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

Traditional rivals Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs kick off Round Three of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup. Saturday will feature two games including Bulldogs v Panthers live on Fox League and Raiders v Warriors on NSWRL TV. Round Three finishes with three more games on Sunday.

Knights v Bears

Magpies v Jets

Eels v Sea Eagles

Raiders v Warriors

Bulldogs v Panthers

Roosters v Rabbitohs


Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Premiers register first win over arch rivals

Alex Hrissis

Game Summary

South Sydney Rabbitohs have registered their first win of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup season with an impressive 28-12 win over local rivals Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Friday.

Souths struck first in this local derby as they pressured the Roosters’ defence early in the game. Halfback Lachlan Ilias sent a cut out pass to Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson, who crashed over to score the first points of the day. The conversion was sprayed wide to leave the score at 4-0.

Souths made it double at Allianz Atadium following some fine passing along the right edge. Ilias once again was making things happen by finding his fullback Jye Gray in support who then passed to Richard Kennar who scored with ease. Ilias converted the kick to extend the lead to 10-0.

It was all South Sydney at Moore Park as they scored their third unanswered try. After multiple forced dropouts gave the Rabbitohs plenty of possession it was rising fullback Jye Gray who busted through a tackle and barged over to score.

Souths picked up where they left off in the second half and scored their fourth try of the day.

The vicitors found themselves inside the Roosters’ 10-metre line when Dion Teaupa played a short ball into Jacob Gagai, who blitzed through to score his first try of the season. Ilias added the extras to extend the lead out to 22-0.

The floodgates were beginning to open as the Rabbitohs once again found themselves on the opposition 10-metre line. Some slick passing down the right edge found Matt French, who burst through the line with speed to dive over for a try. The conversion was nailed to give South Sydney a comfortable 28-0 lead.

The home side finally bounced back with a try midway through the second half, when outside back Ethan Clark-Wood busted through the Rabbitohs’ defence to score.

Roosters made it back-to-back tries in an attempt to keep the game alive, when Benaiah Ioelu burst out of dummy half and whizzed past the South Sydney defence to bag a try. Hugo Savala nailed the conversion to tighten the score a little (28-12).

Talking Points

- Lachlan Ilias played his first game of NSW Cup since 2021 and he made a sensational return to the competition, registering a try assist, two try savers and multiple forced dropouts to steer his team to victory.

- Rising youngster Jye Gray had an impressive performance in the local derby in just his second appearance for the club, setting up a try early in the game and then scoring one himself not long after.

- The Roosters outside backs were a shining light despite the loss as Billy Smith and Alex Young both made impressive metres and attempted to make things happen despite Souths’ resilient defence.

Key Moment

The Roosters were persisting on the Rabbitohs 10-metre line early in the first half and looked like they were going to score until a commanding try-saver from Ilias denied them and set the defensive tone for the match.

What’s Next?

In Round Four of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup the Rabbitohs will host the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Accor Stadium while the Roosters will face off against the Penrith Panthers.


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Penrith Panthers

Panthers make it three on the trot

Bethany Conlon

Game Summary

It was a tale of two halves on Saturday at Belmore, with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs full of belief trailing the Penrith Panthers by two points ahead of the break. The Panthers then piled on four unanswered tries in the second-half, outclassing an error-prone Bulldogs outfit in the round three clash.

The Panthers were gifted an early full set of six after a Bulldogs kick out on the full. Tyrone Peachey then made them pay with the first four pointer nine minutes in. Alamoti converted to add the two points.

Having turned the Bulldogs away from their own line, the Panthers then marched upfield for Trent Toelau to send David Fale over the line in the 27th minute. Alamoti again slotted the kick to extend the lead to 12.

The Panthers later failed to diffuse a Bulldogs bomb, with back-rower Harry Hayes cleaning up the scraps, scoring under the posts in the 31st minute.

In the 33rd minute, Panthers prop Preston Riki was sent to the sin-bin for a hip-drop. A minute later bulldogs five-eighth Bailey Biondi-Odo pounced on a deft grubber kick to reduce the deficit to two.

Biondi-Odo failed to kick the conversion, maintaining a two-point half-time deficit.   

Shortly after the resumption of play, Panthers five-eighth Trent Toleau stepped inside three Bulldogs defenders to score in the 45th minute.

Having a good day with the boot, Alamoti extended the lead to 18-10.

After another Bulldogs turnover, Panther’s hooker Luke Sommerton burrowed over the line in the 50th minute and Alamoti again kicking the conversion to get the Panthers to 24.

Keeping the ball alive in the 61st minute the Panthers showed some nice skill with Daine Laurie the beneficiary after he scooped it up to score. Alamoti converted to make it five from five, putting the Panthers 20 ahead.

Fale showed some skill to brush aside a poor attempt at tackle from the Bulldogs, racing down field to set up Toleau for his second in the 64th minute.

Alamoti’s conversion faded in front of the posts, with the final score 34-10.

Talking Points

- Panthers prop Preston Riki was sent to the bin in the 33rd minute. He was placed on report for the hip-drop tackle.

Key Moment

The Panthers returned to the field firing in the second half as five-eighth Trent Toleau stepped three Bulldogs defenders to score in open space 45 minutes in. The start seemed to stun the bulldogs as they conceded another three unanswered tries.

What’s Next?

The Bulldogs will face off against the defending premiers South Sydney Rabbitohs at Accor Stadium next Friday, whilst the Panthers will meet 6th Place Roosters at Wentworth Park.


Canberra Raiders v Warriors

The Green Machine continue their red-hot form

Tahlie Gavin

Game Summary

The Canberra Raiders have sought revenge after the Warriors eliminated them from The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup Finals series in 2023 with the Raiders defeating the Warriors 42-4 At Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan.

A strong first-half from the Raiders saw them score four tries to one. It was a sloppy start to the second-half but the Raiders powered on scoring another three tries to end the afternoon with a 42-4 victory over the Warriors.

A linebreak from fullback Chevy Stewart in the second minute of the game set up Raiders centre Prinston Esera who took the Warriors defence over the line with him to score the first points of the afternoon. Adam Cook added the extras.

The Warriors answered back at the 16-minute mark with a try to winger Edward Kosi. After spreading straight out to the wing, Kosi managed to run his way around the Raiders defence to score.

Stewart was next to cross the line as Simi Sasagi broke the Warriors defensive line to set up a clean run for the try line for Stewart next to the posts. Cook converted successfully.

The Raiders put on two incredible tries to end the first-half. First, a big cut-out pass to Jed Stuart on the wing who got the ball back inside to Manaia Waitere to score. Then just four minutes later, a great break down the narrowest of blind sides from Michael Asomua saw him pass back inside to hooker Zac Woolford to cross the line.

Adam cook converted the final try of the half taking the Raiders to a 22-4 lead at the break.

Adrian Trevilyan ended the second-half points drought with a try in the 65th minute. A run from dummy-half saw Trevilyan put the ball down beside the posts to score for the Raiders.

Back-to-back penalties in favour of the Raiders put them close enough for Adam Cook to successfully take the two points and extend the Raiders lead.

A handling error from the Warriors was then taken advantage of by the Raiders, as five-eighth Mitch Henderson scooped up the ball 30 metres out and dashed away scoring straight under the posts with seven minutes left to play.

Raiders prop Trey Mooney ended the game with a powerful run spinning his way over the try line. Four successful conversions from Cook in the secon-half saw the Raiders take out a comprehensive 42-4 victory over the Warriors at the Raiders spiritual home, Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan.

Talking Points

- Corey Horsburgh was a late inclusion to the side as he returns from suspension.

- Raiders halfback Adam Cook was put on report for dangerous contact in the first half.

Key Moment

Back-to-back tries from Chevy Stewart and Zac Woolford to end the first-half was a huge confidence boost for the Raiders heading into the second-half where they outshined the Warriors.

What’s Next?

The Raiders will be looking to continue their winning streak as they take on the Newtown Jets at Henson Park in Sydney. Whilst the Warriors head back home to host the Newcastle Knights.


Parramatta Eels v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles

Heleta hat-trick helps Sea Eagles defeat Eels

Anthony Eltarraf

Game Summary

A first-half hat-trick for winger Watson Heleta helped the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles secure a convincing 40-20 win over the Parramatta Eels at CommBank Stadium.

The Sea Eagles got on the front foot from the very start, scoring through a right-side shift which found Heleta who touched down in the corner. The winger secured his second try just 10 minutes later, this time with Brandon Wakeham converting and giving his side a ten-point lead.

Parramatta finally got themselves onto the scoreboard when back-rower Dan Keir powered his way over on the right edge.

The visitors however regained momentum scoring through Josh Schuster, before Heleta completed his hat-trick scoring in the right corner yet again.

With seven minutes remaining in the first half, Daejarn Asi sliced his way through the opposition line, scoring the Eels’ second try of the afternoon and taking his side into the sheds trailing 20-10.

The visitors started the second half almost as quickly as the first, scoring within three minutes when Jake Arthur put a chip over the top which was regathered by Lehi Hopoate, before offloading back to Arthur to score near the left edge.

Parramatta answered right back, scoring just three minutes later through Jake Tago, who collected the ball off a chip from Isaac Lumelume to touch down.

It was hard-fought and enterprising footy for the next 15 minutes, before a left-side shift from the Sea Eagles saw Cameron Brown fly down the sideline and attempt to offload to Schuster back on the inside. Asi was able to knock the ball down, but only as far as Lehi Hopoate who picked it up and planted the ball down to extend his side’s lead to 32-16.

It was tit-for-tat in the second half with the Eels answering back once again, this time after Sea Eagles fullback Bailey Hodgson failed to catch the ball off a bomb, allowing Brendan Hands to scoop the ball up and touch down near the right edge.

The Sea Eagles put the nail in the coffin with a penalty goal, followed by a try for Clayton Faulalo, who scored off the back of a Brandon Wakeham linebreak and grubber. It sealed a convincing 40-20 win for the visiting Sea Eagles over the Eels.

Talking Points

- The Sea Eagles halves controlled the game extremely well, leading their side all over the pitch.

- Watson Heleta secured a skilful first-half hat-trick, helping his side to the victory.

- Poor discipline and ball-handling, hurt the Eels throughout the match. They will be looking to improve before next week’s clash against the Western Suburbs Magpies.

Key Moment

Jake Arthur’s try just three minutes into the second half was crucial in giving his side the momentum they needed to secure the victory. A brilliantly executed chip found Lehi Hopoate who offloaded back to Arthur, who raced away and scored the first try of the second half.

What’s Next?

The Eels host the Western Suburbs Magpies next week at CommBank Stadium as they look to bounce back from the loss, while the Sea Eagles travel to Wollongong to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons.


Western Suburbs Magpies v Newtown Jets

Jets steal victory in first leg of Raudonikis Cup

Sam Kosack

Game Summary

The Newtown Jets have one hand on the Tommy Raudonikis Cup following a fiercely contested 25-24 victory over Western Suburbs Magpies at Lidcombe Oval.

Fans in the Tommy Raudonikis grandstand were treated to a seesawing game of footy with nine lead changes, as the two historic Rugby League sides put on an match that channelled the essence of the late Raudonikis.

It would only take three minutes for the Jets to open the scoring with a shift of hands seeing winger Samuel Stonestreet stretch out to make it 6-0.

The Magpies responded in the 20th minute thanks to a brilliant solo effort from new recruit Latu Fainu. Playing his first game in Magpies colours, Fainu ran from 10 metres out, carrying multiple defenders over the line and leaving an easy conversion for winger Alex Lobb to tie the game.

Despite a terrific Magpies try-saver one metre out from the line, the Jets reclaimed the lead on the very next tackle with second rower Christopher Slater-Raptis grounding a perfectly weighted grubber to give the Jets a six-point lead at halftime.

The second half began terribly for the Magpies, losing second-rower Asu Kepaoa and hooker Jake Simpkin after a head clash on the first play of the half. While Kepaoa would pass his HIA and return to the field, Simpkin needed to be taken from the field and did not return.

Over the next 10 minutes, both teams traded tries until scores were locked entering the final 20 minutes.

Despite their injuries, the Magpies scored first in the second half with Justin Matamua muscling his way over from short range. Three minutes later, however, some Samuel Healey magic from dummy-half saw the Jets inch ahead once again, only for the Magpies to march down the other end for James Valevatu to burrow over and make the score 18-all.

The Magpies were reduced to 12 players at a crucial time in the contest after Brent Naden was sin-binned for a high tackle, but their never-say-die attitude saw winger Solomon Alaimalo produce a flying try-saver to deny Stonestreet his second of the afternoon.

The Magpies took the lead for the first time with 14 minutes remaining. A barnstorming linebreak from Josh Finau put Wests in terrific field position before Alex Lobb took advantage of the retreating defence to put the home side in front by six.

Not to be done with yet, Jets hooker Jayden Berrell busted straight through some tired Magpies defence and found a speeding Liam Ison on his inside, with the fullback sprinting away to score under the posts and lock the game up with five minutes to go.

In the end it was a Niwhai Puru field goal with 45 seconds remaining that would clinch victory for Newtown. The young halfback slotted his attempt from 25 metres away, capping off a hard-fought victory for the Jets.

Talking Points

- Newtown centre Kayal Iro continues to push for a return to first grade, with the young gun showcasing his signature damaging ball-running, while Christopher Slater-Raptis was also strong in attack.

- Despite only playing 40 minutes, Latu Fainu once again proved why he is one of the most exciting young talents in Rugby League, having a try and a linebreak to match his strong defence.

- Western Suburbs will be hoping for positive news on Jake Simpkin as the hooker was still in distress after the game following his collision with teammate Asu Kepaoa.

Key Moment

Liam Ison’s try with six minutes to go proved to be crucial for the Newtown Jets. Trailing for the first time in the game, the Magpies looked like they had produced an incredible comeback and notched their first win of the season. However, Ison’s try under the posts tied the scores, setting up Puru’s chance to kick match-sealing field goal.

What’s Next?

Newtown return home to take on the high-flying Canberra Raiders, while the Magpies challenge the Parramatta Eels at CommBank Stadium on Easter Monday.


Newcastle Knights v North Sydney Bears

Knights raise the bat at home

Mason Cernoy

Game Summary

The Newcastle Knights celebrated their first win of the season in style, posting a half-century against competition heavyweights the North Sydney Bears in Round Three.

The visitors opened the scoring when a scoot from Jayden Yates put them on the front foot, giving Keagan Russell-Smith enough time to roll the perfect grubber out to Allan Fitzgibbon.

Their strong start was cut short short however, when Nelson Asofa-Solomona came up with an error 20 metres out following the try. Newcastle were able to utilise the possession to level the scores when a deft kick behind the posts from Jackson Hastings got past the Bears and David Armstong raced in right before it rolled dead.

Knights five-eighth Will Pryce was heavily involved in the first half, and got rewarded for his efforts with two tries, slicing through the left edge of the Bears before taking another Hastings kick over his head for a brilliant second try.

A penalty against Jerry Key for staying in the tackle allowed the Knights to march up the field once more, where Kyle McCarthy would extend the lead to 18 points right before halftime, with the Knights heading into the sheds up 24-6.

The North Sydney Bears ran out for the second half looking eager to attack and determined to close the gap. Following a lost ball from Brodie Jones, Jayden Yates was able to impact the match again, who broke the line and found Keiran Hayman in support, finding his halfback Keagan Russell-Smith to race away under the sticks.

Russell-Smith would soon lay on a second try for Allan Fitzgibbon through another beautifully weighted grubber kick, and all of a sudden it was game on at 24-18.

In the heat of the battle, Brodie Jones took a disruptive carry and earnt a set restart, which sent the Bears backpeddling and the Knights rolling down the field. Off the back of the momentum they executed another shift to Kyle McCarthy who bagged his second try.

Just as Newcastle had wrestled their way back on top of the contest, a miscommunication at the back between David Armstrong and Siaosi Kaliti gifted the Bears an attacking set, where Hayman threw a great ball to Fitzgibbon, who steamed over Kaliti to complete his hat-trick.

With the game in the balance at 28-24, both sides continued to trade blows until Armstrong produced a crucial kick return, taking a towering bomb from Russell-Smith and skipping across the field into a gap before being collected high.

Presented with an attacking set on the 30, Hastings would turn to the boot again and place a kick over the head of Daniel Ala who failed to reel it in, allowing Laitia Moceidreke to dine in on a gift four-pointer. Moceidreke would score his second just minutes later, following a charge-down and 40-metre run by Jed Cartwright.

With the Knights taking a 14-point lead with less than 10 minutes remaining, the game looked all but over, but the Novocastrians hadn’t clocked off just yet. Fletcher Myers and David Armstrong both added to the tally in the closing exchanges of the match, resulting in a final score of 50-24.

Talking Points

- The Knights’ halves complemented each other extremely well, with Jackson Hastings taking on the majority of the kicking and organisation, allowing Will Pryce to play his natural game and threaten the defensive line.

- Keagan Russell-Smith was the Bears’ best, amassing a try, two assists and two repeat sets.

- Jed Cartwright had a spirited performance - personified by his charge-down in 70th minute - as well as many other strong performers in both packs with Makatoa, Jones, and De Luis all playing with plenty of grit.

Key Moment

David Armstrong’s linebreak-turned-penalty could not have come at a more crucial stage of the match, turning what would have been a set off of their own line with a four-point lead into an attacking set, which ultimately lead to Moceidreke’s first try. It gave Newcastle a 10-point margin that would only increase from that stage, with less than 10 minute to play.

What’s Next?

The Novocastrians will head to New Zealand full of confidence for their clash with the Warriors, while the Bears have the bye in Round Four.

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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