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The Dragons have piled on the biggest score and win in NRLW history to move to the top of the ladder with a 40-4 win over the Knights. 

The Knights got a dream start, with a nice Kirra Dibb cut-out putting Autumn-Rain Stephens over for first points just six minutes in. 

But an error and penalty conceded by the Knights handed the Dragons a chance and it was one-way traffic from that point on. 

Madison Bartlett scored twice and Page McGregor once on the Dragons' left edge with Teagan Berry nabbing a try on the opposite flank to make it 16-4 at the break. 

McGregor helps the Dragons level the scores

The Dragons went beyond two converted tries with a penalty goal before Emma Tonegato split the defence and Renee Targett's line break led to Berry's second to make it 28-4. 

A spectacular two-minute double to Jaime Chapman propelled the Dragons to the highest score in NRLW history before Tonegato carved through for her second. 

Match snapshot

Records tumbled as the Dragons consigned Newcastle to their fourth straight defeat. 

  • The Knights' right side edge defence was not helped by an early head knock to centre Jayme Fressard, who was forced off for a HIA which she subsequently failed. It forced edge forward Rangimarie Edwards-Bruce out to centre.
  • The edge was subsequently picked apart by Taliah Fuiamono, whose long pass selection created a first half double to Madison Bartlett and another try to Page McGregor. 
  • The points avalanche helped the Dragons to the highest team total and biggest winning margin in NRLW history, taking both records off the 2018 Broncos.

Tonegato dips and weaves her through for a spectacular try

  • It could have been an even bigger score as the Dragons used five goal-kickers in an off day with the boot, with just one of nine attempted conversions successful.
  • Dragons halfback Rachael Pearson missed a few of those before being taken off five minutes after half time to have lower back soreness assessed. 
  • Fullback Emma Tonegato, who has excelled in every match this year, had her best NRLW performance and was a constant threat with every touch and finished with two tries. 
  • Knights halfback Tahlulah Tillett left the field late with a lower leg injury.

Play of the game

With the result already beyond doubt, the Dragons turned on the razzle dazzle through Jaime Chapman. The Indigenous All Stars flyer scooped up a loose ball 40 out from the Knights line in the 58th minute and burst into space, beating two defenders and offloading to Quincy Dodd whose dummy-and-step got rid of two more defenders before she found Chapman backing up on the fly who carried the last defender over the line to touch down. 

Chapman couldn't be caught as she scores her second

What they said

"I thought we started slow which has become a bit of a theme for us but really happy with the result. It was nice to score some tries with Chappo (Jaime Chapman), Teagan Berry and the ferrari Em (Tonegato). The forwards did their job for the backs to shine, as it should be." Dragons coach Jamie Soward.

"Losing sucks, I said that last week. It was one of those games where we got ourselves into a hole and the more we tried to get out of it, it just got bigger and bigger. There's some disappointment there. We came in with expectations that we genuinely could've stuck it with Dragons." - Knights coach Casey Bromilow.

Stephens-Daly gets the opening try

What's next

The Knights finish their season with only pride to play for next Sunday at midday up at Suncorp Stadium against a Titans side buoyed by their round four win over the Broncos. They will be desperate not to finish their maiden season without a win. 

The Dragons are in action on Saturday at 1pm on their Kogarah home patch against a fifth-place Roosters side that can go close to ensuring a finals finish with a win. The minor premiership is now very much within their reach for Jamie Soward's team. 

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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