The Newcastle Knights lost 26-12 to the Ipswich Jets in the State Championship on Sunday afternoon.
In what was a super-heated ANZ Stadium the Knights were unable to keep up with the Jets’ fatiguing style of play.
The red and blues didn’t have to make any changes from their winning line-up last week, but this game proved a step too far for the courageous reserve-grade side.
It didn’t take long for the Jets to get over the line in the first half, hooker Matt Parcell finding space near the uprights to dive over. Carlin Anderson added the extras soon after, but five minutes later winger Richard Pandia dropped a ball on the kick return to give the Knights their first chance.
A try was nearly created when Jake Mamo found his way through the line and passed, but winger Ken Tofilau knocked on over the line to let the Jets off.
With 12 minutes played the red and blues found themselves paying when forward Billy McConnachie stormed over beneath the uprights. Anderson again converted to double his side’s lead, and eight minutes later he kicked a penalty goal as well to make the score 14-0.
Ten minutes before half time the Knights finally grabbed their first points after the Jets’ Anderson fumbled a kick on his own line.
In the following set interchange hooker Geoge Ndaira found enough space to burrow over the line, and then added the extras to his own try.
All that good work was undone two minutes before the break though when winger Marman Barba made a 90 metre break to score. Anderson again converted to push the score to 20-6.
In the second half the Knights were clearly re-focused, and with three minutes gone Jake Mamo slipped a pass through for Jaelen Feeney to score. Ndaira again added the extras, but soon after he was forced from the field with what appeared to be a wrist injury.
The Knights continued to press for another try, and in the 64th minute hooker Danny Levi appeared to squirm his way over the line. The referee ruled that he had been held up though, and three minutes later winger Tofilau was denied a try for a perceived forward pass.
Ipswich prop Rod Griffin made the Knights pay soon after, capping off a good run of play to score in the middle of the field. Anderson converted to make the full-time score 26-12.
Ipswich Jets 26 (T: Parcell, McConnachie, Barba, Griffin; G: Anderson 4/4; P: 1).
Newcastle Knights 12 (T: Ndaira, Feeney; G: Ndaira 2/2).