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

The 2024 season kicks off on Thursday night with an NRL opener as the Knights take on the Raiders. Friday features one game while Saturday will have two games streamed live on NSWRL TV and one on Fox League. The Bears and Dragons will close out the round on Sunday live on NSWRL TV.

Dragons v Bears

Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs

Eels v Bulldogs

Panthers v Roosters

Knights v Raiders

Warriors v Jets 


Newcastle Knights v Canberra Raiders

Raiders keep Knights at arms length in high-scoring affair

Mason Cernoy

Game Summary

The Canberra Raiders cruised to a 38-22 victory against the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium, who were unable to head the green Machine at any stage of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup season opener.

The Raiders got off to a flying start, with Jed Stuart crossing in the second minute after the Knights were penalised for a dangerous tackle from the opening set.

A scrum soon after gave Newcastle their first chance to attack, which they iced when Will Pryce delivered an early ball to Fletcher Myers, who wove in between two defenders before planting the ball down.

The two-point deficit was the closest Newcastle got to the lead, with Raiders captain Hohepa Puru crashing through the middle in the 18th minute and Michael Asomua crossing a few minutes later.

Knights winger Tom Jenkins tried to change his side’s fortunes by attempting an intercept near his goal line, but came up with an error instead.

Taking advantage of the field position, Raiders five-eighth Kaeo Weekes put James Schiller in a gap for another Canberra try, before Chevy Stewart broke the line to put Weekes over for a try of his own to extend the lead to 28-4.

Canberra produced another linebreak on the stroke of half-time but the last pass didn’t stick. Knights fullback Fletcher Sharpe gathered the ball and ran 60m to take his side into the sheds with a slither of hope at 28-10.

The Knights kept the momentum going when play resumed after Sharpe made a fantastic effort to score his second try, pouncing on a grubber kick spilled by Raiders No.1 Chevy Stewart before the ball rolled dead.

It was game on at McDonald Jones Stadium, with Canberra’s lead only 12 points and the Knights with all the territory to start the second half.

That only lasted until Stewart took a bomb five metres out from his own line before skipping across field to pick up James Schiller, who burnt plenty of defenders for pace – and got rid of another one for his trouble – as he raced 90m to score a brilliant Canberra try.

With the deficit going back out to 16, Will Pryce attempted a short kick-off, but it failed to go the distance. The Raiders were straight back on the attack, and it wasn’t long before Manaia Waitere scored directly off of a scrum to make the score 38-16 with 20 minutes left to play.

The two sides continued to exchange blows until Pryce put Knights captain Thomas Cant through a hole, who showed plenty of speed to get a late consolation try for the Novocastrians from 40 metres out.

Talking points

- The battle of the fullbacks was one to watch in this high scoring affair, with both Chevy Stewart and Fletcher Sharpe producing plenty of exciting moments during the match;

- UK Super League Import Will Pryce looked sharp in his Newcastle debut, being extremely involved and producing two try assists;

- James Schiller will be knocking on the door of the Raiders first grade side if he keeps producing moments like he did tonight

Key Moment

James Schiller’s second try was as scintillating as it was pivotal to the result. Newcastle had wrestled the momentum back after scoring on both sides of half-time and had reduced the lead to 12 points when Chevy Stewart took the ball on his own line. He picked up Schiller who raced 90 metres to score to extend the margin to 18 points and extinguish any hope of a comeback.

What’s Next?

Canberra will take the two points and a lot of confidence from the match as they get ready for their first home game of the year against the Western Suburbs Magpies. The Knights will be off to Sid Parrish Oval to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons.


Warriors v Newtown Jets

Warriors start season with last-gasp victory

Richard Becht &

Two tries in the final four minutes carried the One New Zealand Warriors to thrilling 28-24 comeback win over the Newtown Jets in Friday night’s round one New South Wales Cup match at Go Media Stadium.

Down 20-24 heading into the closing minutes the home side drew level 24-all when centre Ali Leiataua powered across just to the right of the posts only for Ben Farr's conversion to hit the near upright.

With little more than a minute left, the Warriors steamed downfield, moved the ball right and created an overlap for Geronimo Doyle to race over in the corner to hand the Warriors a four-point victory.

That the contest came down to such a frantic finish hadn’t seemed likely when returning Warrior Chanel Harris-Tavita scored and converted straight after the break to give his side a 20-6 lead.

As the final quarter loomed the One New Zealand Warriors were still 14 points clear but then the Jets mounted a withering assault scoring three converted tries in the space of 11 minutes to take a 24-20 lead with 10 minutes to play.

With time running out, calm heads prevailed as the Warriors engineered an escape route to snare two competition points.

They had opened strongly with winger Ed Kosi scoring in the 18th minute and centre Moala Graham-Taufa following up four minutes later to earn a 12-0 lead.

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Sea Eagles soar above reigning Premiers

Mitchell Roese

Game Summary

Blacktown-Workers Sea Eagles have come from behind to steal a 24-20 victory over reigning NSW Cup premiers South Sydney Rabbitohs at 4 Pines Park with Manly NRL head coach Anthony Seibold and players watching on from the grandstand.

Souths struck first in the 12th minute after some strong lead-up work from the Rabbitohs forward pack through the middle. Hooker Peter Mamouzelos caught the markers napping and scooted over from close range.

Blacktown Workers came close to hitting back after halfback Jake Arthur threw a wonderful cut-out ball to winger Tommy Talau, but Souths fullback Brock Gray came up with an incredible try-saver to deny his much bigger opponent.

The Sea Eagles drew level in the 28th minute with Brandon Wakeham weaving a deft grubber kick into the in-goal for fullback Bailey Hodgson to chase on the inside and score.

Gray, who is still eligible for Jersey Flegg Cup, produced some magic as he wriggled his way through two defenders and offloaded to Adam Christensen, who in turn found Braidon Burns to score and take a 10-6 lead into half-time.

South Sydney started fast in the second half, and their relentlessness paid off after Gray stepped and broke his way through multiple Sea Eagles defenders on his way to the line.

The home side were quick to hit back, crossing twice in as many minutes. Arthur went deep into the line drawing multiple defenders before picking up a barnstorming Lehi Hopoate and then onto Talau for the first try, while Hopoate scorched down the left touchline to bring the scores back level.

The Sea Eagles hit the front for the first time after a Rabbitohs error and penalty led to Wakeham slotting a penalty goal to take an 18-16 advantage.

Hodgson put the result beyond doubt when he sliced through the opposition’s scrum defence before racing away to bag his second try and close out a 24-20 victory.

Talking Points

- It was a battle of the fullbacks between Jye Gray and Bailey Hodgson with each putting on a show respectfully. Gray crossed for a try and had a hand in another, while Hodgson crossed for the home side’s opener and eventual match sealer.

- Today’s victory marks the first Round One win for Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles since 2021.

- The Rabbitohs held the lead right through until the 65th minute, where they failed to regather themselves and recapture the lead.

Key Moment

After holding the lead for 65 minutes, an extravagant long ball was thrown from Rabbitohs centre Braidon Burns inside his own ten metres which led to an error. The visitors then conceded a penalty in front of the uprights to allow the Sea Eagles to take the lead before sealing the victory with a try in the 77th minute.

What’s next?

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles remain at home for their Round Two clash against Sydney Roosters on Sunday afternoon, while South Sydney have the bye.


Penrith Panthers v Sydney Roosters

New-look Panthers overcome star-studded Roosters

Stewart Moses

Game Summary

Penrith Panthers have overcome a Sydney Roosters side stacked with NRL experience to open their account in determined fashion, conjuring up a 28-22 win in hot conditions at a sun-baked St Marys Leagues Stadium.

The Panthers have recruited heavily at this level, with the likes of Paul Alamoti, Brad Schnieder and Riley Price making their first appearances in Penrith colours since joining the club, while Daine Laurie and Jordan Grant also made their first appearance since making the return home.

The home side was also bolstered by the late inclusion of Tyrone Peachey in the centres, while NSW U19s hooker Billy Scott, celebrated his recent NRL development squad contract, with a late call-up into the starting lineup.

The Roosters came into this clash with plenty of high expectations fielding the likes of Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Connor Watson, Egan Butcher along with the return of Michael Jennings in the centres at the ripe old age of almost 36 years, playing his first competitive game of rugby league since 2020, ironically against the team where he made his NRL debut for way back in 2008.

Despite those high expectations, it would be the Panthers who would score in their first set of the game when an option to run the ball on the last paid dividends with Laurie’s cut-out pass allowing winger Daeon Amituanai to crash over in the south-east corner.

Alamoti converted to give the home side a dream 6-0 lead after just three minutes of play.

The shell-shocked Roosters hit a further setback in the ninth minute when Dylan Napa was sent to the sin bin and placed on report for a high tackle on Panthers fullback Isaiah Iongi.

But the heat soon took effect with both sides guilty of poor handling throughout much of the opening half.

Having blown two golden opportunities to level the scores earlier in the half, the visitors finally opened their account in the 32nd minute when a quick play the ball caught the Panthers goal-line defence napping, allowing centre Ethan King to crash over from close range and with Hugo Savala’s easy attempt at goal successful, scores were locked up 6-all.

A Watson linebreak from halfway looked set to result in a try to Butcher only for the cover defence to dislodge possession just as the back-rower looked set to score.

The missed opportunity proved to be a telling moment as the Panthers on the very next set would work play upfield and score with just two minutes remaining before the main break after a Laurie cross field kick was allowed to bounce and Alamoti was on the spot to put his fullback over out wide to give the Panthers a handy 12-6 lead at half-time.

The Panthers extended the lead early in the second half when another kick was fumbled allowing back-rower Harrison Hassett to cross over out wide to push the lead out to 16-6 after 46 minutes.

But a Roosters 40/20 was fully capitalised upon when dummy half Benaiah Ioelu showed it one way and went the other to crash over from close range and with Savala converting, the visitors were back in the game trailing by four points after 54 minutes.

Penrith assumed control of the game once more when Peachey showed some brilliant hands to score out wide to give the home side some breathing space leading 22-12 midway through the second half.

The Roosters showed some enterprise with the ball in hand to keep their hopes alive with King scoring his second to reduce the gap to four. Following Savala’s third successful conversion of the afternoon the Roosters trailed 22-18 with 17 minutes remaining.

An error from the Roosters in attempting to defuse another cross-field kick inside their own 20 invited the Panthers to push the lead back out to 10 with 12 minutes remaining when Iongi scored his second of the afternoon, converted by Alamoti.

The Roosters kept themselves in the game with four minutes remaining when quick hands allowed King to score his hat-trick, but crucially Savala missed the relatively simple conversion attempt to leave the visitors six points adrift at the end of a hectic first up encounter.

Talking Points

- Despite losing Soni Luke (NRL), Penrith were strengthened by the late inclusion of veteran centre Tyrone Peachey.

- Peachey joined a new look Panthers side featuring Paul Alamoti, Brad Schneider, Riley Price while Daine Laurie and Jordan Grant made their first appearance since making their return to Penrith.

- The Roosters featured some big names, none bigger than prop forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, who played the opening 31 minutes, but didn’t see any further action. The visitors also played Egan Butcher and Connor Watson against the Panthers.

- Ex-Panther Michael Jennings made his first competitive appearance in rugby league since 2020, while Zach Dockar-Clay, Ethan Clark-Wood also featured against their former club.

Key Moment

With the game evenly poised at 6-all, a Connor Watson linebreak looked set to result in a Roosters try but some brilliant scrambling defence from the Panthers enabled the home side to dislodge possession.

Within the next set of play, the Panthers scored themselves after a Laurie cross-field bomb was allowed to bounce enabling Alamoti to put Iongi over in what was a 12-point turnaround in what was otherwise a closely fought contest.

What's Next?

The Panthers will host traditional rivals, the Eels next Friday night at BlueBet Stadium, while the Roosters will look to regroup when they make the trek to 4 Pines Park next Sunday to take on Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles


Parramatta Eels v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Loizou's five tries not enough in 74-point thriller

Anthony Eltarraf

Game Summary

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs scraped past Parramatta Eels in a 74-point thriller at CommBank Stadium this afternoon to secure a nail-biting first round victory.

A penalty in the opening set handed the Bulldogs an early opportunity to open the scoring, and they did just that when the Eels failed to clean up a Toby Sexton grubber, allowing Bailey Biondi-Odo to dive over.

Captain Toby Sexton went from provider to scorer shortly after when Hayze Perham beat his opposition centre before passing to his captain, giving his side a 10-point lead.

Following an unforced error by Liam Knight, the Eels quickly levelled the game through a Samuel Loizou double, scoring off the back of a Daejarn Asi offload before finding himself on the end of a powerful run by Matt Doorey.

Young halfback Ethan Sanders added his name to the scoresheet off the back of a linebreak from hooker Matthew Arthur who put a chip in over the top for Sanders to plant the ball down.

The Eels added to their tally, making it 26 unanswered points through a late offload from Ofahiki Ogden, which found Loizou for his third, before the centre scored his fourth try of the half off the boot of Matthew Arthur.

The home side looked set to head into the sheds with a handy lead, however two late tries from Bailey Hayward and Bronson Xerri saw the Bulldogs head into the sheds, trailing 26-20.

Parramatta came out firing in the second half, continuing their left-side dominance, scoring just two minutes in through Isaac Lumelume who dived over in the corner to extend the lead back to 12 points.

Momentum swung the way of the Eels and their attack looked as dominant as the first half, however an Eli Clark intercept saw the winger run 70 metres to score and swing momentum right back the way of the Bulldogs.

The Dogs brought the game back within two points when a set play off the scrum ended with Skelton diving over in the corner. A successful conversion from Toby Sexton levelled the game at 32-a-piece before Skelton scored his second of the game in the same corner to regain his side’s lead by a converted try.

In what was a classic thriller at CommBank Stadium, Samuel Loizou dived over for his fifth try but a missed conversion from Ethan Sanders meant the visitors went away with a nail-biting 38-36 victory.

Talking Points

- Both the Eels and Bulldogs were lethal in attack, while their defences were compromised multiple times. Both teams will need to improve drastically in defence in future weeks.

- Samuel Loizou scored an amazing 5 tries on the Eels’ left side, tying in second spot for most tries scored in a single NSW Cup game.

- The Bulldogs’ resilience was clearly on show this afternoon, coming back from behind to secure the victory, led by a determined Toby Sexton.

Key Moment

The Bulldogs’ final converted try of the afternoon proved the crucial moment. A right side shift saw an explosive Joash Papalii draw the opposition winger in before handing the ball off to Skelton to dive over in the corner. A cool and composed Sexton nailed the conversion from out wide and proved the difference in the contest.

What’s Next?

The Bulldogs travel to PointsBet Stadium next week to take on the Newtown Jets, while the Eels travel to Penrith in a classic battle of the west.


St George Illawarra Dragons v North Sydney Bears

Bears dominate second half in Round One win

Bailey Whitton

Game Summary

The North Sydney Bears have started The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup season with a dominant 28-4 win over St George Illawarra Dragons, putting themselves on top of the ladder on points differential.

The Bears’ kick-off went dead on the full to give the Dragons great field position. The Bears soon turned the momentum using the wind with a 40/20, and their first try through Ben Talty just five minutes into the game.

The Dragons kept struggling to break through the Bears’ goal-line defence, but that soon changed when the Dragons’ pressure forced an error. Josh Ralph quickly gathered the ball and passed on to Cooper Roberts for their first and only try of the game, levelling the scoreboard at 4-4.

The Bears’ defence was holding on, despite the losses of try-scorer Ben Talty going down in back play and Nathaniel Roache clutching at his leg after just four minutes on the field. North Sydney survived the half without conceding any more points.

An early second-half penalty turned the tide for the Bears, with a quick tap from Jake Toby threatening the line followed by a hard run from Tepai Moeroa. Finally Toby’s scoot from dummy-half and Keagan Russell-Smith’s conversion gave the Bears a 10-4 lead.

Minutes later, a Dragons error close to their own line didn’t help matters and the Bears quickly capitalised with Riley Meyn scoring a try down the wing. 

The Dragons were soon on the backfoot again with the Bears storming downfield and Sualauvi Faalogo putting Jake Toby through the line, scoring his second try of the match in the 58th minute.

In the 65th minute the Bears came back on the attack, going for another raid down the right wing. This time the Dragons shut them down, but in the next set winger Dean Ieremia still scored on the same side. 

Jake Toby scored his third try shortly after on the left, to put an exclamation point on the 28-4 victory.

Talking Points

- The Bears were very impressive to start the season. In the first half they showed grit through their defensive efforts, as well as their ability to pour on points in the second half, proving they’re once again a major threat in the NSW Cup competition.

- Despite the result the Dragons forward pack still impressed. They secured a lot of field position in the first half, but the Bears defence was just too strong for the Dragons’ attack.

Key Moment

Jake Toby’s try to start the second half proved crucial in changing the momentum of the game. The first half saw the two teams in a back-and-forth battle but the Bears’ start to the second half was what they needed to break the deadlock, and the Dragons never recovered.

What’s next?

The Bears are up against the Warriors on Sunday in Round Two, while the Dragons face the Newcastle Knights on Saturday.

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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