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Newcastle secured an unconvincing 14-6 victory over Parramatta in a dour contest at Hunter Stadium in Round 6.

The home side – who were missing captain Kurt Gidley to injury – posted first points in the sixth minute when Akuila Uate was give a free passage to the try line off a wonderful offload from now-unwanted centre Junior Sa’u. A Tyrone Roberts penalty goal extended their lead to 8-nil with 13 minutes gone.

The Eels struck back six minutes before halftime when prop Tim Mannah bullocked over the Knights’ line and then twisted free of a bunch of Knights defenders who seemingly had him wrapped up. The conversion saw the sides head to the break with the Knights up 8-6.

Uate scored his second try of the afternoon when he crossed untouched after a well-executed right-side sweep in the 53rd minute, with Sa’u again offering the final pass and Darius Boyd figuring in the lead-up also.

But that was as much entertainment as the 24,000-strong crowd would see as both sides bumbled their way through ineffective raids over the closing 25 minutes.

In hindsight Newcastle were lucky to bank the competition points – they completed their sets at a woeful 65 per cent and made a massive 17 errors (to the visitors’ 11).

Aside from Sa’u, the Knights were well-served by prop Kade Snowden (18 hit-ups, 136 metres) and second-rower Zeb Taia (18 hit-ups, 157 metres, seven tackle busts).

For Parramatta, Chris Sandow ran 11 times and made six tackle-breaks, while Jarryd Hayne tallied 185 metres.
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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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