Newcastle Knights 42
Tries: Chanel Mata’utia 3, Sione Mata’utia 2, Beau Scott, Joey Leilua, Jarrod Mullen
Goals: Kurt Gidley 5/8
Parramatta Eels 12
Tries: Will Hopoate, Tepai Moeroa
Goals: Chris Sandow 2/2
The Newcastle Knights are showing increasingly promisingly signs of a win as they will enter their last match of a season-to-forget at Hunter Stadium against the St. George Illawarra Dragons next Sunday. While the Parramatta Eels will be forced to win their last match of the season against the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium next week after they were thrashed 42-12 at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In the third minute following close attempts at the try line, a brilliant pass from Chris Sandow to Will Hopoate gave the Parramatta centre a gateway to the in-goal.
It could easily have been 12-0 within the first ten minutes as the Knights were walking on ice while they rejected the possiblity of in-goal dropouts and made use of lucky bounces of the ball. Poor defence may have caused the Hopoate try but it was evident the Knights weren’t going to give up without a fight.
Soon after the tenth minute, the tides turned dramatically and within the next ten minutes Newcastle were getting the upper end of all penalties, scrums and threatening the Eels defensive line with full force.
It was just too easy for the Knights when in the 16th minute, the Knights quickly found themselves in a 3 on 2 situation off the back of a scrum for up-and-coming superstar Sione Mata’utia to finish off the goods in the corner.
The Eels then began to up their defence, but it was hopeless when the knights began attacking and fans began wondering where this stellar form was all season.
Sione Mata’utia continued his brilliant debut season in the 25th minute with a second dive into the left corner of the Parramatta in-goal off a perfect assist from Joey Leilua.
The tides took a small turn when Eels forward Tepai Moeroa steamrolled through multiple players in the Knights defence to reach the two posts, unfortunately for the Western Sydney side, the effects of this try were only short-term.
The second half started perfectly for not only the knights, but the Broncos as they can rest assured Wayne Bennett will be arriving soon on home soil once Jarrod Mullen made a burst from the 40 metre line to level the scores. Kurt Gidley converted his first of the afternoon and gave the Knights their first lead at 14-12.
Soon after, Chanel Mata’utia sparked a try-scoring rivalry with his younger brother when he set the crowd into madness when in the 50th minute he dived into the ingoal off an assist from Dane Gagai who received the ball off a pass from Beau Scott.
The Mata’utia brothers officially became known as ‘Sir’ around the Hunter region and were knighted by the crowd, excuse the pun, when in the 60th minute Chanel Mata’utia barged through the defence and extended his arm into the corner of the ingoal to create a hell for Kurt Gidley who was forced to convert from the sideline.
The pain continued for the Eels when three minutes later Beau Scott made their defence comparable to waking up Jeff on the Wiggles, Kurt Gidley converted and bumped his kicking rate for the afternoon up to 50%.
The onslaught continued and two minutes later Joey Leilua dummied past the woeful Eels defence to put the Knights four converted tries ahead.
The game ended with Chanel Mata’utia winning the try-scoring battle with his younger brother, Sione, in the 78th minute with a lucky bounce off a chip kick that landed in the in-goal.