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Round one of the NSW Cup kicked off on Friday afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium as Mounties travelled up the Pacific Highway to tackle the Newcastle Knights.

It was the first official reserve grade fixture in 12 months following the cancellation of last year’s Canterbury Cup competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With so much excitement ahead of the season for a host of players who missed a lot of rugby league in 2020, Mounties started the new year with a 26-8 victory.

The new partnership with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs began in the right fashion with the Mick Potter coached side running in five tries to two and claim an 18-point win.

Tui Katoa crossed for the first try in the opening 10 minutes, before a second try was added in the 24th minute through Aaron Schoupp. The centre converted his try to give the visitors a 10-nil lead.

The Knights were next to score when winger Jacob Kiraz crossed the tryline in the corner at the 29th minute mark.

Mounties added a third try five minutes before half-time when Ben Seufale scored and Schoupp added a further two points to take a 16-4 lead into the break.

Newcastle grabbed another try late in the second half, but a four pointer each from Vincent Rennie and Watson Heleta helped deliver Mounties the win in the opening game of the season.

Mounties 26 (Katoa, Heleta, Rennie, Schoupp, Seufale tries: Schoupp 3 goals)

Knights 8 (Kiraz, Purcell tries)

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