It was a highly successful weekend for the Newcastle Knights with the Club winning four of their five matches, highlighted by a big NRL win in Canberra.
Coach Wayne Bennett has been calling for resolve in defence for weeks now and that's exactly what he got in a gutsy 26-12 win over the Raiders at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
With skipper Kurt Gidley and prop Kade Snowden both leaving the field in the second half, the Knights showed enormous courage to constantly repel the Raiders to record only their fifth win in the nation's capital in the Club's history.
Jarrod Mullen enjoyed a successful return from his hamstring injury, with the star five-eighth controlling the match with his pinpoint kicking game and organisational skills.
Mullen was well backed up by prop Willie Mason, who made plenty of metres up front, while Aku Uate, Beau Scott and Adam Clydsdale all stood out in an impressive all-round victory.
The Knights will look to maintain their momentum when they take on the Brisbane Broncos in a blockbuster Good Friday clash at Hunter Stadium.
Newcastle's luckless run against Mounties in the NSW Cup this season continued on Saturday following a 50-30 defeat at GIO Stadium.
In a hard fought match, the Knights had their chances but couldn't contain Mounties and their strong attack in the second half.
It's their third loss against Mounties in 2014, if you include the pre-season trial defeat back in February.
On a positive note for the men in red-and-blue though, halfback Michael Dobson, fullback Nathan Ross and centre Chanel Mata'utia all impressed in the loss.
Mata'utia was particularly impressive with two tries, while he never gave up in defence.
Inspired by a spirited captain's knock from hooker Danny Levi, the Knights NYC team continued their winning ways with a comfortable 48-28 victory over the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium on Saturday.
In a highly entertaining match with plenty of points, Levi led the way for the Knights with two tries and a number of big plays in defence.
The crafty No.9 was well supported by back-rower Joe Tapine, who bagged a hat-trick of tries, while centre Sione Mata'utia maintained his strong form with a try and a heap of effort.
Newcastle remains undefeated and on top of the Holden Cup ladder after six rounds of the 2014 season.
In the junior representative ranks, both the Harold Matthews and SG Ball sides charged to victory over the Melbourne Storm.
The Harold Matthews recorded a dominant 68-0 thrashing of the Storm to confirm their first minor premiership since 2002, while the SG Ball are also finals bound after a 24-12 win over the Storm.
Both the Harold Matthews and SG Ball sides will now take on the Canberra Raiders in the first week of the finals at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.
The Harold Matthews meet the Raiders from 1pm, while the SG Ball kicks off at 2.30pm.
In the NSW Cup, the Knights take on the Wyong Roos at Newcastle's No.2 Sportsground from 3pm on Sunday.
The NRL and NYC teams both play the Brisbane Broncos on Friday, with the 20s to kick-off at 5.20pm and the first grade fixture getting underway from 7.45pm.
ROUND SIX RESULTS:
Newcastle Knights 26 (T: McManus, Clydsdale, Scott, Gagai, G: Roberts 4/4, P: Roberts 1/1)
Canberra Raiders 12 (T: Croker, Boyd, G: Croker 2/2)
Newcastle Knights 30 (T: Ross 2, C Mata’utia 2, Wiliame, G: Mantellato 5/5)
Mounties 50 (T: Priest 3, Sauiluma 2, Hawkins, Nicholls, Bond, Aiga, Foster, G: Cornish 5/9, Bond 0/2)
Newcastle Knights 48 (T: Tapine 3, Levi 2, Birch, Pakau, Peni, Mata’utia, G: Donovan 6/9)
Canberra Raiders 28 (T: Mago 2, Heffernan, Frawley, Garard, Creith, G: Mago 0/1, Doyle 2/5)
Newcastle Knights 24 (T: C.Edwards, B.Robson, B.Lamb, R.Glanville; Lamb 4 goals) d Melbourne Storm 12.
Newcastle Knights 68 (T: M.Cooper 2, B.O’Hagan 2, B.Jones, H.Gibbs, N.O’Meley, J.Hocking, H.Young, J.Weir; O’Hagan 10 goals)
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