Knights Out Match Dragons
The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 40-10 by the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle on Sunday.
The Red-and-Whites scored only the two tries through Brett Morris and Kyle Stanley in the loss to round out the season.
Head Coach Paul McGregor opted to standby the line-up announced midweek for the final outing of the campaign but found his stalwarts trailing shortly after kick-off.
The Knights entered the encounter having notched three tries from their previous four outings and commanded an early lead through centre Joey Leilua in the fifth minute.
Knights captain Kurt Gidley converted to make it 6-0.
The hosts continued their early run of momentum with a follow-up try to five-eighth Jarrod Mullen after the pivot’s quick individual reflexes got him quickest to the try line.
Gidley converted once more to make it 12-0.
The visitors’ walls were breached once again when Mullon passed wide to his left for centre Timana Tahu to etch his name on the score sheet in the 20th minute.
Gidley converted again to make it 18-0.
Both teams found themselves a player down minutes before the half hour mark following the sin-binning of both Knights halfback Tyrone Roberts and Dragons centre Josh Dugan.
The home side pivot had been the instigator in the on field fracas which had led to members from both teams getting involved in the heated moment.
The Dragons were the fastest to respond when play resumed and they finally banked their first try of the encounter through winger Brett Morris moments later.
Dragons halfback Benji Marshall had been the instigator of the four-pointer having off-loaded to five-eighth Gareth Widdop in front of the posts.
The England international, in turn, did likewise to centre Peter Mata’utia on his left-edge before the ball ultimately found the hands of Morris who planted the ball firmly.
The Knights however reclaimed their points-advantage two minutes before the interval through winger Sione Mata’utia.
Gidley converted to make it 24-4.
The Knights carried their late first-half momentum into the second period of play following the interval with Tahu banking his double of the encounter in the 44th minute.
Gidley converted to make it 30-4.
Knights second-rower Beau Scott was awarded a contentious four-pointer following Morris’ failure to put the ball dead inside the try area in the 49th minute.
The Australia international had been jostling with counterpart winger Chanel Mata’utia in the build-up play but did not account for the NSW representative on hi blind side.
The Knights applied further pressure on the visitors and scored their seventh try of the encounter, again through Sione Mata’utia, in the 70th minute.
Gidley converted to make it 40-4.
The Dragons pressed-forward and scored a consolatory try through hooker Kyle Stanley, who broke free from the pack to run from 15 metres out, in the 77th minute.
Widdop converted to make it 40-10.
St George Illawarra Dragons 10. Tries: Morris, Stanley. Goals: Widdop (1/2).
Newcastle Knights 40. Tries: Tahu (2) S Mata’utia (2), Leilua, Mullen, Scott. Goals: Gidley (6/7).