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2021 NRL Round Two, Warriors 16 Knights 20 – Report

Brad Inger reviews the Warriors v Knights game at Central Coast Stadium ….. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

Warriors 16

Tries: Ben Murdoch-Masila (31), Adam Pompey (55), Ken Maumalo (67)

Goals: Kodi Nikorima (31, 57)

Knights 20

Tries: Jayden Brailey (16), Hymel Hunt (48, 73)

Goals: Mitchell Barnett (17, 37, 49, 76)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Hymel Hunt (Knights)
2 pts – Bradman Best (Knights)
1 pt – Jayden Brailey (Knights)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The Warriors started the game off in the worst way possible with Adam Pompey’s kickoff sailing over the sidelines on the full to hand the Knights their first set in excellent field position. The Knights forward pack surged up the field, but the Warriors defensive line held firm as Warriors fans breathed a sigh of relief.

The Warriors much talked about forward pack made easy work of the Knights defence as the marched deep into Newcastle territory. The Warriors piled on the pressure with several repeat sets but were unable to convert that pressure into scoring opportunities and let themselves down with some poor discipline which saw the Knights get the first points of the night when Jayden Brailey darted out of dummy half and crossed at the 16-minute mark, handing the Knights a 6-0 lead.

The game moved into a battle in the middle with both sides trading sets with neither getting the upper hand until Wayde Egan appeared to have scored from a dummy-half scoot in the 29th minute; it was awarded as a try by Grant Atkins; however, the bunker reviewed it and decided that Egan lost control of the ball over the line, the didn’t appear to deter the Warriors as minutes later Ben Murdoch-Masila crossed the line after a nice short ball from Tohu Harris to bring the scores level at 8 all.

With the first half winding down, Warrior Jazz Tevaga found himself on report for the use of his knee in a tackle; the silly penalty saw Mitchell Barnett kick a penalty to hand the Knights back a two-point lead. With the Warriors needing to take a serious look at their discipline after conceding 5 penalties in the first 40.

HALF-TIME: Newcastle Knights 8 – New Zealand Warriors 6

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2nd Half

The second half started with plenty of intensity with both sides running with aggression, but after a knock-on from Warriors skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, it was the Knights taking first blood with Hymel Hunt scoring in the corner after a spectacular offload from Bradman Best in the 48th minute to push their lead out 14-6.

After a few back to back, six again calls due to the Knights failing to get themselves onside; the Warriors kept themselves in the contest when Pompey touched down on the left edge to see them reduced the Knights lead to 14-12. The Warriors weren’t finished yet as the Warriors kept the momentum going and took the lead for the first time in the match at the 67th minute when Ken Maumalo scored his first try of the year from a simple draw and pass from Tuivasa-Sheck.

The Knights refused to quit and got the ball out to their strike centre Best who offloaded from the ground to Hunt for his second try of the night. The Warriors attempted a short kickoff, but it did not go the ten; the Knights played a relatively safe set to ensure the Warriors would have to run the length of the field if they were to score the match-winner, a linebreak from Bayley Sironen gave Warriors fans a flutter of hope but as quick as it came it went away when his offload attempt went to the ground and was dived on by Newcastle to give the Knights back to back wins to start their 2021 campaign, while the Warriors have some work to do before they face the Raiders in Round 3.

FULL-TIME: Newcastle Knights 20 New Zealand Warriors 16

Injuries

to be advised

Match Review Committee

Pheonix Crossland (Knights) – Grade 2 Crusher Tackle – Early guilty plea – 2 matches.
Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (Warriors) – Grade 2 Crusher Tackle – Early guilty plea – 2 matches.
Tyson Frizell (Knights) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact Head/Neck – Early guilty plea – $1150 fine.

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