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The Newcastle Knights have this afternoon come from behind to defeat the Bulldogs 18-12 in front of 9,742 fans in Mackay.

It was four tries to three with the Knights scoring two of those in the last 20 minutes to take the two points with them back to Newcastle.

The Bulldogs build-up was hampered with forward Sam Kasiano and Greg Eastwood being ruled out the day before the match due to injury. 18th man Martin Taupau and also Tim Browne were brought into the side to take on the men from Newcastle.

The match couldnt have started any better for the Bulldogs with the Knights coming up with an error in the opening set gifting the blue and whites possession just 12m out from the Knights line. They couldnt turn it into points and it was the Knights who opened the scoring after just five minutes of play.

Early penalties put the visitors in good field position and back rower Chris Houston was able to shrug off a Josh Reynolds attempt at tackle and he cruised over to score five metres in from the eastern touchline. Tyrone Roberts had the kicking duties but couldnt convert leaving the Knights in front 4-nil.

The 10th minute saw the Bulldogs get a great opportunity to register their first points of the afternoon after Knights winger Akuila Uate knocked on from a Hodkinson kick. The Bulldogs then worked the line and it was a scurry from five-eighth Josh Reynolds that opened the scoring. Hodkinson was unable to convert with the scores level at 4-all.

It wasnt until the 26th minute that the Knights were able to hit the lead once more, this time through winger James McManus. It was a shift out to the left that ended in the hands of McManus and the winger streaked away to score in the north-east corner. Roberts couldnt convert leaving the Knights in front 8-4.

The Bulldogs were able to then level the scores once more just two minutes before the break through centre Krisnan Inu. Again it was a try from dummy-half with the Kiwi international burrowing down and reaching out to score. Hodkinson was unable to convert with both sides heading to the break level at 8-all.

Representative centre Josh Morris got the Bulldogs off to the ideal start in the second half when he crossed in the 43rd minute. It was Darius Boyd error that gave the Bulldogs possession and the Kiama junior was able to score early in the tackle count. Again the kicking conditions caused Hodkinson some problems and his attempt was waved away by the officials with the Bulldogs in front 12-8.

The tide changed in the 60th minute after both Frank Pritchard and Mitch Brown were both taken from the field with concussion which they received from separate incidents.

Following that the Knights scored their third try of the match almost instantly through Danny Buderus. The hooker took the ball from dummy-half and managed to split the defence and score. Roberts converted for the first time and put the visitors back in front 14-12 after 62 minutes.

Seven minutes later the Knights extended their lead with Houston crossing for his second try of the afternoon. A cross-kick was put in by Jarrod Mullen and a contest in the air between Sam Perrett and McManus resulted in the ball coming down loosely and Houston picked it up and took it over to score. Roberts missed the conversion attempt with the Knights remaining in the lead 18-12.

The final 10 minutes was played with the local on the edge of their seats but the Bulldogs were unable to break the Knights line with the Newcastle side holding on for a 18-12 victory.

KNIGHTS 18 (Houston 2, McManus, Buderus Tries; Roberts 1 Goal) def. BULLDOGS 12 (Reynolds, Inu Morris Tries)

At: Virgin Australia Stadium, Mackay

Crowd: 9,472
Acknowledgement of Country

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs respect and honour the Darug and Eora nations, who are 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.