Knights blitz Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Knights blitz Broncos

By Ian Mccullough 20/08/2010 10:54:02 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane's proud record of not missing the NRL finals since 1991 is in real jeopardy after they were blown away 44-18 by a rampant Newcastle at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday.

It was an historic night for the Knights as Cooper Vuna, Akuila Uate and Adam MacDougall etched their names in the record books as the Knights produced their best display of the season in front of a crowd of 16,668.

Vuna laid the foundations for the win, as he became the fourth Knights player - behind Darren Albert, Andrew Johns and MacDougall - to score four tries in a game.

In the process, Rick Stone's side kept their faint finals hopes alive, jumping two spots to 10th on the ladder.

Uate had earlier matched Timana Tahu's single-season record of 21 tries, with MacDougall tying the now-Parramatta centre's all-time milestone of 82 as the Knights stunned the visitors with a red-hot spell just before halftime.

The Broncos, who were again without injured skipper Darren Lockyer, looked in full control midway through the first period, only to capitulate alarmingly.

Some inspired play from young hooker Andrew McCullough put Ivan Henjak's side 12-6 in front, despite being on the wrong side of some dubious decision from the officials.

The visitors were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty try in the third minute when Kurt Gidley tackled Jharal Yow Yeh without the ball as the winger tried to get his hands to a McCullough grubber-kick.

Video referee Paul Simpkins opted to not award the try and Gidley, who also avoided the sin-bin, then added insult to injury for the Broncos by weaving his way for the opening try of the game in the eighth minute.

The Queenslanders hit back well with McCullough powering over shortly after, and the young rake then teed up Josh Hoffman, who raced 50 metres to touch down under the posts.

However, the Knights responded brilliantly with three unanswered tries from MacDougall, Vuna and Uate to go in 24-12 up at the interval.

The hosts continued from where they left off after the restart with Vuna bagging a 13-minute treble.

His third of the game was all down to a sensational banana kick to the left wing from Jarrod Mullen allowing him the easiest of finishes.

A well-taken Israel Folau try cut the deficit to 38-18, but their miserable night was compounded when Issac De Gois burrowed over for his side's eighth four-pointer.

Gidley added the extras to give him a personal haul of 16 points for the game.

Knights coach Stone was delighted with his side's performance, which he labelled their most impressive of the year.

"We played controlled footy and scored some terrific tries and it was great to produce in front of our home crowd who have been so patient and loyal, that was probably the best thing," Stone said.

The Knights need to win their last two games to have any hope of reaching the finals, starting at home against ladder leaders St George Illawarra next Saturday.

However, Stone believes if his side can repeat their impressive display against Wayne Bennett's side, they can cause a shock.

"If you are going to beat the Dragons then you have to play outside of the square and I felt at times we did that tonight," he said.

Broncos coach Ivan Henjak said his side allowed the game to get away from them, but was bemused as to why referee Ben Cummins, who was slammed by the Knights for his display in their defeat to the Warriors last week, was awarded the game.

"I can't believe a referee who has been criticised so much by the home side was given their game the next week," Henjak said.

"The Knights definitely didn't struggle in the penalty count this week did they?"

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