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NSW Cup Season Review

It was another rollercoaster ride of a season for the nib Newcastle Knights Knock-On-Effect NSW Cup side in 2021.

After only one round of football the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cup players eagerly welcomed back reserve grade action this season.

They kicked off their campaign with back-to-back losses against the Mounties and Magpies before putting in a resurgent performance against the Dragons in Round 4.

The team knocked over the Red V 40-6 to kickstart their season.

Two wins on the bounce against Newtown and the Sea Eagles followed before a tough trip to the unbeaten Panthers saw the side battle hard, but eventually fall 19-6 to the frontrunners.

Next up came staunch opposition in the North Sydney Bears with the side going down 34-18 ahead of a trip to Wagga Wagga to face the Raiders.

A Matt Soper-Lawler try with six minutes remaining sealed a memorable 22-20 victory away from home and cement the side in the finals positions.

After consecutive bye rounds, the team suffered two straight losses to the Sea Eagles and Eels before showcasing there fight once again with a high-scoring 44-30 win over South Sydney at Stadium Australia in Round 14.

The side's last game was a hard-fought 14-14 all draw before the competition was again postponed.

The COVID-19 situation in Sydney forced the Cup's cancellation in early August resulting in the teams finishing in their respective positions at the Round 15 stage.

The NSW Cup side finished in fifth with six wins and six losses scoring 290 points for 313 against.

Over the course of the season, Coach Andrew Ryan called upon 42 players to play in the team.

Co-captain, Zac Hosking, was awarded Player of the Year for his huge performances week in, week out.

Hosking played 12 games scoring two tries, made 413 tackles (second most in the competition) and averaged just over 100 running metres per game.

Regular stalwarts, Luke Huth and Mat Croker, were voted Players' Player.

Dummy-half, Huth, scored four tries, provided six try-assists and eight line-break assists while the whole-hearted Croker averaged 122 running metres per game and made his NRL debut in 2021.

Other standout players included Dylan Lucas, McKenzie Baker and Jacob Kiraz while English imports Bailey Hodgson and Dominic Young played their first games in the red and blue at Cup level.

The Cup side will hope 2022 brings a complete season and further success.