The One New Zealand Warriors’ unbeaten run in the SG Ball Cup came to an end when they fell to a heavy 18-40 loss to the Knights in today’s fifth-round match in Newcastle.
The Adam Blair-coached side had put together three straight wins to start their return to the competition after a three-year absence but faced a much sterner test in the Knights.
They went try for try initially, Newcastle opening the scoring early but the One New Zealand Warriors taking a 6-4 lead after centre Eddie Ieremia’s converted try after 14 minutes.
When the Knights responded with go ahead the visiting side came back with an Etuate Fukofuka try and conversion to reclaim the advantage 12-10 after 23 minutes.
That would be the last time they led, though, as the Knights scored twice before halftime to stretch to a 22-12 margin before adding three more converted tries in the second half.
The One New Zealand Warriors’ only reply was a second Fukofuka try late in the match.
Despite the loss they’re still sixth with a game in hand. Just one side – Canberra – has a perfect record after five rounds with the Knights moving to second two points ahead of the One New Zealand Warriors.
Blair’s team is back on home soil next week facing the eighth-placed Sydney Roosters at Trusts Arena In Waitakere.
The Roosters started the season with two losses but have since beaten Cronulla-Sutherland, drawn with the Illawarra Steelers and crushed the Wests Tigers 46-4 on Saturday.
St Johns Oval, Newcastle
Newcastle Knights 40 (Jarome Falemoe, Ethan Ferguson, Jye Linnane, Jayden Harris, Myles Martin, Elijah Salesa leaumoana, Kyle Colburn tries; Ethan Ferguson 6 conversions).
One New Zealand Warriors 18 (Etuate Fukofuka 2, Eddie Ieremia tries; Etuate Fukofuka 3 conversions).
Halftime: 22-12 Knights.
One New Zealand Warriors | Ratu Saimone Naborisi; Raphael Sio, Patrick Moimoi, Siale Faeamani, Sio Kali; William Piliu, Sefanaia Cowley-Lupo; Tanner Stowers-Smith (c), Etuate Fukofuka, Harry Durbin; Kayliss Fataialofa, Eddie Ieremia;. Selumiela Halasima. Interchange: Jeriko Filipi-Talisau, Ben Peni, Rodney Tuipulotu-Vea, Presley Seumanu Tigafua.