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Knights dig deep to hand Warriors third-straight defeat

The Knights have handed the Warriors their third-straight loss, digging deep in defence to come away with a 14-8 victory on Sunday.

Newcastle continues to defy the odds after losing star fullback Kalyn Ponga to a lisfranc injury in Round 7 and have made it back-to-back wins for the first time this season after holding out the Warriors in front of 16.094 brave souls at McDonald Jones Stadium.

An early Warriors penalty handed the Knights a repeat set in the red zone and Tyson Gamble opened the scoring for the home side when he pounced on a Jackson Hastings grubber in the in goal. 

The Knights went further ahead after the Warriors came up with their fourth penalty in less than 14 minutes and Dane Gagai slotted a penalty goal for an 8-0 lead.

Tyson Gamble Try

After more mistakes cruelled early opportunities, the Warriors found some momentum and a charging Dylan Walker crossed over the line to get the visitors on the board. 

The Warriors looked to take the lead in the shadows of half time when winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak leaped over Greg Marzhew but dropped the ball over the line after being tackled in the air.

After both sides traded sets and mistakes early in the second half, the Warriors looked to break the arm wrestle when Watene-Zelezniak dived over in the right corner but the try was called back after the bunker ruled Jackson Ford obstructed Hastings in the lead up.

A win for the loyal fans

Two minutes later the Warriors were handed an opportunity to draw even when Jed Cartwright was placed on report for a late shot on Tohu Harris and Shaun Johnson landed the penalty goal from in front of the posts to lock the scoreboard 8-8.

With 11 minutes to play the Knights took the lead when Hastings sent a short ball to Daniel Saifiti who powered his way through several Warriors defenders to put the home side in front 14-8.

The Warriors pushed hard in the final stages of the match with several opportunities on the tryline but the Knights defence held firm to hold onto the six-point lead.

Match Snapshot

  • The Warriors were dealt an early blow with forward Kurt Capewell ruled out with a calf injury after just 29 minutes.
  • Warriors back-rower Jackson Ford was placed on report in the sixth minute for a dangerous tackle.
  • Warriors skipper Tohu Harris was placed on report for a shoulder charge in the 17th minute.
  • The Knights have won nine of their past 11 games at McDonald Jones Stadium.
  • Warriors forward Jackson Ford got through plenty of work with 54 tackles and 12 runs out of the backrow.

No one is catching that bomb

  • Dylan Lucas was strong up front for the Knights with a team-high 45 tackles and just two misses.
  • Knights forward Jed Cartright was placed on report in the 53rd minute for a late tackle on Tohu Harris.
  • The Warriors conceded six penalties in the first half while the Knights had four.
  • The Warriors have not won in Newcastle since 2019.

Desperate Knights defence

Play of the Game 

Called up from the bench on game day, Daniel Saifiti's strength and skill came to the fore in the 63rd minute when he muscled his way over to put the Knights in the lead late in the match. The 28-year-old was immense in the absence of his brother Jacob Saifiti and Tyson Frizell who are currently sidelined with injuries.

Daniel Saifiti Try

What They Said 

"I'm really proud of that performance, especially defensively on our try line we had something like 32 playable's on our tryline. That's what we want to be known for, that's a Knights footy team and that's the sort of effort that fills this stadium. In particular, I thought Daniel Saifiti was excellent to start the game and came up with some really big plays that might go unnoticed but they worked in our defensive system and won't go unnoticed by us." - Knights coach Adam O'Brien

Knights: Round 9

"We were offside a lot, we piggy backed them out of their end. When we defended well, we put pressure on them and forced errors. Then I thought we had enough ball at the end there to win the game but we went off script away from what we wanted to do. There were a lot of things this week that we wanted to work on which I thought were a lot better but we're definitely not good enough and zapping ourself out of energy through our discipline. We were very good at playing the lng game last year and putting other teams under pressure and making it hard for them to come out of their end but we don't have that at the moment." - Warriors coach Andrew Webster

Warriors: Round 9

What's Next

The Knights will meet the Wests Tigers in Tamworth for a Round 10 regional clash while the Warriors are back across the Tasman to visit the Roosters at Allianz Stadium. 

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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