The Reserve Grade Newcastle Knights were defeated by a dominant New Zealand Warriors outfit, defeated 30-6, at Kogarah on Sunday night.
The Knights struggled to get through a solid defensive structure, the Warriors putting down 12 unanswered points in the first half before piling on another 18 points in the second stanza.
It was 15 minutes of end-to-end football before a mistake in the ruck from the Warriors gifted the Knights the ball back and although Mickey Paea finally crossed over, he was held up over the line.
The Knights defence was strong as they too saved a try and held it up over the line before the first points came in the 20th minute from the Warriors, via Matthew Allwood. Mason Lino converted for New Zealand to lead 6-0.
After the Warriors pulled off a 40/20, Mafao’aeata Hingano crashed through in the 34th minute for the Warriors' second. Lino again converted in front to stretch the lead to 12-0 and take that score line to the halftime break.
In the second half, an error by New Zealand gave Newcastle a chance 20 metres out but the Knights returned the favour with a dropped ball centimetres from the line.
In the 48th minute, the Warriors recorded their third as a lucky bounce landed in the hands of Zac Santo. Junior Pauga this time kicked the conversion to extend their lead, 18-0.
For the fourth time in the match, Paea was held up over the line in the 62nd minute before the Warriors' Bureta Faraimo crossed over on the left edge. The Warriors led 24-0.
In the 71st minute Jaelen Feeney just fell short of the line before Santo found a gap and sprinted to the line to record his double. The Warriors extended their lead, 30-0.
Finally, in the 76th minute Curtis Naughton sliced over on the right edge in his debut match for the Knights. Nick Meany nailed the conversion but New Zealand progress through to week three of the finals, defeating Newcastle 30-6.
Newcastle Knights 6 (T: Naughton, G: Meaney 1/1)
New Zealand Warriors 30 (T: Allwood, Hingano, Santo 2, Faraimo, G: Lino 4/4, Pauga 1/1)
1. Nick Meaney, 2. Tom Hughes, 3. Jacob Gagan, 4. Chanel Mata’utia, 19. Curtis Naughton, 6. Jaelen Feeney, 7. Jack Cogger, 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Will Pearsall, 10. Dane Tilse, 21. Brodie Jones, 12. Braden Robson, 13. Tyrone Amey. Interchange: 11. Bradie Smith, 14. Tom Starling, 23. Faitotoa Faitotoa, 17. Pasami Saulo.
1.Zac Santo, 2. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 3. Matthew Allwood, 4. Junior Pauga, 5. Bureta Faraimo, 6. Mafao’aeata Hingano, 7. Mason Lino, 8. Daniel Palavi, 9. Manaia Cherrington, 10. Charlie Gubb, 11. Ofahiki Ogden, 12. Isaiah Papali’I, 13. James Bell. Interchange. 14. Jazz Tevaga, 16. Albert Vete, 17. Ligi Sao, 18. Toafofoa Sipley.