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

Round Six of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup kicks off on Thursday night from 5.20 pm at McDonald Jones Stadium as Newcastle Knights host the Sydney Roosters, live on NSWRL TV.

Saturday's action begins with Warriors v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles from 12.40 pm on Foxtel and Kayo Sports, followed by a NSWRL TV double-header with Western Suburbs Magpies v St George Illawarra Dragons (2 pm) and Parramatta Eels v North Sydney Bears (3 pm), before South Sydney Rabbitohs take on Newtown Jets from 5.10 pm at Accor Stadium.

The Canberra Raiders line up against Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at 4 pm on Sunday to close out Round Six.

Knights v Roosters

Warriors v Sea Eagles 

Magpies v Dragons 

Eels v Bears

Rabbitohs v Jets 

Raiders v Bulldogs


Newcastle Knights v Sydney Roosters

A miraculous Knight for Newcastle

Mason Cernoy

Game Summary 

With a 26-nil lead the Sydney Roosters looked all but certain to record their second win of the season in Round Six of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup, but a perfectly executed second half saw the Newcastle Knights come out 30-26 victors.

The Roosters made their intentions known early when Max McCathie put Turoa Williams over for the first try of the evening after receiving a tap back from Ethan Clark-Wood in just the third minute.

The two sides carried on with the game throwing plenty of attack at each other, until Will Pryce went down with a lower leg injury and had to be taken off of the field, forcing Zach Herring to move to five-eighth and Mitchell New to come on early.

Not long after, Coby Thomas forced a drop-out after Siua Wong bent the line on the previous run. The short drop-out attempt from Newcastle didn’t come up trumps, with Ethan Clark-Wood coming up with the ball and scoring a second Roosters try.

Thomas Cant was then penalised for a late tackle on Hugo Savala, whose kick landed 12 metres out from the line, gifting the Roosters another two points to extend their lead to 14-0.

Things then progressed from bad to worse for Newcastle, who conceded back-to-back tries, with Kyron Fekitoa slicing through the line to set up fullback Callum Gromek, before cleaning up the scraps to score one of his own following a miscommunication between James Bradley and David Armstrong.

In the dying stages of the first half the Roosters showed up for each other in goal-line defence, with Gromek in particular impressing with three-consecutive try-savers by taking the ball dead. In their fourth-straight attacking set Elijah Salesa leaumoana took matters into his own hands to get his side on the board, bumping straight off the first defender and towing three more over the line with him to reduce the deficit to 20 points at halftime.

Newcastle had plenty of work to do in the second half with the scoreboard at 26-6, but they were determined from the kick-off. The Roosters conceded an early penalty, letting the Knights march upfield where makeshift five-eighth Zach Herring threw an inside ball to David Armstrong, who had enough speed and strength to bust over for the opening points of the half.

At 26-12 the game entered a deadlock with neither side giving an inch, but Gamble’s kicking game continued to mount pressure on the Roosters. It was New who broke the game open when he put Brodie Jones through a gaping hole downfield, and with the Roosters retreating on the next play, Gamble hit Jed Cartwright with an inside ball to crash over the line.

Only minutes later Herring crossed for another four-pointer when he ran against the grain and strolled over untouched, which brought the score to 26-24.

After another successful trip up the field Armstrong forced a drop-out for his side, capitalising on the possession when Herring came up with his second try assist for Brodie Jones, who could not be stopped that close to the line. Miraculously the Knights had hit the lead for the first time at 30-26 with 10 minutes to play.

Newcastle’s focus then switched to closing out the match and a forced drop-out from captain Thomas Cant spelled the end of the evening for the Roosters, who found their way back to the Knights’ line for a few plays but ultimately ran out of time.

Talking Points

- Despite being out of their week-to-week positions David Armstrong and Zach Herring were instrumental to their side’s victory, with Armstrong eating metres, Herring coming up with two try assists, and both recording a try.

- Tyson Gamble’s kicking game was key to the Knights’ win, with the Roosters starting a high volume of sets in their own 20 off the back of it.

- The Roosters' forward pack showed plenty of gumption, with Losalu, McCathie, Wong and Fakaosi all looking strong in contact.

Key Moment

Brodie Jones’ try in the 70th minute gave Newcastle their first and only lead for the match, completing a mammoth 26-point comeback.

What's Next?

In Round Seven the Knights will be on the hunt for their first win on the road against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Accor Stadium, and the Roosters will host the Parramatta Eels at Wentworth Park.

Warriors v Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles

Hopoate shines at No.1 for Sea Eagles

Wayne Cousins

Game summary

Two tries to rising young fullback Lehi Hopoate has helped Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles to a 24-18 victory over the Warriors in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup in Auckland today.

Following a strong pre-season with the NRL squad, Hopoate has been in fine form in recent weeks, with Blacktown Workers Coach Wayne Lambkin shifting the exciting youngster back to his preferred position of fullback for the Warriors match.

Hopoate wasted little time in seizing the opportunity, proving a constant threat at fullback in a fine performance.

The Warriors opened the scoring in the fifth minute through winger Setu Tu for a 4-0 lead before a clever pick up in wet conditions by centre Clayton Faulalo from a grubber kick from halfback Brandon Wakeham saw Manly take a 6-4 lead after 12 minutes.

Sea Eagles hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong used his sheer strength from a dummy-half run to carry three defenders over the line to score under the posts for a 12-4 lead after 18 minutes.

Blacktown Workers went further ahead a minute later when talented full-back Lehi Hopoate got on the outside of his man to score out wide for a 16-4 lead.

The Warriors caught the Sea Eagles out in defence to lay on two tries in five minutes to trail 16-14 at the break.

The Warriors caught the Sea Eagles out in defence to lay on two tries in five minutes through Taine Tuaupiki and Ali Leiataua to trail 16-14 at the break.

The opening 25 minutes of the second half was a dour struggle with the Sea Eagles marking up in defence several times.

The Warriors took the lead after gaining some misfortune following a penalty goal attempt that hit the upright. From a short kick, the Warriors finished off their set with a try in the corner to second-rower Leka Halasima for an 18-16 lead.

However, the Sea Eagles were not done with yet and a nice short play to their right saw experienced winger Watson Heleta cross in the corner for a 20-18 lead with five minutes remaining.

Hopoate then crossed for his second try with two minutes remaining after slicing through two defenders to score out wide for a 24-18 lead.

Blacktown Workers have now won three from six matches under Coach Wayne Lambkin.

Talking points

- After starting the season at centre, Lehi Hopoate was switched to his preferred position of fullback with immediate impact after crossing for two tries

- Blacktown Workers have now won three from six matches under Coach Wayne Lambkin

Key Moment

Blacktown Workers fullback Lehi Hopoate scored with less than three minutes on the clock to push the lead out to 24-18 and the Sea Eagles held on from that point on to secure the win.

What's next

Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles head to Henson Park to take on Newtown Jets on Saturday 20 April; while the Warriors head to Collegians Sporting Complex in Wollongong to take on St George Illawarra Dragons also on Saturday 20 April.

Western Suburbs Magpies v St George Illawarra Dragons

Dragons go back-to-back in Roy Masters Cup

Mitchell Roese

Game Summary

St George Illawarra Dragons have claimed back-to-back Roy Masters Cup after securing a 24-18 victory against Western Suburb Magpies at Lidcombe Oval on Saturday afternoon.

St George Illawarra opened the scoring in the seventh minute, after halfback Jonah Glover broke free and offloaded for back-rower Dylan Egan to race away.

The hosts then struck back five minutes later. Second-rower Brandon Tumeth hit short and hard on the lead run, freeing his arm, and offloading to Bailey Hodges supporting on the inside.

Aggressive running from the Dragons’ outside backs reclaimed their advantage with tries in quick succession.

The Magpies goal line defence was eventually weathered down following multiple defensive raids, which saw both Dragons skipper Mathew Feagai and five-eighth Josh Ralph touch down on the left edge.

Two penalties inside the final minute of the first half gave both sides an opportunity to score, though no points could be added to the tally as St George Illawarra took a 14-6 lead into the break.

The Dragons extended their lead in the second half after both halves combined in a loaded right-edge raid, with the ball going through the hands for centre Savelio Tamale to put down spectacularly millimetres from the touch line.

The Magpies closed the margin to a converted try after hooker James Valevatu caught the markers napping and crashed over.

Dragons winger Christian Tuipolotu was near unstoppable on the left edge, and his fierceness assisted for their next try.

His break downfield caught the Magpies retreating onside, before Tom Freebairn charged onto the ball in the ensuing tackle and extended the lead to 12 points.

With plenty of football left to play, the Magpies found a way to pull one back as quick hands on the left edge put Josh Feledy into space to fight his way to the line.

Tyler Colley was ice cold as his conversion from the sideline snuck through the upright to set up a grandstand finish.

With all momentum drawn back to the hosts, Western Suburbs drew closer and closer to levelling the score.

However, the Dragons defence was up for the challenge and they were able to hold out their opposition to claim a 24-18 victory.

Talking Points

- Dragons winger Christian Tuipolotu was dangerous on the left edge, and his large yet agile frame wreaked havoc on his opposing match-ups with some barnstorming runs which was instrumental for their victory.

- St George Illawarra have now only dropped two games this season, while Western Suburbs remain with the sole victory.

Key Moment

St George Illawarra’s defence was tested in the match’s final minutes, even going down a man for the final play, but they were resolute and held on for the win.

What’s next?

The Dragon’s victory moves them into the top five as the inform Red V faces the Warriors in Wollongong on Saturday 20 April.

Western Suburbs’ consecutive defeats keeps them in 11th as they travel to Penrith to take on the competition frontrunners also on Saturday 20 April.

Parramatta Eels v North Sydney Bears

Eels hang on in tit-for-tat battle against Bears

Ella Mullins

Game Summary

Parramatta Eels have won their first match in The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup this season after outlasting North Sydney Bears 30-28 at CommBank Stadium.

The hosts struggled against the Bears in the first half, but a much-needed resurgence in the final 20 minutes helped the Eels snatch a win.

The hosts started the match strongly after dumped NRL winger Maika Sivo capitalised on an offload from Brendan Hands to score out wide. Halfback Ethan Sanders missed the conversion, but the home side had an early 4-0 lead.

The Bears regrouped with fullback Jake Toby breaking the Eels defence before picking up Kieran Hayman. The Bears centre weaved through the Eels defence kicking back infield where Toby was waiting to score the Bears first try. Halfback Keegan Russell-Smith landed the conversion for a 6-4 lead.

Eels centre Zac Cini was next to score after Sanders chipped to the right wing. It was no easy feat for Cini, but the centre got over the line, taking North Sydney defence with him. After the successful conversion, the Eels regained a four-point lead.

North Sydney denied the Eels anymore headway with Riley Meyn scoring the Bears second try, but the Eels struck back when Sivo got past Dean Ieremia to notch his second try for the afternoon. Sanders couldn’t land the conversion but the Eels had their noses back in front 14-12.

The tit-for-tat battle continued when the Bears delivered an attacking masterclass just before half-time. Russell-Smith was targeted by Parramatta defence but managed to get an offload away for Toby, to grab his second try. Hayman landed the conversion to take an 18-14 lead into the break.

Hayman demolished Parramatta’s defensive line when play resumed after chasing down a grubber kick before launching towards the goal post. He converted his own try to give his side a strong eight-point advantage.

The game started to get away from the hosts when Ieremia scored to put the Bears well ion control at 28-14.

With less than 20 minutes remaining, the hosts had a late resurgence, scoring back-to-back tries from Jake Tago and Samuel Loizou.

Determined to secure their first win, Cini grabbed his second try after barging through the defence and rolling over the try line to level the scores. Sanders’ conversion just snuck in after rebounding off the post to put the Eels in front 30-28 which they held until full-time.

Talking Points

- Sivo put through a strong case to win back his NRL jumper after grabbing two tries.

- Bears duo Kieran Hayman and Jake Toby were outstanding for their side, securing 18 points between them, but it wasn’t enough to get their team home.

Key Moment

Eels centre Zac Cini’s last-minute try and Sanders’ conversion gave the hosts hope to secure their first win for the KOE NSW Cup season with their defence surviving for the final 10 minutes of the game.

What’s Next

The Eels travel to Wentworth Park to take on the Sydney Roosters on Sunday April 21, while the Bears will return home to North Sydney Oval for a top of the table tussle against the second-placed Canberra Raiders also on Sunday April 21.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Newtown Jets

Cook serves up Rabbitohs win over Jets

Sam Kosack

Game Summary

South Sydney Rabbitohs have moved into the top five of The Knock-On Effect NSW Cup after a strong 24-12 victory over the Newtown Jets.

Bolstered by the inclusion of True Blue Damien Cook, and NRL players Sean Keppie and Tallis Duncan, the Rabbitohs wore down their opponents before taking better advantage of their scoring opportunities to walk away with a valuable two points.

Despite opposing a South Sydney side full of first grade experience, it was uncapped Newtown halfback Niwhai Puru who scored the opening points in the third minute. 

A slick offload from Jets second-rower Billy Burns set up the try, however, credit must be given to hooker Jayden Berrell, whose crafty work from dummy-half a play earlier got his team a line break and forward momentum. This allowed Burns the space to weave and put Puru over. 

The next 17 minutes was largely defined by simple errors from both sides and strong goal line defence from Newtown, who consistently turned away the Rabbitohs’ attacking raids. That was until Braidon Burns ended the arm wrestle, hopping on the end of a short ball to level the scores at 6-all. 

Souths’ captain Jacob Gagai then took control of the game in the 31st minute, breaking the deadlock by scoring a length of the field try. The Rabbitiohs No.1 swooped on a Newtown error before turning defence into attack, running 90 metres to give his side a four-point advantage at half-time. 

Puru grabbed his second try six minutes after half-time, scoring after some quick footwork from fullback Kade Dykes who sped through the Rabbitohs’ defence. Mawene Hiroti’s successful conversion gave Newtown a two-point lead. 

Having been lethal all match with his running game, Cook capitalised on a quick play-the-ball from Keppie to burrow his way over the line and score. Dropped by Souths two games short of 200 NRL appearances, Cook showed plenty of energy and was damaging throughout the game with and without the ball-in-hand. 

Four minutes later, strong running from Ryan Gray extended the Rabbitohs’ lead to its largest for the game, after carrying two Newtown defenders over the line, which left an easy kick for Dion Teapua to stretch the margin to 10 points. 

Desperate to respond, Newtown winger Samuel Stonestreet picked up a wayward pass from Cook and sprinted 80 metres downfield only to be caught five metres short of Souths’ goal line. Strong goal-line defence on the opposite side of the field then forces a Newtown error on tackle one.

A penalty with less than two minutes to go gifted the Rabbitohs an easy two points, extending the final score to 24-12 to secure a good win for the home side.

Talking Points

- Cook produced a man-of-the-match effort, highlighting his wealth of first grade experience and talent in an 80-minute showcase. The Souths No.9 was a problem for Newtown all game with his speed around the ruck causing headaches across the defensive line. 

- Winger Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson did his chances of a first grade recall no harm with several strong runs that bent the defensive line, as did Jacob Gagai.

- Newtown hooker Jayden Berrell was crafty and tough defensively, terrorising the Rabbitohs in the first 20 minutes, while fullback Kade Dykes continued to impress, demonstrating his blistering speed and lightning footwork.

Key Moment

Cook’s try gave the Rabbitohs the leg up they needed, before Gray’s try was the straw that broke Newtown's spirit, as the home side stole all momentum and dominated the final quarter in field position and defence. 

What’s Next

South Sydney have the bye, while Newtown will look to bounce back at Henson Park on Saturday 20 April against the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles.

Canberra Raiders v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs

Game Summary

Tahlie Gavin

Bulldogs hand Raiders first loss of 2024

Another dominant first half performance from the Raiders pushed a 10-point lead at half-time. The Bulldogs came out strong in the second half fighting back and getting the 26-20 victory at GIO Stadium Canberra.

An early miscommunication under the high ball from the Bulldogs back line saw Raiders re-gain ball possession and get a six-again call in close range. Passing out to the left, centre Prinston Esera got the ball down in the in-goal to score the first points of the afternoon for the Raiders. Adam Cook was unable to convert.

Just five minutes later, after being held up in-goal, the Raiders came charging at the line 10 meters out as Prop Peter Hola received a pass from dummy half and used his strength to brush past the Bulldogs defence and score under the posts. Adam Cook converted from in front.

An excellent cut-out pass out from Cook to Nick Cotric saw the Raiders over the line again at the 17-minute mark. A penalty and six-again call were issued in favour of the Raiders giving them great field position. Cook converted successfully from the sideline.

Bulldogs got lucky with their first try of the afternoon with nine minutes left in the first half. Juggling and almost losing possession of the ball, the Bulldogs managed to hold on before a pass to Lachlan Vale who put the ball down over the line. Toby Sexton converted from in front of the posts. The Raiders led 16-6 at the half-time siren.

A linebreak within the first minute of the second half from Bulldogs lock Jack Todd saw him run big meters before passing off to Harry Hayes, who ran the remaining length of the field and scored. Sexton was unable to convert.

Back-to-back penalties in favour of the Bulldogs within 10 meters of their scoring line put immense pressure on the Raiders defensive line. Bulldogs second-rower Kitione Kautoga put an end to the Raiders defensive pressure by forcing himself over the line. A successful conversion from Sexton saw things all tied up 16-all with 27 minutes still remaining.

Adrian Trevilyan failed to regain the ball from the Bulldogs last kick, with the ball loose, Bulldogs halfback Toby Sexton managed to pick the ball up and dive over the line. Sexton converted his own try and took the Bulldogs to a six-point lead.

Bulldogs were rewarded with a 6-again call, but as Sexton was tackled, he rolled his way over the line and the whistle was blown rewarding the Bulldogs with an even further lead. Sexton failed to convert his own try.

Raiders centre Prinston Esera got a lucky bounce right on the dead ball line and managed to touch the ball in the in-goal before going in to touch. Cook’s conversion attempt was waved away.

A last-minute break from Trevilyan looked hopeful, but the kick-chase from the Bulldogs was too strong as the Raiders suffered their first defeat of the 2024 season.

Talking Points

- Raiders Loghan Lewis and Noah Martin were put on report for dangerous contact.

- Late changes from Raiders looked costly as three players were called up to NRL squad.

- Raiders fullback Chevy Stewart was unavailable as he was called up to make his NRL debut against the Gold Coast Titans.

Key Moment

A nail-biting second half saw the Bulldogs come from 10 points behind to six points in-front. A late try from Esera saw the Raiders hopeful to score just one-more try before the final siren blows.

With just seconds left on the clock, Raiders number 14 Adrian Trevilyan made a break. With just one defender in front of him he put in a kick, but the Bulldogs defence was quicker than Raiders attack to get to the ball as the Bulldogs knocked it dead and stopped the Raiders chances.

What’s Next?

The Bulldogs will take on the Newcastle Knights at Accor Stadium on Sunday. The Raiders will head to North Sydney Oval to take on the third placed Bears that same day.

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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