Canterbury’s march towards the minor premiership continued as an early onslaught helped them down Newcastle 26-10 in Round 22 last season and record their 10th win in a row.
Bristling with confidence after taking care of fellow title aspirants Manly and North Queensland in the previous fortnight, the Bulldogs shot out of the gates – scoring a try with their first touch of the football after running it on the last, then making it 12-0 after seven minutes when Jonathan Wright chased through a Ben Barba grubber.
Barba turned provider again after 11 minutes when his pace proved too much for the Knights’ sliding defence and Wright crossed for his second untouched. Josh Reynolds then added his side’s fourth with a bizarre solo try that saw him slip, stop and start again before breaking straight through to make it 24-0 before the quarter-mark of the game.
Ironically, that would prove to be Canterbury’s final try of the night and when Akuila Uate crossed for tries on either side of halftime the home side briefly threatened a comeback, but in truth the Bulldogs were never in any danger of letting this one slip.
Despite the scoreline, it was Newcastle that dominated long periods of the game with 54 per cent possession and 1609 running metres to Canterbury’s 1315.
Aiden Tolman was huge for the visitors with 182 metres from 22 runs and 42 tackles while Uate was Newcastle’s best with 195 metres and two tries.