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Knights make it three-in-a-row

The nib Newcastle Knights made it three wins in-a-row with a 29-10 defeat of the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium on Friday evening.

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The Knights fired early with two tries in the first ten minutes but the home side retaliated to close the gap to two points by half time, although the visitors showed fighting spirit in the second stanza, adding 17 unanswered points.

A run of penalties allowed the Knights repeated sets before a quick tap by Dane Gagai on the left edge landed in the hands of Ken Sio to dive over in the corner.

Trent Hodkinson nailed the conversion from 30 metres out for the Knights to lead 6-0.

Minutes later, it was Brock Lamb to set up Newcastle’s second try in just eight minutes as he broke free from the pack. Mitch Barnett came up with the ball to finish it off nicely, before Hodkinson added the extras in front to stretch the lead to 12-0.

In the 18th minute, the home side hit back as Michael Jennings put the foot down to sprint 40 metres to the line. The Knights led 12-4.

The scramble defence was outstanding by the Knights but finally Parramatta found a way as Will Smith picked up the crumbs from a high ball to cross over in the final minute before halftime. The bunker confirmed the try and the Knights led 12-10 at the break.

In the second half, the Eels racked up several forced errors before Pete Mata’utia collected a short grubber to touch down in the 51st minute. The bunker denied the try, deeming Mata'utia offside.

The Knights looked certain to score again in the 54th minute, but Will Smith, who slowed the play-the-ball down, was sin binned for a professional foul.

In the next play, a precision pass from Lamb landed in the hands of Lachlan Fitzgibbon to run through a gap to score in the 55th minute. The kick was good by Hodkinson and the Knights led 18-10.

In the 60th minute, Lamb fended off three defenders to muscle his way to the line and seven minutes later, Sio recorded the double with a spectacular try in the left corner. The Knights extended their lead, 28-10.

With just over five minutes of play left, the referee pulled back a try by Parramatta’s Manu Ma’u due to a knock-on by Mitchell Moses and then Lamb showed his kicking prowess, with a field goal from 20 metres out to seal a 29-10 victory.

SUMMARY

Newcastle Knights 29 (T: Sio 2, Barnett, Fitzgibbon, Lamb, G: Hodkinson 4/5, FG: Lamb)
Parramatta Eels 10 (T: Jennings, Smith, G: Moses 1/2)