The Newcastle Knights played an impressive game at home when they hosted the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday afternoon.
The Knights got off to a flying start at home, scoring two consecutive tries early in the first half. The first coming from Kalyn Ponga, the second from Mitchell Pearce.
The Knights began to drop off a little later in the half, which the Cowboys took advantage of, scoring their first points of the game with just over ten minutes remaining in the opening half. These, however, were the only points they scored during the game.
Newcastle got back into the game quickly after the opposition scored their try, and went on to score another try, giving them a twelve-point lead at half time.
It was a tough contest to begin the second half, with no points being scored until later in the second half. Both sides made errors and conceded penalties, providing themselves with limited opportunities. However, after a while, the Knights gained momentum and took control of the game, leaving the Cowboys with little chances of coming back.
The first try of the second half came from Mitchell Pearce in the 58thminute, scoring a double for his side. The Knights continued to dominate the game, scoring a total of 42 points, pleasing a home crowd of 16,752.
Cowboys Missed Taumalolo
North Queensland star Jason Taumalolo was ruled out if the match against the Knights after sustaining a foot injury. He is one of the Cowboys’ best players and he was clearly missed in their loss to the Knights. The extent of the injury and therefore Taumaolo’s time on the sideline remains unclear.
Kalyn Ponga Stars
21-year-old Kalyn Ponga starred in the Knights’ win against the Cowboys on Saturday afternoon. Scoring his third career double and constantly involving himself in the game made it a successful outing for his team at home.
Finals Hopes Alive
The Knights winning against the Cowboys by 36 points means they are able to keep their finals hopes alive. They now sit in ninth place, just two points outside of the top eight with a positive point differential, which could be a key element in a place in the finals.
The North Queensland Cowboys have struggled this season, winning just seven games all year. There were some moments in the match against the Knights where they looked confident, however, for the most part, they seemed lacking in confidence, which is a key element in winning games throughout the year.
Newcastle Knights 42
Tries: Kalyn Ponga 2, Mitchell Pearce 2, Mitchell Barnett, Sione Mata’utia, Mason Lino
Goals: Mason Lino 7
North Queensland Cowboys 6
Tries: Jake Clifford
Goals: Jordan Kahu
Newcastle Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 16. Sione Mata’utia, 3. Hymel Hunt, 4. Tautau Moga, 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6. Mason Lino, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Connor Watson, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Mitch Barnett, 13. Josh King INTERCHANGE 2. Kurt Mann, 14. Jacob Saifiti, 15. Herman Ese’ese, 17. Aidan Guerra
North Queensland Cowboys:1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Coen Hess, 4. Tom Opacic, 5. Jordan Kahu, 6. Michael Morgan, 7. Jake Clifford, 8. Matt Scott, 9. Jake Granville, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Shane Wright, 15. John Asiata INTERCHANGE 14. Reuben Cotter, 16. Scott Bolton, 17. Francis Molo, 18. Peter Hola