Knights v Broncos: Five key points

Knights v Broncos: Five key points

Anthony Milford makes a solid return but it was another Bronco who performed strongly as Brisbane came from behind at half-time to beat Newcastle 34-22 at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Milford makes a successful return

It was a solid comeback game for five-eighth Anthony Milford after five weeks out with a shoulder injury. 

While he had a more subdued impact on the overall result, his second-half try was a reward for not missing a tackle in the side's 12-point victory. 

Milford requires surgery at season's end and admitted post-game he'll need some support from his halves partners moving forward with a limited reaching ability due to the injury. 

He also said it would be a decision by the Broncos as to whether he will be available for the Rugby League World Cup at the end of the season. 

Sims has last laugh

The most entertaining battle on the paddock was between Korbin Sims and his former teammates with the vocal Newcastle crowd also highly involved. 

It proved a fiery opening when Sims was levelled by young prop Josh King, before Peter Mata'utia was on the end of an accident elbow from the Fijian international that ruled him out for the rest of the game.

Sims went close to scoring the Broncos' opening try but was denied, but there was no stopping him in the second half with the game on the line as he slammed the ball down.

Greeted by a hostile home crowd throughout the contest following his departure in January, Sims made sure he let the Hunter faithful know of his feelings after try celebration of his own following the match-deciding four-pointer. 

"That was one of his best games for us, he didn't want to come back here and lose on the scoreboard," Bennett said.

"That's just instinctive of anyone that's left a club. The first tackle of the game they squared him right up."

 


Knights keep losing key moments

Newcastle went into half-time with all the momentum following a strong defensive display and two tries in quick succession to take a six-point lead.

It was the eighth time the Knights have had an advantage on the scoreboard after 40 minutes in 2017, only to be beaten by the opposition through some crucial stages throughout the second halves of games.

Saturday night's first half effort came undone when James Roberts got in the way of a Joe Wardle kick, the centre racing 60 metres to the try-line.

Newcastle fans could be forgiven for thinking it was a case of dejavu after Moses Mbye's effort last week for the Bulldogs that beat the Knights on the buzzer. 

"We played some great footy and then our first set after half-time was good until we come up with the play we come up with," Brown said.

"When we lose that momentum we really don't come together with our defence and leak another quick try. It must be going through our player's minds, 'here we go again'.

"We've got to get that mentally with [James Roberts' try] that we need to drop it, get over it and get back into the fight."

Moga's talent finally on display

If the speculation is true that Broncos centre Tautau Moga is bound for Newcastle in 2018 then the Knights have got themselves a handy replacement for departing Origin representative Dane Gagai.

Three knee reconstructions have cruelled the 23-year-old since he made his Telstra Premiership debut as a Rooster in 2012, but after his recent move to the Broncos this season he has finally been able to showcase his talent.

He tore the Knights (and ultimately Gagai) to shreds on the left edge with 174 metres and two line breaks - one of which resulted in his fifth try of the season.

Bennett admitted both he and Herman Ese'ese were departing the club.

"Tautau's told me he's leaving, Herman's told me he's leaving and they're coming to the Knights and that's all I know," Bennett said.

"I don't really want to give those [players] away but the salary cap makes it impossible to keep everyone these days."


Strong debut for Broncos debutant

The Broncos' depth in their outside backs has taken a hit in recent weeks and the club's newest debutant Jamayne Isaako was the beneficiary and looked at home in his first game in the Telstra Premiership.

Isaako was originally named on the wing with Jordan Kahu in the fullback position, however a late positional shift saw the former Junior Kiwi move into the custodian role.

A former Shark, the 21-year-old ran for 156 metres from 15 carries and produced a try-saving tackle on Knights winger Brendan Elliot in the second half. 

"I said to him at the end of the game that the best thing he did tonight was play mistake-free," Bennett said.

"That's the end challenge in the NRL – to play well and play mistake-free and he did that."