The nib Newcastle Knights have gone three in a row but they didn’t make it easy for themselves.
With every game at Suncorp Stadium in Round 9, the Knights secured their third straight victory with a 22-10 win over Canterbury on Saturday.
Facing off against his former club for the first time, David Klemmer led the charge up the guts, while it was Mitchell Pearce and his partner in crime Kalyn Ponga who pulled the strings.
The Knights opened the scoring seven minutes into the game off a scrum play.
Kalyn Ponga put Hymel Hunt through a gaping hole to post first points and Ponga slotted the extras for a 6-0 lead.
Defending five back-to-back sets, three penalties and two repeats, the Knights showed real grit to hold the Bulldogs out during a trying period of the game.
A grubber kick from Pearce into the legs of a defender saw the ball ricochet back to Pearce.
He toed the ball ahead and beat Nick Meaney to secure his third try this season.
Ponga added the extras for a 12-0 lead after 23 minutes.
50 seconds before the break, in game 50, Lachlan Fitzgibbon crashed over off a short ball from Pearce.
Unfortunately, Ponga couldn’t convert with the halftime score 16-0.
The start to the second half is one Pearce would love to have over with Remis Smith taking an intercept with the Knights attacking the line to score a 95 metre try.
Meaney missed the kick but with 23 minutes left on the clock the Bulldogs went through again through Will Hopoate.
Meaney landed the kick to reduce the margin 16-10.
Growing in confidence, the bulldogs looked certain to score again when Jack Cogger found Meaney with a high-ball but Ponga produced a try saving tackle.
Ponga and Pearce linked to shut down another attacking raid to keep the Knights in the game with 11 minutes on the clock.
Mitch Barnett then rattled Chris Smith to force a drop ball at the Knights 10 metre line.
Ponga sealed the deal for the Knights, stepping Foran to find space through middle and score in the death.
The Knights defeated the Bulldogs 22-10.