The Canterbury Cup nib Newcastle Knights were defeated by the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 12-8 in a devastating home-ground display.
It was a slow start for both sides on a cold, dry track at McDonald Jones Stadium. Defensively both teams were solid from the start. Kiah Cooper looked dangerous on the edge, however the Bulldogs scramble ensured nothing came of it.
Jacob Saifiti's damaging runs through the middle gave the Knights the metres they needed to execute close to the line. Bayden Searle found space and linked up with Mitch Andrews to score under the posts. Searle converted the try and the Knights took a six-point lead.
The Bulldogs appeared to be set to return blow after back-to-back penalties providing assistance up the field, however the Bulldogs couldn't capitalise, and dropped the ball after a huge tackle from Tevita Alifa.
Searle nailed a penalty shot right on half time to put the Knights in front by eight.
The Bulldogs made a late comeback, with some trick footwork by by five-eighth Jesse Marschke. Fa'amanu Brown converted the try and narrowed the margin to two with 10 minutes remaining.
The Bulldogs surged back and Brown converted his own try to create a four-point lead with just two minutes on the clock.
The Knights sniffed a comeback, and fought hard to make metres through the middle of the field, however the Bulldogs forward pack were too strong, and won by four.
Knights 8 (T: Andrews, G: Searle 1/1, PG: Searle 1/1)