Knights crash to 40-8 loss against Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights crash to 40-8 loss against Eels

By Steve Jancetic 09/08/2009 06:57:11 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta veteran Nathan Hindmarsh summed up the magnitude of the Eels' stunning late season turnaround when he admitted he feared the side would be battling to avoid the wooden spoon rather than fighting it out for a top eight berth.

The Eels found themselves right in the thick of the race for the finals as they stormed to within one point of eighth-placed Manly on the back of their fourth straight win with a 40-8 demolition of Newcastle at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday.

The contrast between the two sides could not have been more stark as the Knights dropped out of the eight after three straight defeats, Parramatta revelling in a high which amazingly could propel them into finals football.

Times weren't always this good out Eels way however with Hindmarsh claiming it was the other end of the ladder that had his interest when Parramatta become Cronulla's second victim of the season back in round 12.

"People thought we were going to be battling for the spoon - even I was getting a bit concerned it was working out that it was us and the Roosters for the spoon at one stage," Hindmarsh said.

"We've come a long way - my main goal halfway through the year was to kick clear of the Roosters and now we could be playing in the semis."

It's a stunning turnaround, one sparked by some stunning play from the likes of Hindmarsh and the hottest player in the competition in Jarryd Hayne.

What made their win over the Knights more impressive is that the star duo took a back seat to some of the lesser lights on Sunday - the likes of Luke Burt, who finished with a personal haul of 24 points courtesy of two tries and eight from eight with the boot, Krisnan Inu and lock Todd Lowrie.

But it was mammoth prop Fuifui Moimoi who had coach Daniel Anderson in raptures.

The cult figure tore the Knights defence to shreds, the magnitude of the performance only fully revealed after the game when Anderson admitted he had played with a torn posterior cruciate ligament.

"It was scary watching him carry the ball and I felt for the Newcastle blokes trying to tackle him," Anderson said.

"I asked Hindy how long he was out when he did (his PCL) and he was out for about six weeks - Fui had six days off, so it shows the measure of his toughness and commitment to the club.

"I gave him unconditional bludging rights during the week and he took them wholeheartedly ... he'll be asking for that (the week off) again.

"If he can play like he did today he can have every day off except for the game."

Newcastle started well enough with Steve Simpson steaming onto a sweet Jarrod Mullen pass for an early 6-0 lead, Inu hitting back after Kurt Gidley was clean-bowled by a Daniel Mortimer kick.

The Knights cautiously opted to kick at goal for an 8-6 lead, but that was all the visitors had to offer with Burt and Joel Reddy both chipping ahead for themselves to score for a 20-8 halftime lead.

Newcastle winger Shannon McDonnell summed up the Knights day when he inexplicably dropped the ball five metres out from a wide open Eels tryline, and the home side went on with the job with Hayne setting up Eric Grothe and Moimoi for tries before Burt completed his double late.

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