A resurgence from the ISP Newcastle Knights as they crushed an eighth-placed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 40-16 at McDonald Jones Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
The comeback of Nathan Ross from injury helped the Knights gain momentum as he combined with Tom Hughes who ran riot out wide.
On debut for the Club, JJ Felise also contributed a dominating force in the Knights forward pack and Tex Hoy in his first ISP appearance kept the Dogs at bay for most of the match.
Newcastle had good penetration early, as Hughes muscled his way over in the fifth minute. Brock Lamb added the extras from the sideline and it was a 6-0 lead to the Knights.
In the 12th minute, another charge towards their own goal line and the Knights recorded their second via Brodie Jones, who slipped through a gap on the right side. Lamb again nailed the kick and it 12-0 the Knights way.
The home side didn't waste any time adding more points to their tally with a slick run from Ross out wide in his injury comeback. The Knights extended their lead 16-0 after just 19 minutes.
The Knights kept firing, this time through winger Brent Naden, who pulled off an exciting aerial leap to slam the ball down on the right side. Lamb couldn't convert and it was the Knights, 20-0.
The Bulldogs finally took control of possession after being absent for much of the first half and Bronson Garlick side stepped his way over for the visitors first points. It was 20-4 to the Knights after 25 minutes.
In his first ISP appearance, Tex Hoy stunned Bulldogs defenders with a clean run to the line in the 34th minute and seconds before the halftime siren a quick play the ball by Ross helped Hughes run the sideline for the double.
The Knights had a commanding 30-4 lead into the break.
Hoy laid down a pin-point grubber and it was a bullseye to Lamb behind the posts, who slammed it down before the dead ball line in the 50th minute. Lamb stepped up to convert his own try for the Knights to stretch their lead, 36-4.
After a quiet period from both sides, Hughes continued his stellar form and recorded the hat trick 68 minutes in. The Knights lead, 40-4.
Five minutes before the final siren, Hayden Ashcroft snuck one in for the Bulldogs before Josh Cleeland ran over and a last ditch attempt by Jayden Okunbor who crossed over on the siren.
But a five-minute surge from the Bulldogs didn't matter as the Knights came away with a resounding 40-16 win over the Dogs.
Knights 40 (T: Hughes 3, Jones, Ross, Naden, Hoy, Lamb G: Lamb 4/7) defeated
Bulldogs 16 (T: Garlick, Ashcroft, Cleeland, Okunbor G: Cleeland 0/4)