points after 22 minutes.

The Bulldogs hit back when Fa’amanu Brown broke through the heart of Penrith’s defence from 20 metres out to score next to the posts. After 26 minutes the visitors trailed by six. The halftime score would remain 12-6 in favour of the home side.

Two quick tries after the break gave the Panthers a commanding 24-6 lead. Interchange forward John Faiumu produced a barging effort close to the line to score in the 43rd minute, quickly followed by a Tom Jenkins try in the 48thminute after a slick backline movement. Cole converted from the sideline to give Penrith the 18-point lead.

Penrith’s second-half dominance continued when Cole scored his second of the game from close range before fullback Isaiah Iongi set up a try for Jesse McLean, showing blistering speed from halfway then offloading inside for McLean to score. The Panthers led by 28 with 15 minutes remaining.

The Bulldogs finally scored second-half points when back-rower Zac Montgomery regathered a loose ball in the Panthers’ in-goal from a kick. With five-eighth Bailey Hayward’s conversion, the Bulldogs trailed 34-12 with eight minutes remaining.

After Panther Eddie Blacker was sent to the sin-bin late in the game, a quick shift left saw the Bulldogs score their second try in succession through back-rower Harry Hayes to get the visitors within 18 points.

The home side weren’t finished just yet, ending the game in style when Jaeman Salmon crashed over with the last play of the game. Cole’s successful conversion pushed the Panthers’ winning margin back to 24 points.

Talking points

Despite the late loss of Tyrone Peachey into the NRL side, the Panthers were bolstered by the inclusion of Tom Jenkins, Jaeman Salmon and Matt Eisenhuth along with Jack Cole’s return from injury.

Canterbury-Bankstown’s Zac Hetherington and Penrith’s Matt Eisenhuth were placed on report for first-half incidents.

Jack Cole had a return to remember, scoring 20 points from two tries and converting six goals from seven attempts.

Tom Jenkins’ try was his 13th of the season in the NSW Cup and 16th in all competitions for 2023.

Key moment

With the game in the balance at halftime and the score 12-6, two quick tries to the Panthers turned the game and they were never headed from there. The second of those came from quick hands to enable Tom Jenkins to evade several Bulldogs defenders and score in the corner.

What's next?

The Bulldogs have a short turnaround in Round 22 when they host the Sydney Roosters at Belmore Sports Ground, while the Panthers face the third-placed Newtown Jets at BlueBet Stadium on Saturday.


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Newcastle Knights

NSW Cup Highlights | Rabbitohs v Knights - Round 21

Rabbitohs secure victory over in-form Knights

Alex Hrissis

Game summary

The South Sydney Rabbitohs hosted the Newcastle Knights in Round 21 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, producing a dominant 34-16 win to move to seventh place on the competition ladder.

The hosts struck first when a right-edge shift found winger Leonard Skelton, who sped down the blindside and dived in the corner to score his third try of the season. Captain Dean Hawkins converted to make the score 6-0.

The travelling Knights bounced back after sustained pressure on the Rabbitohs’ defensive line, where hooker Riley Jones found front-rower John Toleafoa to crash over the try-line for Newcastle’ first points of the day. Lachlan Miller converted from directly in front to level the scores at 6-6.

South Sydney’s right edge was in full force once again, into the hands of centre Joseph Karapani to score his first try of the day.

The Knights responded quickly on the stroke of halftime as Lachlan Miller snatched an intercept and sprinted 70 metres to score in the corner. Miller missed his conversion to the left as the Rabbitohs led 12-10 at halftime.

South Sydney opened the scoring just minutes into the second half, when Dean Hawkins found back-rower Jed Cartwright to bash his way through the Newcastle defence for a try.

South Sydney added another try midway through the second half through their skipper. Hawkins took the ball down the right edge, threw a dummy and ran through the gap for a four-pointer, converting his own try to extend the lead to 24-10.

It was all South Sydney at Redfern Oval when Jed Cartwright had the ball once again, stepping past the last defender to run around the posts and score his second of the day.

The Knights bounced back with a try as five-eighth Miller set up front-rower Sebastian Su’a, who stormed through the gap to score. Miller converted to bring the score to 30-16.

The Rabbitohs added another try with less than three minutes remaining off a Hawkins kick which was fumbled by Miller, and lock forward Matthew French saw his opportunity to dive on the loose ball and score. Hawkins missed the conversion attempt as the final score remained 34-16.

Talking points

Back-rower Jed Cartwright scored two tries for the Rabbitohs against the Knights in a strong performance, the club he has signed with for the 2024 season.

South Sydney’s right edge of Hawkins, Cartwright, Karapani and Skelton was crucial in the win, with every try being scored down that side.

Despite the Knights’ defeat, Lachlan Miller’s performance is positive news for Newcastle heading into the final rounds of the season. The five-eighth had a strong kicking and running game, set up a try and scored one himself.

Key moment

South Sydney were only ahead of Newcastle by two points going into the break, but a try to Jed Cartwright put the Rabbitohs in control of the match. They went on to score another two unanswered tries.

What’s next?

In Round 22 the Rabbitohs will face the Western Suburbs Magpies at Lidcombe Oval on Sunday, while the Knights will head down to Canberra to take on the Raiders.


Sydney Roosters v Parramatta Eels

NSW Cup Highlights | Roosters v Eels - Round 21

Eels too strong for Roosters in Round 21

Ella Mullins

Game summary

The Parramatta Eels proved too strong for the Sydney Roosters in Round 21 of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, winning 32-16 at St Mary’s Leagues Stadium on Sunday.

After funnelling through the Roosters’ defensive line, centre Samuel Loizou reached out for a try and took three defenders over with him. The conversion by captain Jordan Rankin was successful, giving the Eels a six-point lead.

The Roosters quashed the Eels’ early lead when second-rower Riley Meyn weaved through a gap and offloaded to Jade Anderson to score under the posts. The conversion was successful from Jaxson Paulo, evening the scores at 6-6.

Just moments later, Eels fullback Arthur Miller-Stephen regained momentum for his side with a stunning try in the right corner. Rankin converted to lead 12-6. Jack Murchie capitalised next for the Eels, scoring their third for the match for a 10-point lead.

The Eels were on a roll as Loizou scored his second try for the evening. The home side responded when five-eighth Joseph Taipari set up Jaxson Paulo to dart over in the corner. Paulo brought the score back to an eight-point deficit with the conversion. Parramatta led 20-12 at halftime.

The Eels had an explosive start to the second half with tries to Jayden Yates and Jock Brazel.

With the Eels 20 points ahead, a Roosters penalty gave the home side hope for a fightback. After a quick flick pass to the left wing, Jade Anderson made a bolt for the try-line to score, but it wasn’t enough to turn things around.

Talking points

Chris Tupou had an impressive defensive performance on the wing, proving to be a handful for most of the game.

Samuel Loizou was hard to handle for the Roosters, with his strong attacking runs resulting in two tries for the Eels.

Key moment

Robert Toia produced a much-needed try-save in his return match with eight minutes to go in the first half, as the Roosters looked to stop the Eels from extending the lead beyond eight points before halftime. The Eels went on to win the match in the second half, but Toia’s tackle kept the Roosters in the contest going into the break.

What’s next?

The Roosters will face the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground on Friday, while the Eels will visit the first-placed Bears at North Sydney Oval in Round 22.


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