The Newcastle Knights Jersey Flegg side got the job done yet again for their Round 18 clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs with a 22-10 win at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday evening.
The Knights stepped up their defensive efforts as the visitors found it hard to penetrate their line, and the home side continued to fire on the attacking front via Tex Hoy and Loughrey Loughrey to record a 12-point victory.
In the opening ten minutes the Dogs fired via Muong Dut, a late inclusion onto the wing. The visitors couldn't stick the conversion and it was 4-0 early to the Bulldogs.
It didn't take long for the home side to reply with a swirling pass out wide to Justin Worley who ran 30 metres to dive over for the try. The usual reliable Kurtis Dark couldn't stick the conversion and it was tied 4-all.
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Another opportunity came minutes later as the Knights broke into open space to accelerate to the line, but a forward pass stopped them in their tracks to see the Dogs gain back possession.
The Bulldogs charged towards the line on several occasions but couldn't penetrate a tight Knights defence and down the other end, Hoy side stepped his way across the line on the right edge to record the Knights second in the 36th minute.
Dark nailed the kick and it was 10-4 to Newcastle into the halftime break.
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In the second half, some quick thinking by centre Mitch Andrews, who made a try saving tackle on the right edge, before Henry-Siriah Fuimaono crashed through the Dogs pack to score beside the posts. Dark booted the two-points and it was 16-4 after 55 minutes.
In the 67th minute, half Hayden Loughrey went over for another Knights try before Dark added the extras. The Knights led 22-4.
It was end to end football for much of the rest of the match before final points in the dying minute from the visitors. The Dogs guided Jaavier Pitovao to the line and with a successful conversion from Brandon Wakeham they made it a 12-point difference.
The table toppers continued their solid form to take the Round 18 match 22-10 against the Bulldogs.
Knights 22 (T: Worley, Hoy, Fuimaono, Loughrey G: Dark 3/4) defeated
Bulldogs 10 (T: Dut, Pitovao G: Wakeham 1/2)