On the back of sheer speed and silky skills, the Newcastle Knights charged into the Auckland Nines quarter-finals with a comprehensive 25-0 shut-out of the Wests Tigers.
From five-eighth Jarrod Mullen’s mesmerising runs to Tyrone Robert’s impressive stepping, the Knights’ proved unstoppable in attack.
They were equally devastating in defence, with forwards Beau Scott, Jeremy Smith and Willie Mason all coming up with the big hits to force mistakes.
Newcastle now takes on Wayne Bennett's former club the Brisbane Broncos in a quarter-final match at 3.30pm (1.30pm AEDT), after the Broncos finished second in the Green Pool.
Newcastle went into their match against the Tigers with plenty of confidence, but it was the men in orange and black who had the dream start when Pat Richard’s kick-off went dead after a touch from Dane Gagai.
This gave the Tigers a chance to score, but they failed to convert their chance thanks to a Bodene Thompson mistake.
Newcastle looked strong with the ball in hand and opened the scoring after just two minutes via winger Jake Mamo.
Mamo finished off a neat backline move to score in the corner and give the Knights an early 4-0 lead.
Mullen may have missed the sideline conversion, but he was at his creative best in the next set.
The Club’s captain made a strong run, before his halves partner in crime Roberts did it all himself to extend the Knights’ lead.
Roberts skipped and dodged his way to the line to score under the posts.
Mullen converted to give Newcastle a comfortable 10-0 lead.
The Knights were now on top of the Tigers, regularly finding holes in attack and hitting hard in defence.
Veteran forward Scott was particularly damaging in defence and came up with some big plays to force mistakes.
This allowed Roberts to weave his magic and set-up forward Chris Houston for another Knights’ try just before half-time.
Mullen converted from next to the uprights to give Newcastle a commanding 17-0 lead at the break.
The Knights’ dominance continued in the second half led by veteran big man Mason.
Mason barged over from close range after just two minutes of the second half to extend the lead out to 21-0.
The big win was capped off when centre Dane Gagai crossed out wide in the closing stages to send Newcastle through to the quarter finals in style.
Match 3 Full Time
Newcastle Knights 25 (BT: Houston, T: Mamo, Roberts, Mason, Gagai, G: Mullen 2/5)
West Tigers 0
Team v West Tigers
1 – Adam Cuthbertson
2 – Jake Mamo
3 – Dane Gagai
5 – Akuila Uate
6 – Jarrod Mullen (c)
7 – Tyrone Roberts
11 – Beau Scott
12 – Robbie Rochow
15 – Alex McKinnon
4 – Joseph Leilua
8 – Willie Mason
9 – Adam Clydsdale
10 – Chris Houston
13 – Jeremy Smith
16 – Zane Tetevano
*If you haven’t already purchased your Knights’ NRL Auckland Nines jersey, make sure you get online or head to the Club’s Supporter Store to get your jumper.