The weekend of junior representative rugby league saw the nib Newcastle Knights face off with the Bulldogs in the SG Ball, Tarsha Gale Cup and Harold Matthews Cup grades at Maitland Sportsground, with the club taking one big win from the day.
In the Andrews Johns and Laurie Daley Cup competitions, Parramatta Eels came to visit but left without a win as our sides grabbed a strong victory and a draw at Cessnock.
Knights 48 (Nailagoliva 2, Williams, Toloi, Uhrle, Pezet, Radzievic, Nean) def. Bulldogs 18
The SG Ball side pulled off a second consecutive big win downing the previously ladder-leaders, the Bulldogs thanks to eight converted tries.
Despite the first half being a real arm-wrestle, the Knights managed to scrape ahead at the break with a 12-point lead before then putting their opposition to the sword with four more tries to the Bulldogs’ one.
Hooker Noah Nailagoliva shone with two tries to his name, while halfback Jonah Pezet again contributed with a heap of points, this week scoring 20 after scoring a try along with a flawless, eight-from-eight record from the kicking tee.
The team now sit on the top of the ladder and will meet the Dragons in Sydney next Saturday.
Tarsha Gale Cup
Knights 8 (Middleton, Beagan) def. by Bulldogs 32
It’s been a tough start to the season for our Tarsha Gale girls, and unfortunately, they were unable to attain any points from the weekend against the Bulldogs despite being even at half-time.
After the visitors scored first, fullback Mia Middleton crossed over to equal the scoreboard, but the Bulldogs came firing after the half-time break scoring five tries of their own, while prop forward Lexi Beagan was the only scorer in the red and blue.
The Tarsha Gale Cup team continue to sit at the bottom of the ladder but will have a chance to move on up when they face the Eels next weekend who also haven’t yet won this season.
Harold Matthews Cup
Knights 12 (Hughes, Faalua) def. by Bulldogs 34
A calamitous first half from the Harold Matthews Cup team meant that the Knights had a mountain just too high to climb when they met with the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs closed out the hosts for the first 45 minutes of the game, before Matthew Hughes finally crossed over before outside back Elijah Faalua followed suit to give the team some positives to build on for next week.
The side sit in the middle of the table in eighth and next week face the team sitting at the bottom of the ladder, the Dragons.
Andrew Johns Cup & Laurie Daley Cup
Johns: Knights 20 (Scholes, Conn, Spruce Conn, Boney) drew with Eels 20
Daley: Knights 42 (Rose 2, Walker, Steed, McGill, Kuru) def. Eels 18
The weekend was a positive one for our Country Rugby League junior reps as both sides left the day without a loss against the Eels.
The U16s Andrew Johns side did extremely well to battle back from 20-4 down early in the second half with fullback Trevor Boney securing the vital game-equalling try that was successfully converted by Aidan Hunt.
Bailey Scholes, Preston Conn and Kai Spruce Conn all got on the scoresheet as well to make sure the side stay in the middle of the pack on the ladder in sixth.
In the 18s competition, the Laurie Daley Cup, the Knights bounced back from two disappointing losses to dominate the Eels with a big margin.
Dummy-half Lleyton Rose managed to score the first two tries for the Knights before Sean Walker grabbed the third to secure a slight six-point lead at the break.
It was all about the hosts in the second half though, as the team crossed over for four more tries that were all successfully converted by Declan Pettet and Fletch Kennedy.
The Laurie Daley Cup team have now moved up the ladder into 11th.
Both teams meet the North Coast Bulldogs next week at Cessnock.