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

Round Two kicks off on Friday afternoon with Jets v Bulldogs and Panthers v Eels in the Battle of the West. Saturday will feature two games including Raiders v Magpies live on Fox League and Dragons v Knights on NSWRL TV. Round two is closed out with two more games on Sunday.

Dragons v Knights

Raiders v Magpies

Panthers v Eels

Jets v Bulldogs

Warriors v Bears 

Sea Eagles v Roosters

Newtown Jets v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Jets secure first win of 2024

Alex Hrissis

Game Summary

Newtown Jets hosted Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Pointsbet Stadium on Friday afternoon to kick off Round Two of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup where the home side won 28-16 to collect their first win of the season.

It was a cagey affair to start this match as both teams struggled to adapt to the windy conditions. The traveling Bulldogs went close a number of times in the opening 10 minutes after some strong kicking from Toby Sexton, however the Jets defended soundly to deny them any points.

The Bulldogs eventually broke through the defence to score first at Shark Park thanks to a tidy sequence that ended in Bailey Biondi-Odo scoring. Kitione Kautoga dropped the ball just short of the 10 metre line but captain Toby Sexton was quick to collect the ball and found Xerri out wide who played a short ball inside for Biondi-Odo.

The home side bounced back late in the second-half when Newtown hooker Jayden Berrell put in a tidy grubber kick for back-rower Billy Burns to pounce on and claim his second try of the season.

Newtown struck again minutes after their first when some strong kicking from Atkinson helped his side march up the field and onto the Bulldogs’ 10 metre line.

Niwhai Puru showed off some fancy footwork and attempted to offload to his right edge but fumbled the ball backwards. However Chris Vea’ila was there to pick up the loose ball and spin around the last defender to score a try.

The Jets added a third try right on the cusp of halftime when the Bulldogs failed to recover the ball from a strong Puru bomb and it fell straight into the hands of Daniel Atkinson who dived over for a try. Puru added the extras to give his side a lead of 16-4 heading into half-time.

The Bulldogs bounced back early in the second half through Jordan Samrani. Sexton produced a tidy grubber kick for the back-rower to pounce on and score his first try of the season. The halfback added the extras to tighten the score to 16-12.

The Jets returned serve with 20 minutes on the clock remaining as Puru kicked a well-weighted ball past the try line for Samuel Healey to pounce on. The conversion was sprayed wide to leave Newtown with a narrow eight point lead.

The Bulldogs wouldn’t go down quietly as they made their way down the field through some Joash Papalii sprinting and a flick pass out wide found Jeral Skelton.

The rising winger dived into the corner to breathe some life back into this Bulldogs side and bring the score to 20-16.

However It was too little too late for the Bulldogs, as speedy winger Sam Stonestreet found himself sprinting down the wing and dived over for a four pointer right on the siren. The conversion was nailed to make the final score 28-16.

Key Moment

The Jets scored their third unanswered try right on the stroke of half-time through Daniel Atkinson which proved vital in the win as Canterbury struggled to work their way back into the game.

Talking Points

- Toby Sexton showed off his NRL credentials in a solid performance where he showed off his strong kicking game and clean passing game to set up a try.

- A last minute change from Newtown saw Magoulias move from the halves into - lock and Atkinson from fullback into five-eighth which proved crucial for the Jets as it allowed Atkinson to show off his kicking game and Magoulias’ strength better utilized in the middle.

- The battle was won in the pack today as Magoulias, Max Bradbury and Brad Fearnley all put in strong performances in the middle with some hard running and solid tackling.

What’s Next?

In Round Three of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup the Bulldogs will host Penrith Panthers at Belmore while the Jets will travel to Lidcombe Oval to face off against the Western Suburbs Magpies.


Penrith Panthers v Parramatta Eels

Panthers make it two from two in Western Derby clash

Stewart Moses

Game Summary

Penrith Panthers made it two wins from as many starts, in overcoming local rivals, Parramatta Eels in convincing fashion 24-4 at BlueBet Stadium.

Both sides struggled to complete their sets in the opening half, compounded by a plethora of stoppages courtesy of several infringements incurred throughout the half, before the Panthers completely dominated the second half with an improved performance.

The win for Penrith in part makes up for the two losses suffered at the hands of the Eels in season 2023, including the pivotal last round loss that saw the then defending premiers miss the finals in stunning fashion.

The Panthers were somewhat boosted by the late inclusion of hooker Soni Luke, who replaced Daine Laurie in a reshuffled Penrith lineup that was also missing veteran forward Matt Eisenhuth, while the Eels came into the game as named 1-17.

As was the case in Round One, Penrith got off to another fast start, capitalising on a Parramatta turnover and worked play downfield in quick fashion, before that man Luke reached out to open the scoring in just the third minute of play.

But for the rest of the half, it was the Eels who would dominate territory and possession, but with both sides guilty of poor ball control and discipline, the score remained in favour of the Panthers 6-0 late in the opening half.

However, Panthers hooker Soni Luke had other ideas, putting in a sneaky short grubber kick behind the line from halfway, regathered and instead of opting to pass to his inside support Paul Alamoti, instead placed a second grubber kick, resulting in back-rower Mavrik Geyer out-sprinting the Eels cover defence to ground the ball in the north east corner to give the home side a valuable 10-0 lead at the main break.

The try lifted Penrith’s confidence as they came out for the second half full of energy and were rewarded with two quick tries to Alamoti inside the opening 10 minutes of the half.

The first try came from a deft Brad Schneider grubber kick into the goal, before a 40-20 kick from Luke enabled Trent Toelau to drift across field and find space for his centre to crash his way over in the corner for his second.

Although both tries were not converted by Schnieder, the home side suddenly had an imposing 18-0 lead with 30 minutes remaining.

The Eels finally opened their account midway through the second half when ex Panthers junior, Zac Cini burrowed over from dummy half to score out wide.

Isaiah Iongi then put the game to bed in scintillating fashion, reminding everyone why he was named in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Team of the Year in 2023, producing a scorching 75m kick return to score untouched next to the posts to give the Panthers their biggest lead of the game, 24-4 with 13 minutes remaining.

The try made more remarkable by the fact that he took the spiralling Sanders bomb on the ground, found his feet and the space to score the long-range try.

Talking Points

- Penrith came into this clash having lost both their previous two encounters over the Parramatta Eels in 2023.

- Despite losing Daine Laurie (NRL), Penrith were strengthened by the late inclusion of hooker Soni Luke, while last week’s NRL starting hooker, Luke Sommerton was relegated to the interchange bench for this clash.

- Parramatta’s cause was not helped when they lost Matt Doorey and Samuel Loizou in the opening half, with both having failed their HIA’s.

Key Moment

Sanders launched a towering spiral bomb midway through the second half, which Panthers fullback Isiaih Iongi not only did well to catch and fall to the ground with ball safely in hand, but managed to quickly get back to his feet and showed some searing pace to burst clear to score a 75-metre try that put any hopes of a fleeting Eels comeback to bed.

What's Next?

The undefeated Panthers will be looking to make it three wins in succession next Saturday when they travel to Belmore Sports Ground to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, while the winless Eels will be looking to open their 2024 account when they host Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles at CommBank Stadium next Sunday.


Canberra Raiders v Western Suburbs Magpies

Raiders stay atop NSW Cup ladder with big win over Magpies

Tahlia Gavin

Game Summary

The Canberra Raiders put on a sensational performance in Round Two of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, recording a huge 50-12 victory over the Western Suburbs Magpies in the nation’s capital. 

Controlling every facet of the game the Raiders ran in five tries to lead 30-0 at halftime. That continued into the second half with another four tries as the Raiders remain at the top of the NSW Cup ladder.

First points of the afternoon came off the back of a Magpies drop-out going out on the full. The Raiders gained possession 10 metres from the try-line where forward Mitchell Spencer spun his way over to score. 

The Raiders capitalised on another mistake soon after when fullback Chevy Stewart saw opportunity, passing off to James Schiller to score his first for the afternoon. 

Four minutes later the Raiders were in again through centre Manaia Waitere, after halfback Adam Cook put in a perfect cross field kick. 

James Schiller scored his second try not long after, then Chevy Stewart pulled off a length-of-the-field try sensation finish off the first half. 

The second half began with Heath Mason also running the length of the field to score the Magpies’ first points. Alex Lobb added the extras taking the score to 30-6. 

But the Raiders proved too good again with a try under the posts for winger Jed Stuart, stepping through the Magpies’ defence. 

James Schiller was next to score, finishing his hat-trick three minutes later. 

The Raiders continued to dominate as Simi Sasagi and Trey Mooney added to the lead, both of them showing their strength from close range score. 

With just over a minute left, Magpies’ Declan Casey saw an opening in the Raiders’ defence and made his way over to score. Alex Lobb added the extras and the siren sounded, rounding out the 50-12 score-line. 

Talking Points

- The Raiders honoured former teammate Troy Dargan with a minute’s silence before the match, their first home fixture of the season.

- It was a battle of the young fullbacks at GIO Stadium – former Australian schoolboys Chevy Stewart (2022) and Heath Mason (2023) – with both showing their speed and putting on length-of-the-field tries.

- Declan Casey was sin-binned in the 55th minute for a professional foul.

- Loghan Lewis and Sione Vaihu were put on report for dangerous tackles, and Trey Mooney was put on report for late contact on Iverson Matai. 

Key Moment

The Raiders were dominant from the opening whistle, but James Schiller managed to pull off an incredible three tries off the back of his double in Newcastle last weekend. All three of the tries showcased his speed and strength, and if Schiller continues to impress in the centres he could earn a recall to first grade. 

What’s next?

The Canberra Raiders will aim to hold on to first position taking on the Warriors at Seiffert Oval in Round Three, while the Magpies will be at Lidcombe Oval playing the Newtown Jets.


St George Illawarra Dragons v Newcastle Knights

Dragons win aggressive battle with Knights

Bailey Whitton

Game Summary

The St George Illawarra Dragons have picked up their first win for the season in a heavy-hitting with the Newcastle Knights, defeating the visitors 30-16.

The first half was filled with aggressive defence from the Knights and it paid off for them early in the game. The first 10 minutes saw the Knights forcing errors from the home team, soon turning them into a try to Latia Moceidreke.

The Dragons quickly took advantage of a penalty with a damaging run from Toby Couchman, before shifting out to the left to even the game at 4-4 with a try to Christian Tuipulotu in the 12th minute.

The Dragons took the lead with a second try in the 20th minute after Ben Murdoch-Masila drew in several Knights defenders, allowing Haele Finau to dive under the posts. 

Shortly after the Dragons were back on the attack, with a late offload finding the hands of Dylan Egan, who broke out of a tackle and palmed off another defender to extend the lead to 14-4.

The Knights looked to reset before the end of the half, putting in some good sets to get a shot at the try-line. Soon a kick ricocheted off the legs of the Dragons’ defence and into the in-goal for a waiting Fletcher Myers to get the Knights back on the board, the halftime score 14-10.

But that couldn’t stop the Dragons, scoring another try to open the half after just five minutes through Ryan Couchman bowling over the Knights’ goal-line defence.

In the next few minutes the Dragons put on two more tries, the first through Ben Murdoch-Masila following a spectacular, weaving run from Jesse Marschke. The second came off Marschke's grubber kick that the Knights couldn’t clean up, giving Couchman a double and sending the score ballooning out to 30-10.

The Knights did manage to build enough pressure with three-consecutive sets on the Dragons try-line to put James Bradley over for the last try of the game in the 66th minute, leaving the scoreboard 30-16.

Key Moment 

At the start of the second half the game was anyone’s for the taking. Ryan Couchman’s first try in the opening few minutes of the half swung the momentum towards the Dragons, and the Knights couldn’t recover from the flood of points that followed.

What’s next?

The Dragons will be on the bye in Round Three, while the Knights will challenge the North Sydney Bears.


Warriors v North Sydney Bears

Hit hard by Bears 

Richard Becht &

North Sydney proved too strong for a rearranged One New Zealand Warriors side winning 36-18 in Sunday’s second-round New South Wales Cup encounter at Pukekohe’s Navigation Homes Stadium.

The two teams had come into the contest on the back of round one victories, the Warriors by dint of a 28-24 win over Newtown and the Bears with 28-4 success against St George Illawarra.

 However, North Sydney, beaten in the 2023 New South Wales Cup grand final, dictated terms for most of the day.

The One New Zealand Warriors named a potent side on Tuesday which had again featured seasoned NRL players Jazz Tevaga, Te Maire Martin and Chanel Harris-Tavita.

It didn’t play out that way. All three travelled to Melbourne with the NRL squad where Harris-Tavita was called up to the interchange while Tevaga was 18th man and Martin 19th. Promising young centre Ali Leiataua also made the trip to Melbourne.

That meant some reshuffling for New South Wales Cup coach David Tangata-Toa with Jersey Flegg Cup (under-21) playmaker Luke Hanson called in to start in the halves, fullback Ben Farr joining him and Geronimo Doyle moved off the bench to start at fullback. Coming into the centres for Leiataua was 80-game NRL centre Adam Pompey while 19-year-old Eddie Ieremia started in the front row alongside fellow teenaged prop Tanner Stowers-Smith.

The Warriors weren’t able to settle.

While they had a say early on with the first of second rower Jacob Laban’s two tries they were facing a 6-24 deficit at halftime and weren’t able to climb back into the contest in the second half aside from Laban’s second try and one to centre Moala Graham-Taufa.

As Melbourne’s feeder club, the Bears could call on NRL experience through the likes of fullback Sualauvi Faalogo and winger Dean Ieremia plus back rower Shawn Blore and a number of other seasoned performers.

Faalogo and Ieremia both scored doubles as the Bears as did back rower Riley Meyn.

 It won’t be any easier for the Warriors next Saturday when they are on the road again taking on an impressive Canberra side which has opened the season with wins over Newcastle and Western Suburbs.

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles v Sydney Roosters

Roosters win first game of the season

Alex Hrissis

Sydney Roosters have collected their first win of the season in Round 2 of the KOE NSW Cup by defeating Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 34-12 at Brookvale Oval on Sunday afternoon.

The Roosters struck first at Brookvale through Hugo Savala following some slick passing down the right edge. Savala threw a nice dummy before scoring underneath the posts. The halfback converted his own try to put his side ahead 6-0.  

Savala made it double, scoring his second try of the day scoring down the left edge. Winger Alex Young made a break down the field before passing back on the inside to Michael Jennings who broke through the line before offloading to his halfback to score (10-0).  

Roosters were gifted with an opportunity late in the first half courtesy of a professional foul from winger Raymond Tuaimolo Vaega who was sent to the sin bin. Despite being down a man, the away team struggled to break through the Sea Eagles defence.

The Rooster scored their third try just before half time through Angus Crichton who broke through the line with speed before passing back onto the inside for Zach Dockar-Clay who dived over with ease to score.

The try was converted to give the Roosters a 16-0 lead heading into the sheds.

Sea Eagles bounced back in the second half through centre turned backrower Brad Parker. Following some nice passing down the right edge, Gordon Chan Kum Tong found Parker with an early ball who barged through the Roosters defence to crash over the try line.

It didn’t take long for Roosters to return serve as Crichton and Docker-Clay linked up once again to extend their lead out to 22-6.

Some nice passing down that dangerous right edge from Blacktown Workers found Lehi Hopoate who provided a classy flick pass out to Raymond Tuaimolo Vaega who scored in the corner. The conversion was successful to make this a ten-point game with fifteen minutes remaining.

Roosters bounced back to score again through fullback Callum Gromek. Following a strong advancement down the field, Connor Watson ran at the line hard to break through the tackle and offload to Egan Butcher who found Gromek in support.

Roosters put the final nail in the coffin with five minutes remaining through Hugo Savala, bagging his hattrick. The young half received a quick short ball from the play the ball and crashed over the Sea Eagles defence to score.

 The try was converted to make the final score 12-34.

Key Moment

Hugo Savala’s classy solo try in the opening minute of the match set the tone for this Round Two clash, with the Roosters going on to score another two unanswered tries in the first half and giving themselves a comfortable lead.

Talking Points

Hugo Savala provided a Man of the Match performance for the Roosters, scoring three tries and showing off a strong kicking game which was vital in the win for his side.

The first grade experience in the Roosters’ forward pack was too much for Blacktown Workers to handle. Connor Watson, Angus Crichton and Egan Butcher all put in strong performances.

Josh Schuster returned to NSW Cup this week following his latest injury, running the line hard and showing off a nice short kicking game.

What’s Next?

In Round Three of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles will face off against Parramatta Eels at CommBank Stadium while the Sydney Roosters will host local rivals South Sydney Rabbitohs at Wentworth Park.

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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