An injury-depleted Newcastle proved too hungry for the visiting Roosters to score an 18-10 win at Hunter Stadium in Round 16 last year. With halves Jarrod Mullen and Kurt Gidley both ruled out before kick-off through injury, the Knights showed greater urgency to score three tries to two and put a huge dent in the Roosters’ finals hopes.
The Roosters were first to score after 10 minutes when Justin Carney pushed off Akuila Uate to score out wide, but their good work was quickly undone as Jason Ryles dropped the ball from the kick-off.
The Knights responded by sending the ball out to Junior Sau who crashed over for a 6-4 lead. That lead was extended in the 30th minute through a remarkable try to Peter Mata’utia who picked up a loose pass on the left, drifted infield and then raced through the middle to score untouched.
Newcastle all but sealed victory midway through the second half when Uate crossed in the right corner – Wes Naiqama’s sideline conversion pushing the score out to 18-4.
The Roosters scored a late consolation through Anthony Minichiello whose 105th career try broke the club record.
Stand-in Knights captain Naiqama impressed with 155 metres and three goals from three attempts, while Jake Friend made 52 tackles for the visitors.