Canterbury-Bankstown collect their fifth win of the season with a convincing second half display to defeat Newcastle Knights 38-18 at No2 Sports Ground.
The victory was led by halfback Harry Siejka, front-rower Lloyd Perrett and winger Reimis Smith, who scored a double.
There were plenty of players with NRL experience on show, including Knights all-time leading try scorer Akuila Uate.
Uate got himself involved early with a nice round-the-corner pass to Pat Mata’utia and the knights were on their way. Mata’utia linked up with Will Pearsall, who ran 50 metres untouched to score. Bryce Donovan added the extras for a 6-nil lead after five minutes.
However, the Bulldogs hit back right away after a Knights mistake from the restart. The Bulldogs shifted wide and Reimis Smith crossed on the right to reduce the Knights lead to two points.
Moments later the Bulldogs had their second try down the right side with Tyrone Phillips getting over.
The signs were not looking great for the Knights as a quick tap allowed Craig Garvey to slice through the sleepy Knights defence. Brad Abbey was not having the best day with the boot, but his team led 12-6 after 18 minutes.
The Bulldogs were put under pressure in their own 20 with the Knights earning three repeats sets. The pressure tolled on the defence with Ryan Walker crossing for the Knights.
Although Canterbury had crossed the Knights’ line three times, the Knights enjoyed the majority of possession. They didn’t have to wait long to get their third of the day with Tom Hughes scoring out wide. Donovan could not add the extras, but the Knights now led 14-12.
The Knights’ lead didn’t last for long however, with Harry Siejka showing some nice footwork to cut through next the posts. Garvey took over the kicking duties but unfortunately couldn’t put it through the middle.
In a highly entertaining first half in which both sides were keen to throw the ball around, Canterbury would stay just in front at the break 16-14.
Play in the second term had been underway for little over a minute when Chase Stanley beat Donovan to the bounce to score the Bulldogs’ fifth try. Stanley showed his team mates how the kicking is done with a lovely kick from the sideline. Canterbury then led 22-14.
Canterbury attacked again and soon had another thanks to Lamar Liolevave scoring out wide on the left.
Stanley again added the extras and the score was out to 28-14 with 30 minutes to play.
It looked like the Knights had hit back when Pauli Pauli ran through a big gap to score under the posts, but referee Mr. Shortall pulled the big man up for an obstruction. They didn’t have to wait long though, with Lachlan Fitzgibbon taking the ball from a cross kick to reduce the margin to 10.
Although there was still time for the Knights, it looked like a Bulldogs victory when Smith scored his second of the day. Stanley missed his conversion but at 32-18, the ‘Dogs looked safe.
The Knights were beginning to drop off tackles now and Canterbury soon had another with Lloyd Perrett barging his way over for a well deserved try. Stanley made it 38-18 with his conversion.
Canterbury proved too strong on a nice day for Rugby League, running out winners 38-18.
Although the Knights didn’t get the result they were after, a special mention must go out to Chris Adams and Ryan Walker who were promoted from the local Newcastle competition from their respective clubs Lakes United and Kurri Kurri.
The pair didn’t pick up the win, but they both proved they are up to the task of the Intrust Super Premiership NSW.
Canterbury-Bankstown 38 (R Smith 2, T Phillips, C Garvey, H Siejka, C Stanley, L Liolevave, L Perrett tries; C Stanley 3 goals) def Newcastle 18 (W Pearsall, R Walker, T Hughes, L Fitzgibbon tries; B Donovan 1 goal)