Knights come up short against Roosters

It was a tough day at the office, as the nib Newcastle Knights went down to the Sydney Roosters 38-8 on Sunday night at Allianz Stadium.

The Roosters took advantage of lightning speed from five-eighth Luke Keary and some precision kicking by Cooper Cronk to blow the match out to a 30-point lead by the final siren.

The referee was hot on the play-the-ball rule early, with a penalty against the home side that gifted the Knights a chance at first points.

Kalyn Ponga took the kick but wasn’t able to open the account, as he swung the ball left of the posts 30 metres out.

Minutes later a clever play through the hands of Cronk, Keary and then Latrell Mitchell saw the centre zig-zag to the line for the first points of the match. Mitchell converted his own try to lead the Knights 6-0 after six minutes.

10 minutes in the heavens opened up as rain started to bucket down and make conditions greasy, but it didn’t bother the Roosters as they almost scored their second via Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

He made a break for the line, but there was a forward pass in the build up and the Knights regained possession.

Brock Lamb took the field 15 minutes in as Sione Mata’utia went off for an HIA following a heavy knock, before an offside penalty by the Roosters allowed Ponga to kick for goal 20 metres out.

The teenager nailed it out in front to get the Knights on the board in the 22nd minute. The Roosters led 6-2.

Soon after, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves got a lucky knock back metres from the try line and despite a no try called from the referee, it went to the bunker to reverse the call. The Roosters extended their lead, 12-2.

31 minutes in Mitchell Pearce pulled off a pin-point grubber to land perfectly in the hands of forward Aidan Guerra, who rolled over two defenders for the Knights' first try. Ponga converted out in front to close the gap, 12-8.

The Roosters were awarded another penalty just outside the 10-metre mark and with momentum, Keary crashed over to plant the ball in goal. Mitchell added the extras to see the home side lead 16-8.

Just before the halftime siren, an impressive play from the Roosters saw Keary accelerate to take the short kick ahead of a bunch of Knights, before he off-loaded to Victor Radley who took it all the way to the line for his first NRL try.

Mitchell recorded four from four to see the Roosters into a comfortable 24-8 lead at the break.

In the second half the Knights picked up a notch and Lamb forced an in-goal drop out to get the ball back before Lachlan Fitzgibbon charged to the line. The referee went to the bunker and it was deemed no try after being held up.

In a busy night for the bunker, Shaun Kenny-Dowall took a leaping dive in the right corner but his left foot snuck over the sideline and again, no try.

The Knights again almost made it to the line, but an awkward bounce off the shoulder of Moga landed in Roosters hands and Blake Ferguson finished it off nicely with a length of the field try. The Roosters stretched their lead to 30-8.

It was a red, white and blue avalanche as Cronk staged a grubber and gather to slide over for another four points 55 minutes in. The home side went out to a 26-point lead.

65 minutes in Cronk staged a perfect chip over the top to Ferguson and all he had to do was run it ten metres to the line for the double.

That was the last try of the match to see the Roosters stage a 38-8 win over the Knights in Round 3.

Summary

Knights 8 (T: Guerra, G: Ponga 1/1 PG: Ponga 1/2)

Roosters 38 (T: Mitchell, Waerea-Hargreaves, Keary, Radley, Ferguson 2, Cronk, G: Mitchell 5/7)