The Sydney Roosters proved too strong for an understrength NYC Newcastle Knights, winning 40-16 at Hunter Stadium on Friday evening.
The top of the table Knights went into the match with the absence of a regulars, including Jake Mamo and Sione Mata’utia who stepped up to NRL.
Injuries also forced changes, with prop James Taylor ruled out because of a broken hand, Lachlan Fitzgibbon a hip flexor injury, Jaelen Feeney an ankle injury and Under 20s leading try scorer Bryce Donovan out with a broken jaw.
The Knights had the ideal start to the game enjoying the majority of the possession in the early minutes.
The Knights’ got first points via winger Braden Robson,with Harry Pondekas nailing the conversion to add the extras for a 6-0 lead.
The Roosters hit back soon after when Latrell Mitchell scored in the 20th minute despite a determined chase by fullback Jacob Gagai.
An error in the 27th minute gave the Roosters another chance but the Knights held out two repeat sets on their line.
After the Roosters gave a penalty away on Newcastle’s line, a strong attack and quick hands saw Chance Peni over in the corner in the 29th minute.
The Rooster hit back with a try from Jack Goodsell in the corner to bring the score level at 10-all going into half time.
The Knights’ returned from half time eager to put points on the board with some creative plays in attack but it was the Roosters who got first points.
Vincent Leuluai broke through the Knights defensive line to score next to the uprights with his try successfully converted by Hastings, to take a 16-10 lead after 51 minutes.
It proved to be the beginning of a roll for the Roosters, Braden Uele powered over the line in the 57th then Jackson Hastings in the 60th minute to increase their lead 28-10.
Despite trailing on the scoreboard, the Knights defended several opportunities for the Roosters, who had repeat sets on the Knights line.
The Roosters power was too strong with Jokatama Dokonivalli making it over the line in the 68th minute and with Hastings’ successful conversion, the score was 34-10.
The Knights didn’t give up, with Pride Petterson-Robati barging over in the 70th minute to reduce the Roosters lead 34-16.
However the Roosters were quick to reply with a 50-metre try to centre Brendan Elliot to defeat the Knights 40-16.
Newcastle Knights 16 (T: Robson, Peni, Petterson-Robati, G: Pondekas 2/3)
Sydney Roosters 40 (T: Mitchell, Goodsell, Leuluai, Uele, Hastings, Dokonivalu, Elliot, G: Hastings 6/7)
Jacob Gagai, Joshua Birch, Joseph Tapine, Chance Peni, Braden Robson, James DeSaxe, Sam Kennan, Tama Koopu, Danny Levi, Luke Yates, Pride Petterson- Robati, Harry Pondekas, Joseph Boyce.