Lachy MacCorquodale reviews the Sunday afternoon clash between the Newcastle Knights and the Parramatta Eels. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: Enari Tuala (75)
Tries: Ryan Matterson (3), Haze Dunster (16), Maika Sivo (26, 35), Clinton Gutheron (38), Bryce Cartwright (42), Tom Opacic (53), Waqa Blake (69)
Goals: Mitch Moses (30, 44), Clinton Gutherson (55, 70)
Player of the Year PointsEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Clint Gutherson (Parramatta)
2 pts – Dylan Brown (Parramatta)
1 pt – Waqa Blake (Parramatta)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Eels responded perfectly after their loss at the hands of South Sydney last week with a try in just the 3rd minute of the game as Ryan Matterson was able to force his way over on the right edge for his second try of the season.
The Knights got let off just moments later as Waqa Blake found his way over the try line for the Eels until the try was disallowed as it was deemed Isaiah Papali’i prevented Jake Clifford from making an attempt to stop Blake.
The Knights settled into the game going set for set with the Eels until the 16th minute which saw youngster Haze Dunster score his first NRL try after he was on the receiving end of a Matterson flick pass after a lovely bomb from Mitchell Moses.
Parramatta continued to put their foot down on the accelerator as the Knights continued to look sluggish in attack when in the opposition’s 20 metres. Maika Sivo was the try scorer on this occasion as the Knights failed to wrap up Blake close to their line and was given the opportunity to offload to Clint Gutherson who passed it to the Fijian flyer who only had to beat Brodie Jones in the corner to score his first of the afternoon.
It didn’t take long for him to add to his tally as Gutherson made a perfect pass to him on the wing, bypassing the two other passing options as Sivo barged his way over Starford To’a to score.
Just when you thought that’d be it for tries during the first half the Eels decided to attack the Knights right edge defence and once again it produced the goods. An early ball to Sivo allowed him to charge infield attracting multiple defenders as he popped an offload to Gutherson on his outside who ran over untouched to score in the corner.
HALF-TIME: Parramatta Eels 22 Newcastle Knights 0
The Eels picked up from where they left off, scoring in just the second minute of the half. After a costly turnover by the Knights, Moses put interchange forward Shaun Lane through a tight gap who then threw a great offload to Bryce Cartwright who scored untouched next to the posts.
The Knights horror evening continued and this time it was Tom Opacic who crossed over the white line. It was a simple play from the Eels as Reed Mahoney came out of dummy-half and threw a cut out ball for Opacic who just had to force his way over the line and did so successfully for his fifth try of the season.
Things went from bad to worse for the Knights in the 15 minutes of the game as Sauaso Sue was sent to the bin for a late hit on Mahoney.
It was a terrible afternoon for the Knights on a special day for the club who celebrated the 2001 Premiership winning side and unfortunately for the fans, the Knights played nothing like the 2001 side did.
The Eels made the most of the extra man as they scored their eighth try of the afternoon as the rejuvenated Cartwright put a lovely little grubber into the in goal for Blake to ground, scoring his first of the afternoon. Another try conceded down the Knights right-edge.
The Knights got oh-so close to scoring late in this match until Gutherson ripped the ball out of Connor Watson’s hands as he went to score. They finally broke their duck in the 75th minute as they shifted the ball right and gave Enari Tuala space to get on the outside of the winger and score in the corner with a classic wingers finish.
FULL-TIME: Parramatta Eels 40 Newcastle Knights 4
Reed Mahoney (Eels) – shoulder
Match Review Committee
Sauaso Sue (Knights) – Grade 1 Dangerous Contact – Early Guilty Plea $1,150 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $1,500 fine.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Knights) – Grade 1 High Tackle Careless – Early Guilty Plea $1,150 fine, Guilty at Judiciary $1,500 fine.