Knights hold off fast-finishing Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights hold off fast-finishing Bulldogs

By Steve Jancetic 31/05/2009 05:18:10 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle held off a stunning second half fightback to beat the ladder leading Bulldogs 22-14 at EnergyAustralia on Sunday in an NRL match again marred by controversial video referee rulings.

Snubbed by NSW selectors for game one of the State of Origin series, Jarrod Mullen was the star for the victors with a dominant display, but it was almost not to be as the blue and whites mounted a courageous comeback.

Down 20-0 at the break, the Bulldogs charged back into the contest with three tries in the space of nine minutes - centres Jamal Idris and Josh Morris crossing in the 48th and 52nd minute before a brilliant Andrew Ryan chip kick for the corner saw Bryson Goodwin close the gap to just six points.

The Knights were on the ropes and the momentum was with the visitors with visions of the 2002 clash between the two sides when the Bulldogs came from 19-0 down to beat Newcastle.

Mullen, who set up all three of the Knights tries in the opening stanza, secured back to back sets with a clever bomb, the Knights extending the margin to beyond a converted try when Chris Armit was penalised for hands on the ball in front of his own sticks.

Despite losing by eight points, the Bulldogs were left ruing a controversial no-try ruling midway through the first half when Idris had appeared to have capitalised on a diabolical Wes Naiqama error.

Naiqama watched on as a grubber rolled towards touch in goal, Idris making a fool of him as he touched down for what could have been a 14-6 scoreline only for the video ref to somehow rule a knock-on against Idris.

Newcastle touched the ball once inside the opening seven minutes and it was thanks to some desperate goal line defence that the visitors didn't put first points on the board.

The home side weren't as wasteful with their second set of the match resulting in a try to Richie Fa'aoso after Mullen had sent Keith Lulia galloping downfield with a brilliant cut-out pass.

Mullen was again in the thick of it when a short ball put Zeb Taia away, Scott Dureau backing up for a 14-0 lead after 21 minutes.

The Dogs were left baffled by the Idris no-try, their frustrations growing further two minutes before the break when backrower Con Mika celebrated his debut with a four-pointer which had more than a touch of doubt about it with what appeared to be a Wes Naiqama knock on in the lead up.

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