Knights stay top with easy NRL win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights stay top with easy NRL win

By Steve Jancetic 24/03/2006 10:14:42 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle's resurgence from NRL wooden spooner to genuine premiership contender has taken another giant leap forward with a 46-22 thrashing of the Bulldogs at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Knights were simply awesome, with mercurial halfback Andrew Johns and fellow international Danny Buderus at the forefront of the demolition, while fullback Milton Thaiday showed exactly why he has Queensland Origin selectors taking notice with a hat-trick of tries, including a sensational 35 metre individual effort.

Johns enjoyed an early shower, hauled off by coach Michael Hagan with 14 minutes remaining to the delight of the 25,504-strong crowd. Buderus also enjoyed a late break before returning for the final minute, sin-binned by referee Steve Clark in the 69th minute for a professional foul.

The Bulldogs had a miserable night, committing far too many errors with the ball in hand and giving away a glut of penalties when in defence, with the final scoreline flattering the visitors thanks to three late tries to Andrew Emelio, Willie Mason and Corey Hughes.

The game was as good as over at halftime, with the Knights setting up a match-winning 34-6 lead with a four-try burst in the 13 minutes before the break.

The two sides exchanged the lead in the early going, with Johns racking up 2000 points in first grade with the first of three penalty goals, while Hazem El Masri got the Bulldogs on the board when he capitalised on a silly offload from Knights prop Josh Perry right in front of his own line.

Irish winger Brian Carney put the Knights back in front 8-6 with a 13th minute try, while the Bulldogs night was summed up when halfback Brent Sherwin gifted the Knights two points when he tried to bite off more than he could chew and kicked out on the full from a 20 metre re-start.

The avalanche started in the 27th minute when Thaiday conjured something out of nothing to beat four defenders in a magical run to the line, before Buderus took advantage of some slack marker defence to make it 22-6 ten minutes out from the break.

Matthew Gidley brushed off a flimsy tackle from opposite number Willie Tonga to go over out wide seven minutes later before Thaiday completed the rot and the agony for the Bulldogs left side defence, which leaked five tries throughout the match, with another four-pointer just before the halftime hooter.

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