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

Round Five kicks off on Friday night with three games to follow on Saturday including Bulldogs v Roosters on NSWRL TV. Sunday will feature Bears v Magpies and Raiders v Eels both live on NSWRL TV.

Bulldogs v Roosters

Sea Eagles v Panthers

Rabbitohs v Warriors

Knights v Dragons

Bears v Magpies 

Raiders v Eels 


Newcastle Knights v St George Illawarra Dragons

Knights hold on in wet-weather thriller

 Mason Cernoy

Game Summary

It was a rainy night in Newcastle, but the unpleasant conditions didn’t affect the quality of the match, with a winner not being determined until the final play.

The match started in Newcastle’s favour after winger David Armstrong managed to send centre Kyle McCarthy over the line via an offload with three dragons hanging off of him following his line break and 20 metre run, making the score 4-0 just nine minutes into the contest.

The two sides would continue playing quality football and turning it over in the red zone for the next ten minutes, until Will Pryce made a break downfield which resulted in a professional foul on the following play from Dragons forward Alec Tuitavake, who made a potentially try-saving tackle from an offside position.

After Tuitavake was sent to the sin bin, the Knights capitalised instantly with McCarthy running run down the right touchline to grubber infield for Elijah Salesa leaumoana who crossed the the Knights third try of the night.

Despite being 16-0 down with 10 minutes remaining in the opening half, Dragons halfback Jonah Glover set up Tuitavake perfectly under the posts to score the visitors first try of the game.

Savielo Tamale would make his mark on the game in the following set, breaking the line and busting 4 tackles to get St George Illawarra back on the attack, where Haele Finau would crash over on the stroke of halftime to send his side into the sheds only 4 points down at 16-12.

The second half began exactly how the first had ended, with Haele Finau sneaking over from dummy half for his second try of the match, giving his side the lead for the first time of the night.

The Saints had all of the momentum for the next stage of the match, making Newcastle work the ball off of their 10.

A break down the right hand side completely changed the game when Knights winger David Armstrong sent a crosskick back to the middle, which fullback Fletcher Sharpe chased down from over 40 metres out to score.

After Newcastle reclaimed the lead, both sides returned to the grind and found themselves in a real arm wrestle for another 10 minutes before Jonah Glover scored a miracle try, with his grubber ricocheting off of the Knights directly onto his heel, where he scorpion kicked it back into his own hands to score -  giving the Dragons a 24-22 lead.

Dragons lock Viliame Fifita would then be penalised for a strip 10 metres out and directly under the posts, allowing Will Pryce to slot an equaliser, making the scores level for the first time in the match with ten minutes to play.

The Knights would eventually get their last chance to attack with two minutes to play, where Tyson Gamble placed a brilliant chip behind the defensive line that sat up perfectly for Armstrong who sealed the match for the Knights.

Talking Points

- The Knights right edge was extremely dominant and had no difficulties breaking the line, spearheaded by Fletcher Sharpe’s ballplaying, who always appeared to have time.

- Jonah Glover’s try was mind blowing and needs to be seen to be believed.

- All of St George Illawarra’s tries were scored within 10 metres of the posts.

- Haele Finau made a great impact to his side, scoring two tries on either side of halftime.

Key Moment

Making his first appearance of the year in the side, Tyson Gamble came up with the most important play of the night, when he placed the ball on an absolute dime for David Armstrong to break the deadlock in the final moments of the game.

What’s Next?

Knights can enjoy their second home victory of the year, and prepare to host the Sydney Roosters next Thursday and St George Illawarra will be off to Lidcombe Oval to take on the Western Suburbs Magpies.


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Warriors

Ilias Injured as Rabbitohs hold out Warriors

Bethany Conlon

Game Summary 

The South Sydney Rabbitohs have held out a desperate Warriors side to win 26-20 at Accor Stadium in Round Five. 

Warriors kicked off proceedings with a try, as five-eighth Ben Farr raked in a grubber kick to score a minute into the match. 

Farr converted his try giving the Warriors a 6-0 lead. 

A dropped ball by the Warriors 30 metres out proved costly, when prop Davvy Moale busted through the defence to crash over in the 12th minute. Halfback Lachlan Ilias converted to level up scores.

Some poor discipline from the Warriors saw the Rabbitohs take the lead, as five-eighth Dion Teaupa created the overlap for winger Richard Kennar to score in the 16th minute. Ilias nailed the conversion to extend the lead to 12-6. 

Unable to diffuse a Rabbitohs bomb, Warriors winger Setu Tu gave South Sydney another set of six close to the line. 

Souths once again took advantage, sending it though hands for Leon Te Hau to score in the corner in the 21st minute. Ilias’ conversion failed to come back, keeping the score 16-6. 

Late contact on Lachlan Ilias saw the Rabbitohs get their ninth set in a row. Forward Matt French soon charged over the line in the 26th minute. Ilias slotted the kick from in front, extending the lead 22-6. 

Spotting a defender out of the line, Warriors dummy-half Freddy Lussick sent the ball right to centre Sio Kali, who put on some footwork to score 34 minutes in. Farr’s conversion faded in front of the posts, keeping the deficit to 12. 

A Rabbitohs knock-on saw the Warriors open the second-half scoring. Kali created the overlap for winger Edward Kosi to score in the 41st minute. Farr’s conversion failed to go the distance, keeping the deficit at eight. 

The Warriors were back in the contest when centre Moala Graham-Taufa cleaned up another Rabbitohs knock-on and ran over the try-line in the 48th minute. Farr kicked the goal, reducing the deficit to two. 

Backing up a strong run from Rabbitohs centre Braidon Burns, Ilias dove over the line 65 minutes in. He failed to convert, but the home side held on for the six-point win. 

Talking Points 

- Davvy Moale was placed on report in the 45th minute for high contact.

- Caught awkwardly in a tackle, Rabbitohs' Matt French left the field in the 11th minute with a suspected ankle injury. 

- Lachlan Ilias suffered a leg injury in the final play of the game, as Warriors hooker Freddy Lussick attempted to charge down his kick. Lussick was sent off for the contact.

Key Moment 

Lachlan Ilias stood up in the most crucial play of the game, backing up a strong run from Braidon Burns to score. It was an effort than won the game for South Sydney. 

What’s Next?

The Warriors head home to take on Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles in Round Six, while the Rabbitohs return to Accor Stadium to face the Newtown Jets.


Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Sydney Roosters

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Secure Victory On Home Turf

Ella Mullins

Game Summary

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have earned the two points in Round Five of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup with a win against the Sydney Roosters.

The visitors had the upper hand in the first 30 minutes, but trailed early in the second half as the Bulldogs took the lead through Cassius Tia.

The hosts looked to have scored the opening try, but it was later discounted due to an illegal strip from Eli Clark.

The Roosters struck the first blow thanks to Harry McKeon whose dummied before a right-wing siege, his second try for his maiden NSW Cup season. The conversion from Hugo Savala was unsuccessful.

Moments later Savala got redemption after an outstanding play from the halfback set up the Roosters for another scoring raid. Corey Ross was on the outside offering support and put the ball down to score close to the posts, setting up Savala for a successful conversion.

Joash Papalii was next to score, breaking the line and rebounding off a deflection. The Bulldogs then trailed by six points.

The hosts capitalised once again in a last-ditch effort to dampen the Roosters lead. Lachlan Vale manoeuvred the ball above his head and reached out to score on the stroke of halftime. Tia’s successful conversion left the scores locked up 10-all.

The second half started with a bang and the Bulldogs left no time to waste. Unmarked, Tia launched into the air to take a bomb from Joseph O’Neill, swerving through the defence to reach the try-line. The halfback later converted his own try, and the Bulldogs held a steady six-point lead.

Charging down the right-hand touchline, former Rugby 7s player Jeral Skelton cemented the Bulldogs dominance in the second half. Skelton busted through three tackle attempts and scored to lock in a 10-point lead for his side.

The Roosters weren’t ready to pack up just yet when Kyron Fekitoa, surrounded by blue jerseys, forced a pass out to the left edge to Murphy. Murphy who was close to the sideline, flicked an pass back to Fekitoa who notched his only try for the match.

Despite their comeback, the Roosters couldn’t seal the result and the Bulldogs were rewarded with a 20-14 victory at home.

Talking Points

- The Roosters came out all guns blazing in the opening half. But despite falling short in the end, they remained persistent with their attack.

- The Bulldogs kept their heads high despite trailing by 10 points for the opening 30 minutes. But the Bulldogs’ tenacity eventually earnt them the lead and they held on for the win.

Key Moment

Cassius Tia’s try followed by his own successful conversion was crucial to the Bulldogs’ revival before entering the sheds at halftime. The kick in the leadup from Joseph O’Neill was an outstanding play to make.

What’s Next?

The Roosters will travel north to take on the Newcastle Knights at McDonald Jones Stadium for Thursday night footy, while the Bulldogs will be venturing to GIO Stadium for a Sunday afternoon showdown against the Canberra Raiders.


Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles v Penrith Panthers

Iongi stars as Panthers prowl at Brookvale 

Sam Kosack

Game Summary

The Penrith Panthers have extended their time atop The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup ladder, downing the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles 26-20. 

In a highly entertaining contest the Panthers proved too strong for the Sea Eagles at 4 Pines Park, with Blacktown’s mixed early season form worsening to three losses from five games this season.

Penrith continued their blistering form, scoring in the fifth minute through prop Jordan Grant. The try came after a penalty 10 metres out with Blacktown hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong placed on report for a high tackle.

Blacktown responded swiftly however, thanks to a Josh Schuster pass which looped over a rushing Panthers defence, allowing Clayton Faulalo to put a diving Watson Heleta over in the corner. Brandon Wakeham converted for a 6-all scoreline. 

Faulalo’s rapid speed got him his second try assist in less than 10 minutes, burning through the Penrith defensive line before finding Brad Parker back on his inside. Wakeham converted from in front to extend the Sea Eagles’ lead to six.

Penrith responded in the 24th minute when halfback Trent Toelau put Mavrik Geyer through a hole with a perfect short ball. Geyer returned to the NSW Cup after earning an NRL debut last week off the back of consistently strong performances. An unsuccessful conversion attempt from Paul Alamoti left the Panthers trailing 12-10. 

With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Panthers fullback Isaiah Iongi showed why he’s a player of the future by effortlessly outleaping Bailey Hodgson for a bomb before offloaing to centre David Fale who scored close to the sticks. 

Iongi came up with another crucial play two minutes later, fielding a kick on his own line, outmanoeuvring numerous Blacktown players and streaking 60 metres downfield before eventually being caught. The tackle led to the sin-binning of Blacktown prop Aitasi James for a professional foul. 

The penalty put the Panthers in great field position, allowing Trent Toelau to notch his second try assist of the match with Ativalu Lisati jumping on a perfectly placed grubber. A Blacktown penalty goal after the siren gave the Panthers a 22-14 lead going into halftime. 

Clayton Faulalo joined the try-scorers list 14 minutes into the second half after some slick leadup work from the Sea Eagles. Winger Raymond Tuaimalo Veaga made a linebreak from inside his own half, getting Blacktown invaluable field position. Brandon Wakeham hoisted a bomb two plays later which was tapped back by Jakob Arthur into the arms of Jamie Humphreys, who offloaded to Faulalo to score. Wakeham converted to reduce the deficit to two.

Some slick hands from the Panthers would put Paul Alamoti over untouched in the corner, to give the Panthers a converted-try lead with 13 minutes to go.

The Sea Eagles had one last chance before full-time to secure a draw, having two full sets on the Panthers’ line in the final minutes. However, the Panthers held on walking away from 4 Pines Park with the two points, extending their time at the top of the ladder.

Talking Points

- Isaiah Iongi was one of many standouts for the Panthers having a try assist and a linebreak, proving dangerous with ball in hand.

- Trent Toelau was also influential having two try assists and controlling the game with his kicking.

- While not the home side’s day, Clayton Faulalo continued his impressive form from the 2023 season having two try assists and a try.

- Gordon Chan Kum Tong faces a nervous wait to see if he’s charged for a high tackle in the fourth minute. 

Key Moment

Isaiah Iongi’s final 10 minutes of the first half proved the difference, stealing momentum and the lead for his side when Blacktown looked to be on a roll. His effort and speed broke the Sea Eagles as he was influential in the Panthers’ two tries right before halftime.

What’s Next?

Penrith will enjoy the week off with a bye after a hard-earned victory, while the Sea Eagles travel to New Zealand in Round Six to take on the Warriors.


North Sydney Bears v Western Suburbs Magpies

Bears maul Magpies in comfortable victory

Anthony Eltarraf

The North Sydney Bears secured a straightforward victory over the Western Suburbs Magpies with a dominating 42-16 win this afternoon at North Sydney Oval.

Plenty of opportunities went begging for both sides early on but it was the Bears who drew first blood through Josh Bergamin – who was playing his 100th NSW Cup game. The centre wearing the number one jersey skipped on the outside of his opposing defender to dive over for the first try of the afternoon.

A second try came shortly after for the Bears through Rua Ngatikaura, who scooped the ball up from dummy half and ducked under the defence to score.

The Bears looked to run away with the game early on, scoring a third consecutive try. A quick 20 metre tap from Kieran Hayman got the home side on the front foot before Tuipulotu Katoa sliced through to give his side a 16-0 lead.

With six minutes remaining in the first half, Declan Casey finished off a right-side shift in the corner, bringing the visiting Magpies within ten at the half-time break.

Dean Ieremia opened the scoring for the Bears in the second half, powering his way over in the corner following a set play on the right edge.

The hosts followed up with two tries in quick succession through powerful efforts from both front rowers Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Tepai Moeroa, who extended the Bears lead to 32-6.

The Magpies finally responded through a late offload by Josh Feledy which found his winger Solomon Alaimalo, who was able to plant the ball down despite a strong defensive effort from the opposition.

It wasn’t long however before the Bears answered back through Jayden Yates who in similar fashion to his starting hooker, darted from dummy half to score next to the post.

Josh Feledy then added his name to the scoresheet for the Magpies but it was yet again quickly cancelled out by a last gasp try from Allan Fitzgibbon who touched down in the corner to secure the Bears’ 42-16 victory over the Magpies.

Talking Points

  • While the Bears were dominant, their discipline proved an issue, giving away several penalties throughout the match with one penalty seeing Nelson Asofa-Solomona sent to the sin bin with nine minutes to go.
  • Kieran Hayman was everywhere for the Bears in an impressive performance at fullback.
  • The Magpies had the better field position for most of the first half and for periods of the second, but were unable to capitalise on the opportunities.

Key Moment

With both sides having plenty of opportunities to open the scoring, the Bears’ first try proved crucial. Josh Bergamin’s effort to skip on the outside of his opposition defender and score on the right edge gave the Bears a necessary advantage, gifting them the momentum to control the remainder of the game.

What’s Next?

The Bears travel to CommBank Stadium next Saturday afternoon to face the Parramatta Eels, while the Magpies return home to host the St George Illawarra Dragons as they look to secure their second win of the season.

Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels

Game Summary

Green machine turn up the heat on Eels at GIO Stadium

Tahlie Gavin

The Canberra Raiders produced yet another clinical performance over the Parramatta Eels, defeating the blue and gold 30-6 at GIO Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The first points of the afternoon came off a handling error from Parramatta fullback Ethyn Martin, giving the Raiders good field possession to start a full set 20 metres out from the try line. A cut-out pass from Raiders Adam Cook to winger Jed Stuart saw the winger cross in the corner.

Raiders were in again just 10 minutes later through centre Manaia Waitere. Chasing the short kick from Adam Cook to the in-goal, Waitere managed to ground the ball just before the dead ball line.

The Eels clawing their way back into the competition came up with a try in the 23rd minute to Makahesi Makatoa. Eyes up footy from the Eels, taking advantage of a 6-again call saw prop Ofahiki Ogden with the ball before passing to  Makatoa to add the first points for the Eels.

Adam Cook came up with his 3rd try assist for the afternoon setting up Stuart for his second try. A long pass from Cook out to Stuart on the wing saw them set up the exact same play as the first try to score their third to end the first half with a six-point lead.

10 minutes into the second half, the Canberra Raiders shifted out to winger Michael Asomua who worked his way over the line.

The Raiders left side combined perfectly to score their fifth try of the day with Cook crossing for the four pointer.

The Raiders were in again just minutes later as they shifted left. A pass from hooker Zac Woolford to Nick Cotric found Michael Asomua to score his second try of the day.

As the Raiders maintained their momentum towards the Eels line, Captain Trey Mooney used his strength to take him and the ball over the line.

Adam Cook landed his first successful conversion of the afternoon taking the Raiders to an impressive 30-6 victory at GIO Stadium.

Talking Points:

  • Morgan Harper was put on report early in the game for a high shot on Chevy Stewart. Whilst Stewart was also later placed on report for a trip.
  • Eels Reece Alderton also was placed on report.
  • Raiders fans were able to get a good look at their new signing target Eels half-back Ethan Sanders Being one of the most promising young halfbacks in the game, Canberra have been trying to secure his services as soon as possible.

Key Moment:

With only a 6-point lead at half time, the Raiders found confidence through their first try of the second half, setting up a strong momentum for the rest of the game. The try from winger Michael Asomua gave the Raiders the confidence to execute their victory.

What’s Next?

The Eels will seek their first win of the season taking on the North Sydney Bears at CommBank Stadium on Saturday. The Canberra Raiders look to continue their fine form as they host the Bulldogs next Sunday at GIO Stadium.

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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