2020 NRL Round One, Knights 20 Warriors 0 – Report

Brad Inger reviews Newcastle’s round one clash against the New Zealand Warriors. Here’s how the game went.

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Minute Scoring Play Score
8th Try Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle) Newcastle 4-0
9th Goal Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle) Newcastle 6-0
17th Try Edrick Lee (Newcastle) Newcastle 10-0
42nd Penalty Goal Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle) Newcastle 12-0
49th Penalty Goal Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle) Newcastle 14-0
54th Try Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle) Newcastle 18-0
55th Goal Kalyn Ponga (Newcastle) Newcastle 20-0


1st half

In less than stellar weather, the few Newcastle fans in attendance were expecting a strong performance from their Knights, and they didn’t have to wait long with Daniel Saifiti crashing over the try-line after the Warriors conceded back to back penalties. The Warriors continued to be their own worst enemies gifting Edrick Lee his first try of the 2020 season. Moments later, Chanel Harris-Tavita was sin-binned after yet another penalty. The Knights, however, could not capitalise as the Warriors were able to withstand the Knights repeated attacks on the goalline. Both sides traded sets but could not create any scoring opportunities allowing the Knights to take a 10-0 lead into the break.

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2nd half

The Warriors poor discipline continued to haunt them as four penalties in the first eight minutes saw the Knights push out to a 14-0 lead as Kalyn Ponga took the easy penalty goals on offer. The Warriors showed some brief glimpses of life when Kodi Nikorima joined the match, but poor last tackle options allowed the Knights to keep the Warriors scoreless. When Kalyn Ponga went over in the 54th minute, the game was all but over with the Knights getting the first shutout of the 2020 season, winning 20-0.

News broke during the second half that the Warriors may have to look at moving themselves to Australian for the foreseeable future with travel restrictions being enforced in New Zealand. This season seems like it is going to be a rough one for the New Zealand team’s fanbase.

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The Warriors didn’t have much to highlight in this performance, but Roger Tuivasa-Sheck become the first Captain to use the Captains Challenge successfully. This new rule is still in its infancy, and while there will be teething problems, I think it is a welcome addition to the 2020 season.


Newcastle Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Edrick Lee, 3. Enari Tuala, 4. Gehamet Shibasaki, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Kurt Mann, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Mitchell Barnett, 13. Herman Ese’ese, 14. Connor Watson,  15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. Tim Glasby, 17. Aidan Guerra

New Zealand Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. Patrick Herbert, 3. David Fusitu’a, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 7. Blake Green, 8. Leeson Ah Mau, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Lachlan Burr, 11. Adam Blair, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Isaiah Papali’i, 14. Kodi Nikorima, 15. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 16. Eliesa Katoa, 18. King Vuniyayawa


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