The Eels have bounced back from their Easter Monday loss to Wests Tigers with a huge 39-2 win over Newcastle, handing the Knights a fifth straight loss.
While the Knights opened the scoring with a penalty goal, it was one-way traffic thereafter.
Shaun Lane produced a try and try-assist with a lovely offload in traffic to Hayze Perham to help the visitors to a 14-2 lead at the break with Mitch Moses adding a penalty goal of his own, but the floodgates really opened after the break.
Dylan Brown embarrassed the Knights' goal line defence after a lovely Reed Mahoney dart, Isaiah Papali'i crashed over twice in startlingly easy fashion.
Will Penisini touched down after Edrick Lee failed to defuse a Moses kick ahead and Moses added a late field goal to hand the Knights a convincing loss.
Match: Knights v Eels
Round 7 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
- Newcastle's good-ball sets gave the Eels little to worry about; there was little adventure, ball movement was slow and passes far too often went behind or too far in front of their intended recipient and neither half seriously challenged the line.
- The Eels were the polar opposite, with slick ball movement and deft offloads in their opponents' end causing plenty of headaches while Mitch Moses was happy to challenge the line and broke through it on one occasion.
- Among their other issues, Newcastle's goal-line defence was a serious worry. The ease with which Shaun Lane, Dylan Brown and Isaiah Papali'i (twice) shrugged through attempted try-line tackles will give Adam O'Brien serious cause for concern.
Papali'i again cannot be contained
- Dylan Brown was forced out into the centres by Tom Opacic's injury, with the club's outside back stocks completely depleted. While not quite as involved as he would be at five-eighth, Brown still came up with a try, six busts and 120 metres to make his mark on the match.
- The Eels won the yardage game comfortably; they had 13 separate players and seven forwards make more metres than Jacob Saifiti's 88 - the most metres by any Knights forward.
- Knights captain Kalyn Ponga was sent for a first-half HIA by the independent bunker after staying down briefly after a glancing knee to the head in a collision but was able to return.
- Mitch Moses had his kicking boots on, sniping his seven goals from eight attempts and banging over a field goal from very similar position to the potential match-winning one he missed a week earlier.
- Brodie Jones suffered a hyper-extended elbow in the first half and battled through to the 60th minute. His coach expects him to miss a game.
Play of the game
Up 14-2 and close to breaking the game open, the Eels did exactly that through Reed Mahoney and Dylan Brown just six minutes into the second half. The hooker darted away from dummy half and fed the makeshift centre into half a gap, with Brown showing his power and footwork could adapt to the new rule as he brushed past Jake Clifford and Dane Gagai to score.
Dylan Brown in the centres and it's no problems
What they said
"I'm happy with the overall professionalism of how we played. We still played plenty of footy and threw the ball around but we were patient and earned the right. That was built through our patience and having them come off their try line. When our forwards put their mind to it and think the power game, they're pretty hard to stop." - Eels coach Brad Arthur.
"Sorry to the 25,000, to put in that performance, it's not much to be proud of at the moment. There were parts of our game into the first half which I thought we stuck well. I thought we were awful today with the ball. We're in a rut at the moment and have got to stick together really tight and fight our way out of this." - Knights coach Adam O'Brien.
Mitchell Moses ices the dominant victory
The Eels make their annual trek to the top end to host the in-form Cowboys in Darwin on Saturday night, and will be hopeful of having some semblance of reinforcements available in their depleted outside backs.
The Knights will be at home on a Sunday afternoon once again, this time hosting the might of the Melbourne Storm.